The telephone was invented about 10 years before the automobile. Now there are more active phones in the world than people and seven times more phones in use than cars. Our love affair with the automobile and phone is clear to see and both have defined our popular culture.
So why are dealerships throwing away potential car buyers due to poor phone practices and out-dated tracking systems? It’s very sad but true. Many dealerships have phone systems that are leaking sales and frustrating customers. What can you do about it?
It is a massive issue – going unchecked
We all lead busy lives so spending the time to look at a car, ponder over the colour, specification, and price range all takes a lot of effort. If someone then picks up the phone to make an enquiry it tells us they are serious. This caller probably wants to buy a car, now!
Each phone call is potentially as valuable as any other kind of lead but they are not treated the same as the email leads and call-ins? Call-ins have always been given the red-carpet treatment right from the first greeting. It’s a well-oiled process that delivers the best results. The lead from a form on the website will normally get a quick and accurate response, probably because it’s immediately tracked on the CRM or DMS. Sadly, the problems occur on the phone leading to massive waste of hot leads.
I spend a lot of my time in dealerships and hear phones ringing and ringing. Too many calls into a dealership either go unanswered or badly answered. Some dealers may feel they have already fixed the problem but it’s just not the case. The vast majority of calls still go unchecked and the poor frustrated customers go elsewhere.
When did you last phone your dealership on the customer number? If you have not done so recently call the number at a busy time of the day and hear what your customers have to deal with. It’s frustrating – for them, and you. It is really important to get it right.
Messages go astray and half of customer don’t get a call-back. If they eventually do, the customer is probably on to the next dealership by then. There are lost messages plus those customers that don’t want to leave a message on voicemail. The chances are that these lost messages and non-messages are not tracked through your systems but all of these opportunities can be tracked, managed and activated.
Did you know:
The odds of making contact with a lead decrease by 10 times in the first hour.
The odds of calling to qualify a lead decrease by 6 times in the first hour.
After 20 hours every additional call actually hurts your ability to qualify a lead.
Information from – http://www.leadresponsemanagement.org/ proves that time is of the essence. Sales leads can perish and die very quickly.
Where are the problem areas?
Here are some of the situations where good sales opportunities go wrong but can easily be improved.
- No answer
- No message taken
- Leave message on voicemail – nobody calls back
- Leave a message with a person – nobody calls back
- Routed to switchboard when I specifically looked up the sales phone number
- Routed around the office and wait 5 minutes to be connected to someone – or just wait
- Get connected but then told the car I enquired about is sold with nothing more said by salesman
- Call answered by a busy person who just wants to get off the phone
- The salesman does not know what car I called about – long explanation needed unless link sent instantly.
- No time to listen to all the call recordings – just too many
- Just too much going on – too much data and not enough actionable information
Speaking to your customers should be a joyful experience for everyone in your business. Was your phone system originally designed to greet your customers but maybe it’s now wasting their time and frustrating them? Your customers are really busy so if they phone you it’s about something important to them.
It has been hard to separate calls about service status from those genuine car sales enquiries. Not anymore, smart call tracking technology really does separate the wheat from the chaff.
The solution needs to be a combination of better interactions and intelligent tracking. Every interaction with a customer should be fast, efficient and helpful. Every call has to be tracked too. We will identify all of the opportunities that may have been mishandled that need dealt with very quickly (and before any senior manager starts to ask awkward questions).
You need to know what really happens when your phones ring and start fixing those leaks. The bad, mishandled or unanswered calls are not easy to find but that’s where Calltracks can help with our intelligent tracking solutions.
Calltracks smart call tracking is designed specifically for the automotive industry and does a lot more than call recording. We do help you record it, but also listen to it, track it, action it, and most importantly, influence it. It all happens in real time, not history. Call tracking with Calltracks will help you increase conversions and profitability for your dealership. It is not the holy grail – we are doing it now with many clients.
You never need to lose any more sales leads on the phone. So, if you would like us to help you maximise every enquiry, get in touch.
Categorised in: News
This post was written by Stuart Buckley