The used car business is hot. NADA reports that used vehicle sales at franchised dealerships have gone up for six consecutive years. Whether to save money, minimize depreciation, or score a vehicle that has been discontinued, consumers are clamoring for used vehicles. That’s great news for your dealership since the average used car sale delivers almost twice the gross profit as new, according to NADA. And that profit gap is growing. It is no wonder dealers are tapping sophisticated tools to help source, merchandise, and sell used inventory.
Yet, too few dealers leverage one of the best sources to identify the vehicles that their specific customers want: dealership phone calls. The calls you receive every day can reveal what vehicles are requested the most, what listings get the most attention, and what is hot in your market. Augmenting your inventory management tools with call recording and trending analysis gives you an extra layer of intelligence to propel your used car sales forward.
In practice, adding call analysis to your inventory sourcing strategy would look like this: a call about one of your listings comes into the dealership. Let’s say the caller is interested in a 2010 blue Ford Excursion. Your call recording platform automatically transcribes the call from speech to text and extracts keywords (in the case “Ford” and “Excursion,” along with any others you’ve chosen that give an indication of topic or subject matter), and puts them into a trending report. Each month, or anytime you visit an online or physical auction simply review the trending report for insight into your most popular vehicles and use that to help inform your buying strategy. Adding call recording and reporting is a no-brainer when you consider the benefits:
Recapture opportunities – If you’re like the majority of dealerships, you frequently get calls about used vehicles that you’ve already sold. We see this happen a lot with discontinued models like the Ford Excursion that have a loyal following. A call recording platform will automatically pull out keywords and capture that data along with the phone number of the consumer. If you go to auction with this information handy and buy a similar vehicle, you can call the customer back and recapture that opportunity. It’s almost like filling orders. As an added bonus, it’s a good bet that when you take the time to find the right vehicle and practically deliver it to the customer, you’ll earn a loyal service customer who thinks of you first when it’s time to buy again.
Buy with precision – The best inventory management solutions combine transaction data from your dealership and your market to identify the used vehicles that are your proven and repeatable winners. Call recording and analysis adds an extra layer by allowing your customers to tell you what they want so you can better shape your inventory. That’s powerful intelligence to better understand your defined market and buy with greater confidence at auction.
Move inventory faster – Inventory is the biggest investments for most dealerships. Aging inventory cuts into your ROI thanks to interest costs, and also takes up valuable space that could be used for repeatable winners. When you augment your sourcing strategy with intelligence from your own phone calls, you can minimize the risk of languishing inventory and get the most out of your investment.
The red-hot used vehicle market doesn’t look to be cooling off anytime soon. Stock the used vehicles your customers want and maximize gross by augmenting your inventory management tools with call recording and analysis. Your customers are telling you what vehicles they want to buy. Listen up to help source the right vehicles for your dealership, recapture opportunities, and lift profits.
Author: Gary Graves
Gary Graves> is the CTO and Co-Founder of InteractiveTel. He has extensive experience in VOIP, Telephony, IVR and other related services. His expertise includes business process automation, business intelligence systems and technical strategy consulting. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.