Effective Tow Company Dispatching

How To Make More Sales With Effective Tow Company Dispatching

Whether you are using Pay Per Click marketing, Search Engine Optimization, or any other method to get your phones ringing on a consistent basis, to make more retail sales for your towing business, you need to incorporate effective tow company dispatching techniques.

Have you ever called an attorney’s office and heard the receptionist blurt out something like, “Lawyer” and nothing else? No – Most likely, what you heard was a calming voice on the other end saying something like, “Schreimann, Rackers, Francka, & Blunt, attorneys at law, how can I help you?”

Do you know why they answer that way? Because they are professionals.

Most attorneys are professionals who know that if they were to answer their phones with just “Lawyer,” it would not be good for business. They understand that greeting potential clients with a haphazard introduction to their business would only serve to alienate high-end, high-paying customers while attracting those with much lower standards, i.e., those who just want cheap rates.

To avoid being viewed as a commodity, and to be seen as the professionals that you are, tow company owners should take a play from the attorney handbook. Train your dispatchers to use proper etiquette when talking to potential customers so that they convey an authoritative image which will aid in landing more sales.

Proper dispatching techniques help to convey an authoritative image and can lead to landing to substantially higher sales.

Who is your customer?

Towing companies provide two types of towing services, consensual towing, and non-consensual towing. For our purposes here throughout this article, when we mention the term “customer” or “motorist”, we will be referring to consensual towing customers. Interacting with nonconsensual towing customers is an entirely different ball game which we will cover in a separate article.

A consensual towing customer is someone who calls you direct because they need one of the services you provide. The goal with effective dispatching techniques for consensual towing is to land more sales. To land more sales, you need to have a basic understanding of the three things that a consensual towing customer cares about. However, before we discuss those, we need to talk about the importance of first impressions and address how your dispatchers should answer the phone.

For Effective Tow Company Dispatching Up Your Greeting

If you want to land more sales, you need to think about the power of first impressions. How you look, act, and sound can make or break a deal when greeting a new customer. To make a good first impression over the phone, I suggest you Up Your Greeting.

When answering the phone refrain from only saying, “towing,” or “towing services.” Instead, greet your potential customer with the name of your business and ask how you can serve them.

Something like this; “Extreme Towing How Can I Help You?” Or, “Thank you for calling Bill’s Towing and Recovery how can I help?”

You might even try incorporating your name as well. “Thank you for calling Extreme Towing, this is Jessica, how can I help?

Tone Matters

It’s not only the words that you say it’s also how you say them.

Towing is a service business. Which means you are assisting motorists who are having a bad day, i.e., car problems. If you didn’t like people and helping them out during difficult times, you wouldn’t have chosen the towing business. So, it stands to reason that, deep down, you genuinely care about people. And, since you care, I suggest that you let that come out in your greeting and all of your communications with the people you serve.

Try Smiling

Studies show that 84% of what you say over the phone is conveyed in the tone of your voice. And, when you are smiling your tone is one of caring and understanding for the other person. So, next time, before you pick up the phone, take a moment and put on a smile.

With a smile on your face and a proper greeting in place, we’re now going to discuss what your customers care about when they call.

Generally speaking, there are three things that towing customers care about. They are; Price, Time, and Simplicity.

Price – How much does it cost to tow my car?

Undoubtedly the single most asked question tow company dispatchers must answer is one of price. And, as a dispatcher who has fielded this question thousands of times, if you are not careful, your reaction to it can come out harsh, and unsympathetic. However, if you slow down and take control of the situation, you can use the price question to your advantage.

As you accept that the sun will continue to rise and set, resign yourself to the fact that customers are always going to be concerned with price. They need this information to make an informed decision. But, before you can provide them with an accurate estimate of the costs involved, you need more information as well.

How About A Little Empathy?

Use the question of price to get on the same side of the fence as the caller.

Before your phone even rings, most likely, the caller will view your business as a commodity. They believe that if you don’t provide them with the information and service they need, at the right price, then they can just call some other towing company. Your job as a dispatcher is to dispel this belief, and, you can only do this by going above and beyond. I know it sounds a little cliché, but hear me out.

I suggest that when the question of, “How much does it cost to tow my car?” arises, you respond with an empathetic tone and then ask your own question.

Example: The phone rings, and you answer:

Dispatcher: Thank you for calling Extreme Towing, how can I help?

Caller: Yeah, hi, how much does it cost to tow my car 4 miles?

Dispatcher: Hello, sorry to hear you’re having problems, can you tell me a little bit about what’s going on with your car? What kind of car problems are you having?

Rather than starting the conversation by attempting to answer their question when you don’t have enough information to do so, engage the caller with concern for their plight.

I want to reiterate this point. Due to the repetitive nature of the job, many times dispatchers will unknowingly, speak in unsympathetic tones when gathering the information needed to provide an accurate estimate. However, when empathy is put in place as a dispatching tool at the beginning of the conversation, rather than being put-off by a sharp tone with a multitude of questions, the customer will come to understand that you care about their situation.

Remember, the goal as the dispatcher is to dispel the belief that the towing services your company provides are the same as every other towing company. So when you ask a motorist about her car problems, even though she may go on and give way too much information, you are letting her know you care.

Of course, knowing what kind of vehicle issues a motorist is having is practical as well. If it’s a tow on a Ford Excursion or a King Ranch, you would want that information so that you could send a 21-foot flatbed out to help.

Time – What’s Your Time Worth?

The truth of the matter is this; time is more valuable than money. At this moment, you may not agree with that statement, but, regardless of how much money you acquire during your lifetime, you will eventually end up with less time than money.

When a motorist calls for towing services, most of the time they’ll want to know the cost of your services, but they are also concerned with the time it takes for a tow truck to arrive, and for a solution to be had.

The time you spend on the phone, employing empathy to gain an understanding of the vehicle issues the motorist is having, is an investment of the motorist’s time. Also, should you not be able to make the sale during the initial conversation, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a return call once they’ve called around.

Why would they be inclined to call you back?

If you’ve done your job correctly, you will have distinguished yourself from the competition. The motorist will have Time-In with you and will come to believe that, even though you might be a few dollars more, you’re towing company is the best choice. That is if you employ one more piece of the puzzle…Simplicity.

Simplicity – Make It Easy For Them To Say Yes

For effective tow company dispatching, the goal is for the motorist to agree to have you come out and provide service. And, up until now, we’ve discussed the need to employ empathy and that both price and time are factors in their decision making. One other factor that you need to take into consideration when dispatching is keeping it simple for the caller.

Avoid Industry Lingo

All industries use inside lingo, or terminology to describe the services they provide. I suggest that when speaking to your customers, avoid talking in terms they do not understand. Of course, sometimes this cannot be helped. For example Snatch-Block. If you must use a term that may not be fully understood, take the time to explain what you mean. Otherwise, avoid it altogether.

Please Don’t Make The Caller Do The Math In Their Head

Towing companies price their services using hook-up and mileage fees. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for the caller to do business with you. So, I suggest that, rather than rattling off your rates over the phone, you do the work…and the math, and provide a flat fee for services.

Answering The Question of How Much?

After you understand the nature of the car problems your caller is having, the next two pieces of information you need, are the vehicle’s location and destination. Armed with this information, using Google Maps and a calculator, you can make it as simple as possible for her. Determine the enroute mileage cost (if any), hook-up cost, and tow mileage cost, add them altogether…And wait!

Making The Sale

Before you just blurt out the price, take into consideration everything you’ve just learned in this article and use it to your advantage. Knowing that time is a significant factor when choosing a towing company, use it when providing your rate.

First, determine an accurate estimate of how long it will take to get a tow truck to the motorist’s location. Then use it this way…

Dispatcher: Ok, it looks like we can have a tow truck to your location in about 20 minutes and the cost will be 85 dollars.

Another way…

Dispatcher: I’ve got a tow truck in your area already, he’s going to be free in about 15 minutes, and we can get your car over to the repair shop for $85.

Both of these employ an understanding of the motorist’s situation, a simplistic approach to price while implementing a component of time.

Effective Tow Company Dispatching Summed Up

So, what it all boils down to is that motorists want a fast, reasonably priced solution to their problem from a professional towing company who truly cares about their needs. If you properly implement these dispatching techniques to convey the message that you are what they are looking for, then you’ll put your business head and shoulders above the competition.

Now that you know how to land more sales, you need a proven process to get your phones ringing more often. If you are interested in learning how to improve your visibility online and increase the number of calls you receive contact us.

About the Author:

Don G. Archer is the former owner of a 12 truck, 20 employee towing business. He now spends his time helping others build and start successful towing businesses around the country. Don is a multi-published author, educator, and speaker and is known as the tow-evangelist, www. thetowacademy.com Want to learn more? Email him direct at don@thetowacedemy.com

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