The Perfect Appointment (PART 6)
All right, that was step one. Let’s talk about step two of the perfect appointment. That’s appropriate appointment confirmation. Just like step one, our only goal is an appointment that shows. That’s the goal of the appointment confirmation. The key here though, is they need to know they have an appointment. That may sound silly, but you know what? When you make a good confirmation call, as managers, when you start making those good confirmation calls. You’ll uncover soft appointment setting right away. You’ll hear prospects say to you on the phone, 5:15, I didn’t agree to 5:15. Customer didn’t even know they had an appointment. We have to make it clear they have an appointment in step one.
In step two, we’re going to do that appropriate appointment confirmation, and I call it this because it’s a little bit different for each appointment. That’s why it’s called appropriate appointment confirmation. It’s going to start with a thank you confirmation with the particulars. Now, this is generally an email. In that email, I’m going to send something like a boarding pass. Do you think that Barbara Jones knows she has an appointment, if she’s got this in the body of the email. I’ll bet she does. I’ll bet she realizes how important that appointment is.
I’m going to send her an email with a calendar link. Where she can click on the link and it automatically puts our appointment in her calendar. There’ll be a directions link, where she can automatically open up our dealership in Google Maps, because maybe she’s looking at this email on her phone. She’ll immediately have great directions on her Google Maps from our appointment confirmation email we sent her. We’re going to do a boarding pass.
I also want to get permission if possible to text the confirmation to them. Now, when you get permission, this verbal permission. Mrs. Jones, is it okay if I text you the confirmation information for your appointment? When she says yes to that. That doesn’t mean start texting her like crazy. Always, always, always use a double opt-in. That’s where the text message I send her is going to be asking for permission one more time. Where she has to reply Y for yes in order for me to start sending her text messages. That’s important. It’s outside the realm necessarily of appropriate appointment confirmation. It’s more about keeping your dealership compliance with the TCPA, but it is part of what we’re talking about today.
Now, we did an email. We did a text message. Should we call? Yes. Every appointment that’s at least four business hours away requires a confirmation call. Within four hours, your managers need to make the decision if they’re going to call or not. Now, the manager should be the one that makes the one confirmation call to your prospect.
Now, why the manager? Two reasons. They will uncover soft appointment setting right away. If they use the right confirmation verbiage, now they’re not confirming an oil change. We don’t call the customer and say, “Hey, Mrs. Jones this is Steve Stauning calling from Steve’s Ford. Yeah, I’m just calling to confirm your 5:15 appointment. Great, bye.” Click. That’s how you confirm an oil change. We’re not confirming an oil change. We’re confirming the purchase of a $40,000 vehicle.
We’re going to use recap like verbiage. Right? We’re going to talk to her about how great it is. We can’t wait to see her. We’re going to talk about that we’re going to get that vehicle cleaned, gassed, parked out front ready to go. If for any reason she can’t make it, you know we’re just asking that she give us a courtesy call. Right? We’re going to make sure that she understands how important it is that she give us that call, and all of the things we’re going to do to get ready. That’s how we confirm it.
Now, all we’re going to do is another … it’s just going to be a call with some thank you. We’re going to do it about four business hours before the appointment. Now, if the appointment is within that time frame. We’re going to make a decision. If I were a manager, a desk manager and I was tasked with making confirmation calls. Remember I have one goal and that’s an appointment that shows. Let’s say that my sales person talked to a customer at 9:00 am at their job. They’re not going to come in until near the end of lunch hour. About 12:30. It’s about three and a half hours away. Right? I’m going to go ahead and make a confirmation call on that. It’s within the time frame. I still want to make sure again that the customer shows.
Just like with the strong appointment setting, we want to make a customer feel guilty if they no-show. It’s called appropriate appointment confirmation, because not all appointments are the same. Let’s say that the appointment’s in 20 minutes. Let’s say that the customer is standing on another dealer’s lot across town. They saw their our vehicle on their mobile device. They called in. Our sales person took the call, set the appointment, it shows up in my CRM on my appointment log. It’s 20 minutes away. I’m going to listen to the customer call, or I’m going to look at the notes. Customer on the way. I’m not calling to confirm. I don’t want to scare the customer away. Remember, our only goal of step two, appropriate appointment confirmation is to get an appointment that shows.
They’re on their way. The only thing I can do is screw it up if I make that call as a manager. What I will do to make sure that I understand that all of my managers are looking at the appointments and making appropriate appointment confirmation, is I am going to mark that appointment confirmed in the CRM and then I’m going to put a quick note. Not confirmed, customer on the way.
It’s marked confirmed, because we did look at it. We confirmed they’re going to come. We didn’t necessarily call the customer.