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Answer The Phone!

July 24, 2012

A recent article on Dealer Refresh raised an important issue: answering the phone! It might seem basic, but according to new research from a large study just conducted, about 39% of the most valuable phone leads that you drove to your dealership were in fact left stranded on the phone. So what can be done? Read on for some eye-opening information, and check out dealerrefresh.com for a few tips on where to go next to correct this issue.

How do you handle phone calls after you’ve worked so hard to push customers to contact you?

Dealerships Ignore More Than a Third of Their Customers

Posted by Mike Haeg  |   Monday, July 16, 2012 

I have got great news for all of the GMs, GSMs, Internet Managers, Corporate Marketers, and even all of those vendor partners out there serving the dealership. Did you know that 39% of the valuable phone leads that you drove to the dealership were left stranded on the phone?

Isn’t that great!!

Doesn’t it pump you up to know that more than 1/3 of all the hard fought, expensive phone leads you actually get to convert to a phone call are left hanging on the phone?

Our trained Humanatic call reviewers listened to almost 2M inbound sales calls (1,956,624 to be exact) over the past two months from 346 dealerships and tried to answer one very simple question:

Did the caller get to speak to a qualified person who could help them?

The study spanned dealerships across the country from several different dealer groups and independents. There were large dealerships and small dealerships included, and the result was consistently the same. Once the shopper takes the initiative to pick up the phone and convert, dealerships do a poor job of connecting these shoppers to someone who can help them. The biggest contributor to the 39% was callers asking for a specific employee and not being reconnected if that employee not available. News Flash People!!! – the requested employee is almost never available!

Believe it or not, this is actually really good news for a couple of different reasons. Let me explain.

You are driving calls!

The fact that you have calls that can be stranded is tangible evidence that your marketing efforts are working. In all but pure eCommerce, a call conversion is the most valuable conversion out there. In fact, according to an ATG/Oracle survey 67% of online shoppers will call for any purchase greater than $100. In a car deal where the number is 50 to 500 times that dollar figure, you can assume that number goes up to over 90%.

If your sales lines are ringing then you have inventory that people want to buy and perhaps even more importantly, a marketing approach and messaging strategy that displays your inventory in a way that people are responding to. So go ahead and pat yourself on the back for creating the calls that were stranded. But really think about what that number means. If your dealership is moving 200 units a month, just think about all of the opportunities that you are leaving on the table. Whatever your top line revenue was last month, think about what it might have been if this number was 91% instead of 61%.

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