Dealers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on advertising to get their phones to ring, yet many fail to invest in a process to effectively monitor the way their advertising leads are handled once a call comes into the dealership. The phone system is undoubtedly one of the biggest profit leaks a dealership consistently faces.
The phone is the primary method of customer contact before, during, and after the sale and most dealers will readily admit that their phones are not handled the way they would like. Countless sales are lost, customers are mishandled, and CSI issues go unresolved.
This industry-wide problem has some surprisingly poor statistics: 19 percent of new car sales calls never reach a sales representative, six percent of new car sales calls hang up while on hold, and 13 percent of new car sales calls are sent to voice mail with almost half of those callers electing to leave no message.
With most sales calls costing a minimum of 150 dollars to generate, dealers cannot afford to let these calls slip through the cracks. With an average of only 24 percent of all sales calls resulting in an appointment, the return on investment can be a challenge. Further studies show that 16 percent of all sales agents fail to properly identify themselves and a shocking 45 percent of all sales agents fail to get contact information from a caller, a total loss for the dealership.
It is essential that dealers invest in a call monitoring service, whether internal or by hiring a third-party specialist, to provide 24/7 call monitoring and real-time alerts directly to its management team so that any mishandled call can be followed-up with immediately.
“Not only do we have real-time alerts providing us with immediate call-to-action information to save deals and customers, we also have a live online view of all calls as they happen. With this tool we will never miss an opportunity again,” says Richard Bustillo, general manager of the Rick Case Honda Davie store.In addition to real-time alerts Rick Case Honda Davie also gets unlimited toll-free numbers, ad-tracking, daily, and weekly reports that not only help them monitor customer calls, but also enables them to track what advertising generates the biggest response from customers.
An average of 28 percent of all connected calls are ‘off-lined’ for a call back and as many as 32 percent of all appointments set have no firm appointment time which risks having the customer end up on the back burner and ultimately lost. However, with a system that provides real-time monitoring reports a dealer will be able to ensure that these types of calls are followed-up with quickly to confirm that the call turns into a firm appointment and a sale. The call monitoring service that Rick Case Honda Davie uses provides a real-time view of all calls as they happen and daily reports by 8:30 am each morning, so Bustillo can review the previous days calls over a 20-minute cup of coffee and verify that every required action was taken on the previous day’s calls.
“The Rick Case group is dedicated to measuring their customer’s experience,” says Chip King, president of CallRevu, the call monitoring company that Rick Case uses. “The best processes have the most value when they are engaged with passion. Rick Case demonstrates the ultimate in engagement and customer-centric processes and it shows.”
The phone is a dealership’s lifeline to its customers. Dealers need to sustain that lifeline with proper vigilance. More than four times as many customers call a dealership than walk-in, so it is imperative that dealers actively listen, monitor, and measure all their call activity to improve customer retention, manage CSI, and increase profits.
Implementing a call monitoring system enables a dealership to take control of incoming phone calls. Having a highly trained staff or third-party specialists available 24/7 to listen, categorize, transcribe, and summarize all phone calls and provide a detailed report every morning will allow a dealership to manage all aspects of their phone traffic.
Customers tell you every day what you need to do to improve your bottom line—all you need to do is listen.
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