It’s the internet age, but inbound calls to car dealers continued their steady rise through 2016 and any business that wants to improve its performance in 2017 needs a great plan for dealing with the increased traffic. The bump in inbound calls goes hand-in-hand with the increase in people researching auto purchases on their mobiles, as Google’s click-to-call makes it easy to get in touch with dealers right away. Picking up the phone may sound simple, but in the auto industry it can be a tricky thing to do right – you know when you’ve done it right because by the time you hang up, you either have a new lead or you’ve booked a test drive.
Before you can start improving your success rate with inbound calls, you have to understand one important thing: they’re calling you because they already want to start a relationship as a customer with your business. Given how much time, effort, and money you spend generating leads, making cold calls, and following up with your customer database, fumbling inbound calls is as good as throwing away money. Here’s a startling statistic that should wake up any underperforming car dealer: only 11% of inbound calls result in contact information according to J.D. Power.
It may seem astonishing that a thing like this can happen, but it does all the time, whenever a salesperson doesn’t ask for any way to follow up. For example, someone who was browsing your website spots a vehicle that interests them and the promotion is right; they take a few days to think about it and by the time they ring up the dealer, the vehicle’s gone. The salesperson tells them this with no attempt at engaging them in a way to follow up; why should they become a customer at your business instead of turning to your competitors?
That, of course, is if your salespeople even pick up at all; according to the live dealer chat and overflow call solutions company Gubagoo, 16% of calls go unanswered and another 64% are mishandled. A 24/7 managed service is a great way to make sure that you always have a real person to pick up your phone and answer questions, even if your salespeople are too busy to do it. An operator will pick up outside of your business hours or when you’re too busy to answer to answer yourself, and they will use a dynamic script customized to your business.
If you really want to improve your success rate over the phone, find a dealer overflow call service that does more than answer when you can’t, find one that integrates your inventory, works with you on incorporating custom campaigns into the phone service, focuses on delivering appointments, and provides detailed reports that show you the ROI of the service. While you should provide extra inbound call training for your sales team, you should also depend on a service like Gubagoo that provides dynamic scripting and professional operators to funnel inbound traffic into test drive appointments. In 2017, make a commitment to doing a better job handling inbound phone calls by hiring a managed service to ace them foryou.