Car dealerships cannot ignore the phone. Once you can ensure that employees are picking up the phone every time it rings, you must also ensure that they are delivering a great phone experience to potential car-buyers. Read on for tips to improve your call management process at your dealership.
Maximize Your Phone Answering
Do you know how many of your phone calls go unanswered or are mishandled every day?
Give every caller the same amount of attention that you would give to a lead who walks into the showroom. Only about half of all inbound calls are potential sales, so make every call count.
If you don’t set the appointment, the caller is going to your competition.
Stop Your Call Routing Madness
CallSource’s automotive data insights show that 80% of viable customer calls don’t result in an appointment. Don’t let a lead’s phone experience be the reason they aren’t walking in the door.
Are you sure phone routing isn’t a problem?
When was the last time you called your dealership and asked to be connected to Sales or Service? How was your experience? If it wasn’t seamless, you need to make operational improvements.
- Make sure your IVR system routes to the proper department. Check your call tracking data to see how many calls go to voicemail.
- If a lead leaves a message, who is responsible for calling him/her back? Who makes sure that is happening?
If your customers’ experience isn’t perfect, they are going to hang up and call your competitor.
Download our free Automotive Phone Tips to keep at your desk as a reminder to have great phone calls.
Dedicated Phone Team
Although a lot of dealerships are moving to a BDC model, you don’t have to have one to maximize your inbound phone leads.
If you want to maximize your phone to capture more opportunities, you have to prioritize a phone-handling team and call-management system.
Phone handling is a skill that needs to be developed. Inbound call handlers should qualify leads, make sure the caller has a great phone experience, and get them to the right department as quickly as possible.
Inbound call auto data shows the average appointment-setting rate in a dealer’s Sales department is less than ¼ of all possible opportunities – and the Service department sets just over 50% of opportunities. Both of these stats leave much room for improvement.
|Best Practices for Inbound Calls|
|Thank you for calling _NAME_ Dealership. This is _YOUR NAME_, how may I direct your call? [LISTEN]|
|Sales: I’m happy to transfer you to sales, was there a specific model you were interested in? [LISTEN] Ok, I’m going to connect you to _NAME_. He’ll be happy to find what you are looking for.|
|Service: Did you want to set a service appointment or would you like to speak with your Service Advisor? [LISTEN] Ok great, I can help you with that.|
Dedicated “Call Back” Employee
Missed opportunity alerts are a great way to save a customer and turn a loss into a win. Training a call handler to specifically recapture missed opportunities will increase your call-to-sale rate.
- Have a dedicated area for the call handler.
- Don’t require this call handler to cover the phones while making outbound calls.
- This call handler must solve the customer’s question or come up with an alternative; he or she needs to listen to the call and find the solution before calling the lead back.
- Create an incentive program for every appointment set.
- Train this employee on your CRM, inventory system, and other tools so they can overcome the caller’s objections.
- Use DealSaver Alerts to prioritize calls.
|Best Practice Call Back|
|Hi _NAME_, this is _NAME_ from _NAME_ Dealership. I understand you were looking for a _YEAR,_MAKE_&_MODEL_. I know the salesperson told you we didn’t have a new one in stock, but we do have a few pre-owned options. Can I set an appointment to have you come in?|
See how CallSource can improve your phones
Contact us to learn more about CallSource can help you control the phone experience and gain more customers by setting more leads into appointments.
Improve your employees’ phone skills with reporting, training and coaching for better calls.