How do you measure the performance of the phone agents at your dealership?
I was CC'd on this email today from the Dealer Principle of a major domestic dealership and I found it thought provoking.
Phone process is arguably the most common potential customer contact. But would you agree that most automotive dealerships fail to come even close to their CRM’s potential to increase market share and customer retention?
Main CRM killers
What could be the cause(s) of less than 40% entry of sales calls into your CRM tool? What percentage of new leads registered in your CRM do you sell? How does that impact your fixed operations? What is the best source of leads for potential marketing campaigns? Why do you continue to allow failure in such a core part of your potential? These issues cripple dealerships hitting their top lines. But, surprisingly, the solution is remarkably simple and straightforward.
Programmed to FailThere are only 2 reasons for this critical failure:
Ensuring that all your sales representatives adhere to your CRM guidelines is like ‘pushing a rope.’ Dealers rarely penalize sales representatives for failing to maintain accurate records of customers even though they pay dearly for this oversight. This culture started with the “Tickle File” of index cards and has continued to thrive. It is a criminal waste as you pay thousands of dollars a month to provide the means to manage the opportunities you paid many more thousands to generate!
Consider this: Why do people call a dealership? Are they looking to purchase a vehicle; schedule service; order parts; or listen to voice mail message? Customers call up only when they seek immediate solutions or are in urgent need of assistance. They don’t have the time or patience to leave a message and wait for the dealership to get back. A dealership that fails to respect a customer’s need for urgency, fails to build long-term customer relationship. According to a Gartner report, 85% of consumers are dissatisfied with their phone experience.
While reviewing some call data for a dealership, I recently came across a customer that was placed on hold for over 25 minutes! Can you even imagine how exasperated the caller might have felt sitting down with a phone to the ear for that long? I was shocked that the caller did not hang up after a minute or two on hold (I know, I would have).
Today’s increasingly discerning customers seek greater value for every dollar spent. Customer loyalties are not easy to earn in a market flooded with innumerable options. Loyalties can be built only on long term customer relationship and exceptional service. A great customer experience is the only ticket to customer retention and repeat business. With brutal competition and shrinking margins, automobile dealerships cannot afford to lose existing customers. After all, it costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
Phone calls are the biggest profit generators and, also, the biggest profit leaks for any automotive dealership. Hundreds of marketing dollars are spent just to make the phone ring. On an average, a dealer spends $150 or more on just one phone call! If this expensive phone call fails to convert into an appointment, the Return on Investment (ROI) runs negative.
Have you heard? “Automotive Sales Professionals are Terrible on the Phone”
The most important link to success for a dealership is the phone. Almost any Dealer Principal or General Manager, who is engaged in measuring their phone skills, will tell you the “Alert” to a missed opportunity on the phones is the coolest thing since the first e-lead. Sure, “Alerts” save deals and customers for life with fast and appropriate response, but equally, if not more, important is monitoring your Callers’ Journey. Focusing just on missed opportunities instead of the caller experience as a whole limits profitability.
Spend Less…Get More Driving Performance with Effective Measurement
More and more dealerships are searching for ways to stop the bleeding in Variable Operations. Many dealers have survived the SARS dip and margin compression in New Vehicle sales by focusing on Fixed Operations profitability. And it has worked.
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