Make sure your dealership isn’t a one and done team.
March Madness is upon us, and we’ve already seen the emotional downfall and uphill battle that comes along with it. We understand, the frustration a busted bracket can cause can seem like the end of the world. Yes, we’ve all been there, the #1 seed you picked to go all the way, the one you planned out for weeks ahead of time, is out after round two and there goes your whole bracket down the drain.
Your team’s performance on the phone can be just as disappointing, or just as exciting as your #1 pick going all the way. It all depends on what happens on that phone call.
After analyzing millions of calls, and combining the call data, we’ve noticed that there are fail points along the way from the start to the end of the call that will make or break your team. During these crucial steps, your dealership is either eliminated by the customer or you get to move onto the next round.
Let’s discuss the 5 main fail points during a call and the frequency of those points so that your team can be trained to own the bracket.
#1 - Missed Calls
On average, 8% of calls to a dealership are missed. Missing a call altogether is a sure way for your dealership to become a one and done. It’s important for your dealership to know how many calls you’re missing and who you’re missing them from. This failpoint is one of the most obvious and has the most apparent solution: answer your phones!
The good news is that not all missed calls are created equal. Our research shows that a couple points of that 8% are actually individuals who dial your dealership on their smartphone and then hang up immediately just to save the number in their completed call list, like a temporary speed dial. Customers may find it easier to dial the number, call, then end the call while they are in a meeting, work, or just not ready to commit to the call yet. I’m sure all of us reading this blog are guilty of doing this at some point.
#2 - On Hold Hang Up
Once the call is actually answered, and your dealership has made it past round one, it’s time to face the second failpoint: does the caller actually get correctly connected and speak to someone? On average, 11% of calls are not connected properly, leading callers to hang up while they are on hold. Callers can be connected through an IVR/phone tree or through a receptionist, but either way there is an art to getting customers connected to the intended agent very quickly. The average hold time for a call has been steadily decreasing, and as hold times become shorter, the importance of this skill increases.
In the past, callers were forced to stay on hold, but today that is no longer the case because there are many other ways to get in contact with someone. Callers can fill out web forms, text, or even try calling the intended party directly on their mobile phone. We know that dealers want to keep conversations going through the proper channels and that’s why we put a big importance on these 11% of calls. It’s all about the transfer process.
#3 - Agent Not Available
At this point in the tournament of your dealership’s calls, the call hasn’t been missed and it has been successfully transferred. We’re off to a strong start!
Once the transfer process is complete, then comes the hard part. The next step is to determine whether or not there is an agent there to actually take the phone call. The fail point of an agent not being available is an issue 26% of the time. Oftentimes, a caller is just told “We’re sorry, no one is available,” but more often than not, these calls are “cold” transfers (sent to an agent without notification to agent, caller, or knowledge if they are available) that end up at a voicemail.
A lot of the time, voicemail boxes are set up in a very general fashion, half of callers leaving a message and half not. If you take a step back, dealerships really want to not only focus on the transfer process itself, but also on the nature of the caller’s request.
When someone calls and asks for John, it implies that this caller has had a previous interaction with John. If the caller asks for a specific vehicle by name that they saw on your website, that caller most likely has no relationship with the dealership. So, if we just simply cold transfer this individual to a voicemail we could lose that lead altogether. All leads are important, but this lead should definitely be carefully logged, it should be warm transferred (the customer is warned that they are going to be transferred to (Name) and the receptionist confirms with the agent that they are able to take the call), and we should aim to answer the questions of this caller with the person still on the phone if possible. If we don’t do these things, this caller could eliminate you.
#4 - Agent Unable to Answer Questions
This bracket buster is a fail point for 39% of calls. The biggest failpoint of a phone call is when the agent is unable to answer questions, but the reality of it is that often times the agent is unwilling to answer the questions. They are either distracted by another opportunity that they have, say on the floor, but in many instances, it’s not that agent is inept, but that they’re often unempowered! Agents are often trained to ask for a name and number as a means of collecting contact information and to offer to call back to answer the questions.
This blog series has already covered the top specific reasons customers call sales and service, but if you simplfy it, a caller’s intent can really be boiled down to a desire to verify information before investing their time in coming to the dealership. They’ve done their research online and want a few questions answered, leaving us with the exact reason why it’s vital that we do answer the callers questions.
Today’s consumer is calling to eliminate us every day. They will buy from the dealership that makes the process as easy as possible, and doesn’t promise a call back with more information, or invite the caller to the dealership instead of answering the question over the phone.
#5 - Appointment Not Set
The final fail point is when an appointment is not set, averaging at 16% of calls. This is someone who called, the call was answered, they were properly transferred, there was an agent there available to take the call, and that agent was able and willing to answer all of the caller’s questions...yet the agent did not set an appointment.
The good news is that it is only 16% of the problem, most calls that get down this far actually do set an appointment. This part of a call uses your soft skills. Setting an appointment is the phone skills training portion we all want to improve on, but the interesting point is that with all of the focus we have and money we spend on phone training, we see that the soft skills that we train to are only 1/6th of the problem, an important 1/6th, but only 1/6th.
Understanding the most common pitfalls during a call can help you and your team train appropriately. Make sure your dealership avoids these fail points to lock in your position as your callers’ #1 choice.
Want to learn more about phone management and the best phone handling best practices for auto leads? Access CallRevu’s free training videos by clicking the link below!
Publish Date: March 21, 2017 5:00 AM
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|The 3 Step Approach to Success on the Phones||April 5, 2017 5:00 AM|
|Own the Bracket: Know Where Calls Fail||March 21, 2017 5:00 AM|
|Answering a Call with Transparency and Technology||March 10, 2017 5:00 AM|
|Why Customers Call Service?||March 1, 2017 5:00 AM|
|The Top Reason Customers Call Sales||February 21, 2017 5:00 AM|
|Fixing Dealerships' Phones||February 8, 2017 5:00 AM|
|A Great Call Starts with Great Data||January 3, 2017 5:00 AM|
|Phone Trees vs Live Answer: What’s best?||December 7, 2016 5:00 AM|
|Guest Blogger: Seven Call Stats That Every Dealer Needs to Know||November 16, 2016 5:00 AM|
|Now and Then: Most Recent vs. First 2 MM Call Report||October 19, 2016 5:00 AM|