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Address aftersales soft skills to improve customer engagement, urges Coachworks Consulting

Coachworks Consulting’s managing director Karl Davis

Coachworks Consulting is calling on car brands to review the soft skill shortfall which is limiting aftersales staff ability to engage with customers.

The firm is calling on car brands and retailers to invest in training programmes to ensure they are delivered as part of all customer-facing processes.

Coachworks Consulting’s managing director, Karl Davis (pictured), said: “There is not enough investment in soft skills training for aftersales staff, even though much of their contact with customers involves distress purchases which need to be handled sensitively.”

The call comes after the NFDA’s Winter 2018 Dealer Attitude Survey showed a fall in satisfaction amongst dealers with the quality of training offered by their car maker partners.

Davis said: “The NFDA survey shows car manufacturers could be doing much more to improve the quality of training they offer dealers and they need to start with soft skills.”

“Technicians are rarely trained to use empathetic and non-technical language to convey a message when they are filming a customer video.

"If a tyre is wearing close to the legal limit they are likely to say it has 3mm of tread; for some customers that will be a meaningless figure.

"What they need to be saying is that it’s over 75% worn; that will instantly resonate with a customer and help them make an informed decision to replace it.

“The need for aftersales staff to be able to deliver soft skills is grossly undervalued. Car manufacturers have not done enough to commit consideration and budget to making sure the soft skills available are appropriate to the customer experience the brand is aiming to promote.”

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