Ignoring ringing phones and sending calls to voicemail can cost you big money if you work at an auto dealership.
A study recently released by integrated computing solutions company CDK Global showed that 22.5 percent of service and 22.8 percent of sales calls go unanswered. That means about one in five calls don’t get picked up. Additionally, 45 percent of calls made to dealerships are from new customers. Missed calls mean a loss of thousands of dollars in profits annually.
Anu Roberts, a products marketer with CDK, told Mega News Dealers that many shoppers do a lot of online research when they are searching for vehicles, but they still pick up the phone for many reasons. Most often, they want to validate the sticker price and potential additional fees; find out about features, options and accessories; schedule a test drive; or confirm hours and directions.
“(Shoppers also want to) establish a connection to a salesperson so that when they come into the store, they can ask for someone they have spoken to before,” Roberts said.
CDK regularly works with dealerships to assess their overall networking needs.
“Our experience is that many times dealers made decisions about technical infrastructure that may have been perfect a few years ago but may not have been refreshed in a while to reflect the burgeoning customer demand and/or the available technology solutions,” Roberts said.
Roberts said there are simple ways to make sure your dealership doesn’t miss these calls.
Dealerships need to get mobile, connected and in the cloud.
The study showed that many salespeople use their personal mobile phones to communicate with customers, which helps prevent some missed calls. The better idea is to have your dealership’s phone system routed to their mobile phones, giving salespeople a chance to answer every call via voice or text.
Cloud-based or hosted IP phone solutions also provides dealership employees with more flexibility because they can be on the car lot, on a test drive or in the showroom without missing any calls. An extra bonus is that these solutions often are less expensive that traditional phone systems, according to CDK.
Using collaboration apps, for example, allows dealerships to work more seamlessly with its departments. The apps allow employees to direct customers to the right before more quickly.
In the end, Roberts said, “They need to think about the networking power and security needed to run their own operations, but then they also need to have systems robust enough to accommodate their visiting customers who want to use mobile devices in the showroom and on the lot without slowing down key business processes and systems.”