What’s in the pocket or purse of nearly every car buyer today? A smartphone. And what does that mean for your dealership? The old-fashioned phone call has become new again. As an article in Automotive News pointed out, it’s faster to use a click-to-call phone link in a dealership ad than fill out a website information form or send an email. Today’s customers want instant information, and a phone call is the quickest way to get it. However, many dealerships continue to fumble calls. When the mobile advertising company Marchex studied about 1,000 shopper mobile phone calls to dealerships, employees failed to ask for customer contact information in 66% of calls, and did not make an effort to set up an appointment in 63% of calls.
This kind of missed opportunity is why it makes sense to beef up your phone sales training and consider adding a call tracking and monitoring system. These systems are one of the best ways to ensure your employees are handling calls appropriately, which can lead to more satisfied customers, more sales, and better marketing ROI. The following best practices can help you choose the right system for your dealership, and leverage its built-in benefits for years to come.
Best Practices for Choosing a System
There are a lot of systems on the market. Following are a few important considerations as you evaluate your options:
Does the system record all lines? – Your salespeople have smartphones too, and they likely use them to take customer calls. You want to be able to record and monitor those conversations, as well as local, toll free, and landline calls. When you have comprehensive knowledge of each call that passes through your dealership you can better ensure quality management and regulatory compliance.
Does the system track every step of the sales cycle? – Every department has the opportunity to fumble calls and negatively impact customer satisfaction. Make sure your system can monitor every customer touchpoint, from sales, services, and parts, to administration. And don’t forget all of the calls missed coming through your receptionist. This point alone can account for almost 90 percent of missed calls.
“it’s faster to use a click-to-call phone link in a dealership ad than fill out a website information form or send an email.”
Does the system offer full CRM integration? – When a system automatically flows call information to your CRM it helps complete the picture of the experience for better follow-up calls and customer management.
Does the system offer robust evaluation tools? – Your system should make it easy to gather the information needed to evaluate employee performance according to your dealership’s goals. These may include listening skills, courtesy, or customer satisfaction. The best systems offer calibration techniques to ensure employees are rated fairly.
Does the system offer a full analytics package? – Analytics are key when it comes to measuring your marketing ROI. For example, there are systems that break-out phone calls from web sessions. When you understand where your customers are coming from, you can use your marketing dollars for maximum impact.
Is the system flexible? – You want a system that can change with your needs. Hone in on systems that can easily grow along with your dealership, or that make it a snap to add additional functionality such as screen recording.
How much will the system cost to implement? – Implementing a robust system within a limited budget can be a concern for dealerships. Seek out all-in-one, low-cost solutions that deliver best-in-class capabilities without the high price tag.
Best Practices for Using a System
Once your dealership has chosen a system, the following tips can improve your results:
Don’t be secretive – The law demands that customers know you are recording calls, but it’s just as important to talk it over with your employees. When you focus on the benefits of call recording and monitoring – such as better performance that can lead to more sales – you dissipate the negative “big brother” impression that some employees may feel.
Look for training opportunities – Call recording gives you the complete picture so you can understand where an experience started to blossom or fail. This information could initiate process changes that reverberate positively through your dealership all the way down to the bottom line. This is your opportunity to tag exceptional, as well as problematic calls that can be used as training tools for both new and long-term employees.
Use monitoring to improve performance – Your employee feedback on calls should be constructive to build up employees, not tear them down. Analytics and employee scorecards are invaluable to drill down into calls and isolate the core problem as to why a call required excessive handling, for example. Your overarching goal should always be to solve a problem, not to blame an employee for poor performance.
Smartphones have brought the old-fashioned phone call back to the forefront. Now it’s every dealership’s job to ensure these calls are handled appropriately. Back-to-basics phone training and a tracking and monitoring system can improve call handling and conversations, helping your dealership capture more sales and service business.
Author: Jack Behar
Jack Behar is the CEO of InterActiveTel, a system that tracks, monitors and reports each customer interaction by phone or text to give dealers comprehensive knowledge of their customers. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.