Capital Honda Saves a Deal a Day by Listening to Calls
In most dealerships the phone is the primary method of customer contact during and after the sale. Most dealers will readily admit that their phones are not handled the way they would like, but they don’t know exactly what is happening when customers call. Not Anthony Gomez, Managing Partner of Capital Honda, who monitors every call that comes
into his dealership and follows up with mishandled customers within minutes when calls go wrong.
The phone is a blind spot in many dealerships where customers and profits are lost in every department, every hour of every business day. Nationwide call volume has increased, but Sales appointment rates are under 20% and Service appointment rates are under 30%. “We were paying for a lot of 800 numbers to track ad sources and record all our calls, so I had my managers listen to all the calls that came into our dealership. It didn’t work well because they didn’t have the time, and when they found the time it was often too late, sometimes a whole day after the call,” said Gomez. “We signed up with a new program that gave us all the call tracking #s for free and they charge us to monitor all my calls and alert me when anything goes wrong.”
“The instant alerts help me save deals and the ad tracking reports help me spend my marketing money smarter,” said Gomez. “Our previous ad tracking reports were inaccurate because they attributed calls to our website’s 800# that were not created by the website. Many customers, who called the number on our website, were driven there from other advertising, but they used the 800# on the site to contact us. By listening to every call we now know exactly what brought them to our site and what messaging is working best in our ads. For example, by listening to our calls we realized that we received a lot of calls from a direct mail campaign on our website’s 800# rather than the number on the mailer. A lot of people who got the mailer, visited the website, and then called the 800# on the web page. Our daily reports prioritize the important calls from the previous day with recommended actions to take. We also receive weekly and monthly reports with ‘Vital Statistics’ that compares our dealership to national group averages,” said Gomez.
The reports include categories like:
- Appointment % for sales
- Appointment % for service
- % of contact information captured
- % of calls forwarded to voice mail
“We conduct save-a-deal meetings every morning for 15-20 minutes where we review all of the high priority phone opportunities from the previous day,” said Gomez.
“We also use the CallRevu reports to identify systemic problems that hurt our business. For example, we had a surprising number of calls forwarded to voicemail and too many customers called to complain that they were never called back… so we fixed it. And last month we made almost 50 appointments from Call Alerts alone. A year ago those represented 50 lost sales”.
The Bottom Line:
Capital Honda uses a company (CallRevu.com) to monitor and measure all call activity at the dealership. They receive free 800#s to track ads and calls. They receive real-time alerts when a customer is mishandled on the phone and their management follows up within minutes to save the deal.
What They Do:
- Calls are recorded with ad source, time, department and representative on the call.
- Calls are reviewed and transcribed in a few sentence summary.
- Dealership team receives instant alerts when a customer is mishandled so they can follow up immediately to save the customer.
- Instant text alerts include a short summary of what happened and a recording of the call.
- Management receives daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports that identify areas for improvement in marketing, call process, phone system and follow up.
- The dealer uses reports to customize training to improve their people, process, and results.
Resources Dealer Uses:
- DMS – Reynolds & Reynolds (www.ReyRey.com)
- Phone System – Toshiba “KeyPhones Direct”
- Call Monitoring and Alert Service – CallRevu (www.CallRevu.com)
- Actively listen, monitor and measure call activity to improve your profits by improving how you handle customers who call your dealership.
- Spot check calls on your own or divide calls amongst the management when they have time.
- Hire a full-time staff to monitor all your calls.
- Dealers who don’t want to hire a staff, due to the expense and resources required, can hire a company like Capital Honda did.
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