In a benchmarking study of 2 million calls in all departments, 28% (534,735 calls) never got through to the intended agent. In sales department only, 32% (228,994 calls) did not reach the intended agent and 23% (221,566 calls) in fixed operations departments.
Now, these calls are connected calls; they reach the dealership, but at some point during the transfer from first responder to requested person or department, the call is lost. This can be for a variety of reasons, but the main being:
1. Voicemail was reached
2. Caller hung up while on hold
3. Agent was not available
Stop placing your callers and your people in the cold, dark world of blind transfers. Give them both a fair warning before transferring the call.
Warn your callers, before they leave the first responder, of different things they might expect after the transfer attempt happens.
“I am going to transfer you to John Smith. In the case that John isn’t available, please feel free to leave him a message or press (XX) to get back to me and I can find you someone who can help.”
Warn your people before blindly transferring a call. Have a process in place where you have a “warm transfer” to your team; connecting with the intended employee/department and ensuring they are able to accept a call, before transferring the caller.
BUT, be sure to warn the caller that you are going to place them on a brief hold to ensure that so and so is available.
As a fail safe, add a video monitor to your showroom and service lane where your first responder can physically see who is available for a phone call, and who is not, preventing the dreaded hang-up or lost call that leads your callers to move on to the next store.
Of connected sales calls that reach the intended agent, 46% result in an appointment, compared to 27% of all sales calls. Of connected fixed operations calls that reach the intended agent, 74% result in an appointment, compared to 45% of all fixed ops calls.
Connecting more calls will dramatically increase your appointment setting rates, and ultimately, the number of customers you have and cars you sell.
You may also want to read up on 'How to Staff an Auto Dealership to Sell More Cars' or download this dealer's success story revealing how better phone processes led to more car sales:
Publish Date: March 22, 2016 5:00 AM
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