This post originally appeared in Dealer Marketing Magazine.
We live in a mobile-first world, and smartphones have changed the way consumers shop for vehicles and engage with dealers. Instead of contacting dealerships online by sending an email or filling out a web form, most smartphone users prefer to call. According to studies by JD Power and Kelley Blue Book, vehicle shoppers call dealerships twice as often as they email and three times as often as filling out a form.
For dealers today, getting shoppers to call to ask questions, get a price quote, and schedule a test drive or service appointment is an essential step in the sales process. Revenue generation is intricately connected to not only how well their marketing programs drive these calls, but how effective their sales associates convert them to opportunities and customers.
So what marketing and sales strategies are dealerships implementing for inbound calls to drive more revenue? I examined call data from the DialogTech platform, which tracks and manages millions of phone calls to North American dealerships each year, and found the following four recommendations.
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. That’s why marketing teams at dealerships are now tracking details about every phone lead they generate. Whether it’s from digital advertising programs such as search, Facebook, and display or traditional offline marketing such as direct mail, TV, and radio, getting full attribution and intelligence for inbound calls is an important step in measuring success and improving ROI.
Phone call data marketers are capturing includes:
The marketing team’s ultimate goal is not just to drive calls, but to drive calls that convert to vehicle sales and revenue for the dealership. So it’s important to know which marketing sources drive the most callers that go on to buy a vehicle or book service. To do it, dealers are passing the call data listed above to their CRM or lead management system to track callers through the sales process. They can then generate reports for which marketing programs and ad spend generate the most revenue to prove the true impact of their marketing and make smarter optimization decisions.
Inbound calls are the most lucrative leads for dealerships, and marketing teams are spending significant budget to get shoppers calling. It’s critical that dealerships not only answer these calls, but offer the callers the right customer experience to convert them. To do it, dealerships are implementing intelligent call routing processes to get callers to the right sales associate right away.
Here is one of the most popular call routing processes that has helped some dealerships increase answer rates by 50% and revenue by 10%:
Many dealerships are also routing calls to ensure their best sales agents receive a higher percentage of inbound leads.
Management should monitor call activity and analyze what happens on calls. That can include viewing reports on missed calls, which agents are answering calls and which are not, and who are best at converting callers to appointments. Many dealerships also record calls to review agent performance for quality assurance and training. What’s more, the marketing team can benefit from analyzing conversations to learn which ad channels and programs drive the best sales leads, if ad messaging and promotions resonate, and what SEO/SEM keywords callers actually speak.
Tracking and optimizing inbound calls is now a necessary step for auto marketers to improve marketing ROI and their sales strategies. Learn more about how call attribution technology can help in our free eBook, The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Call Attribution.
Publish Date: February 1, 2017 5:00 AM
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