The phone is just as important as it has ever been. Customers still ring into your dealership looking for answers. Every sales and service call has the ability to generate significant profit for your store. However, you are generating many other calls than these alone. How many of the calls your store receives are unnecessary speed bumps for your team?
You recognize the importance to source customers and you’ve distributed trackable phone numbers to each different advertising source. Hopefully, you have a well-trained receptionist who fields each call rather than relying solely on an automated attendant. They patch the calls to the appropriate parties. And yet, so many calls are being automatically directed to a specific BDC or sales team. Many of these transferred calls are speed bumps.
When analyzing your inbound phone call metrics and cross-checking them with the corresponding logged customer data, make sure you subtract the speed bumps so as to not hold your sales and BDC team accountable for non-applicable calls. While visiting a new dealer client, I saw 15 calls in a row reach the BDC that were either for dealer trades, license and title, finance, warranty work questions, (“Is my ordered part in yet?”) style inquisitions and more. These should not be finding their way to the BDC, the sales team, or the sales managers.
More than likely, it is just the impatience of the customer clicking the “0” for operator at the first moment they hear the automated attendant. Or they assume since they bought the car from your dealership, your salesperson would know best if their license plates came in yet. Instead of constantly rerouting the customers, set the expectations with them while in-store. Set up regular calls for the sales and BDC team to be proactive rather than reactive. This will minimize customer frustration and save your people valuable time to call back “opportunity customers.”
Don’t let speed bump calls get in the way of your team executing their outbound phone calls. Time management is certainly one trait that showroom salespeople are not known for. So why ask them to dedicate their time to calls that they have no ability to answer or address? Ask your team if there are a high percentage of these calls reaching them and if they feel they stunt many of their daily duties.
When your sales, BDC or Internet team receives little distractions like these, it isn’t for the good of the store. It slows their progress and often requires them to stop everything they’re working on, get up, and walk a note over to someone who can actually answer the customer’s questions. Why not bypass the middleman and keep their efforts focused on their own tasks at hand? I see BDC people actually trying to find the answers to these questions for the customers (even if the questions don’t pertain to them at all), because they recognize it is the quickest way to solve the customer’s dilemma. This is a problem. You have the wrong people doing the right thing the wrong way. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Short of a good receptionist directing all customers to their proper parties and, in turn, those proper parties actually picking up the phone or retrieving their voice mails and promptly making call backs, these speed bumps will continue. The only other way would be to actually detail out on your website the numbers for:
- Dealer trades
- License and title
- Finance department
- Sales department
- Service department
Then this trend will continue.
And if you slow down some of the most productive people in the store from bringing in opportunity customers by giving them calls out of their jurisdiction or department, it’ll hinder traffic for the entire showroom and service department.