Profits and customers are lost in every department, every hour of every business day through the phone, which can be a problematic blind spot in the dealership. 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.
Regardless of department, too often, representatives who answer the phone mishandle customers and not only lose deals for today, but potentially lose customers for life. Subsequently, the phone system can be one of the biggest profit leaks a dealership consistently faces.
Many dealers, recognizing this systemic problem, try to have their management team listen to all recorded inbound calls, but the effort proves to be mathematically impossible. With hundreds of calls coming in over a busy weekend by the time an opportunity opens during the week to catch up on reviewing calls it’s too late to save deals or repair CSI concerns. Sporadic spot checks also prove to be ineffective because it means that for the few calls that are actually reviewed and responded to in a timely manner, the majority of calls go unchecked.
Acton Toyota of Littleton, located just outside the Boston metro market, has long subscribed to a monitoring service that recorded all their calls, but it left the dealership facing the same ongoing issue: high call volume with little time and manpower to review calls. Recognizing the phone was an area in need of more attention, Acton Toyota implemented a new call monitoring system that now monitors every incoming call with live call center operators who score each call and notify Acton Toyota’s management team with text alerts to their smart phones whenever a call is mishandled.
“This new system has been eye-opening and extremely enlightening for our managers,” said Mike Hills, General Manager of the Acton Toyota store. “It was amazing to see how poorly calls were being handled. We just didn‘t realize how big a problem we had, but now we receive real-time alerts that allow our managers to immediately address problematic calls and help coach the sales team on the spot.”
“There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t save 3 or 4 deals with an immediate callback to the customer from the manager,” said Glenn Hoffman, Assistant General Manager.
The real-time text alerts quickly highlighted some of the biggest trouble spots for the Acton Toyota store, as with so many dealers: sales calls were not reaching a sales rep in a timely manner resulting in hang-ups, calls were incorrectly routed after-hours, calls were being sent to voicemail of which many elected to leave no message, connected calls were being ‘off-lined’ for a call back, and a low percentage of sales calls were resulting in appointments. Now managers are able to readily step-in, follow up on any misdirected or lost calls and address issues with the sales rep right away. Acton Toyota’s managers are proactive in coaching a sales rep when the lost opportunity is timely and relevant and then they quickly follow up with the customer and set the appointment.
Daily, weekly and monthly reports further provide valuable information like the individual closing rates for sales reps which has helped to improve the overall performance and accountability of the sales team.
“This gives us a huge competitive advantage. Being able to immediately coach our sales reps on how to better handle a sales lead has improved sales. Our reps have added 2 to 3 additional sales deals per month, each! Two to 3 additional sales per month multiplied by 20 or so sales reps – that’s a big deal,” said Hills.
Acton Toyota of Littleton has always been dedicated to customer service, receiving the highest CSI scores in their region for Toyota. Customer service is their thing. They provide stellar service from the minute the customer walks in the door, from giving them a tour of their state of the art facility, introducing them to staff, overwhelming them with kindness – they ‘wow’ the customer. Once the customer walks through the door, odds are pretty good they will do business with Acton. So improving their ability to turn inbound sales leads into an actual appointment over the phone and get the customer into the store is critical.
“There’s ‘good phone’ and there’s ‘bad phone’. If we give ‘good phone’ and get the customer into the store, we blow them away once they’re here,” said Hills.
Now every single inbound call is monitored, reviewed, transcribed and reported. Real-time text and email alerts are sent for matters needing immediate attention within minutes so management can respond right away and daily reports are emailed to management each morning by 8:30.
“We can’t imagine operating without this tool. The opportunity is so huge for us given our high call volume. The phone has become a big differentiator,” said Hoffman.
Since implementing their new call monitoring service, Acton Toyota has been focused on righting the wrongs of ‘bad phone’, but they’re anxious to begin taking advantage of some of the other benefits of their full service monitoring system like using ad tracking to help them better allocate their marketing dollars on advertising sources that generate the best response rates.
The call monitoring transcription helps to identify what source a call has generated from with reports that detail the customer call. “I’m looking at your newspaper ad and have questions about the Camry you have for $299/month,” despite the fact that the call came in on the web site’s toll-free number, it was actually generated from the newspaper ad source. The ad tracking will allow Acton Toyota to make better marketing decisions.
“Without listening to calls you can’t accurately track what ad sources work well because many consumers will view the paper or a mailer, visit the dealer’s website and then call the toll-free number on the site. The dealer thinks the source is the website when in reality it was the print campaign that generated the call,” said Chip King, President of www.CallRevu.com, the call monitoring company Acton Toyota of Littleton uses.
By switching to a new full service call tracking system, Acton Toyota of Littleton has been able to identify, troubleshoot, and correct their phone system’s problem areas enabling them to greatly improve how calls are being handled by their own staff and effectively converting calls into profitable customers.
“THIS NEW SYSTEM HAS BEEN EYE-OPENING AND EXTREMELY ENLIGHTENING FOR OUR MANAGERS.” – Mike Hills, General Manager of Acton Toyota
The Bottom Line: Acton Toyota of Littleton Saves 3 to 4 Deals a Day with New Call Monitoring System
WHAT THEY DO
- Improve how they handle customers who call the dealership by actively monitoring, reviewing, transcribing and reporting on their call activity.
- Improve their sales team’s ability to set appointments and turn sales leads into real deals by identifying areas where training is needed by using a call monitoring system.
- Transcribe all calls to be able to accurately track which ad sources generate the best response to be able to allocate marketing dollars more wisely.
RESOURCES THEY USE
CRM: iMagic www.icarmagic.com
- Call Monitoring System: CallRevu www.CallRevu.com
- Actively monitor, review, transcribe and report on call activity to improve your profits by improving how you handle customers who call your dealership.
- Use call monitoring to help identify areas where training is needed to improve your sales team’s ability to set appointments and turn sales leads into real deals.
- Subscribe to a call monitoring system that will transcribe all your calls so you can accurately track which ad sources generate the best response and help you allocate your marketing dollars more wisely.
- Use a call monitoring service like www.CallRevu.com to monitor all your calls and provide daily updates and text alerts in real-time to help you save deals.
“It was amazing to see how poorly calls were being handled. We just didn’t realize how big a problem we had, but now we receive real-time alerts that allow our managers to immediately address problematic calls and help coach the sales team on the spot.” – Mike Hills, General Manager of Acton Toyota