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Zenith Dealer Solutions Blog

A Weak Confirmation Call Process Costs Your Dealership Money

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In this blog, let’s talk about another call that can improve your bottom line or cost you money. This is the confirmation call. Every inbound call requires and outbound response, we know that. In this case, let’s say the appointment is set on the inbound call. Now, it’s time for the appointment confirmation call.

Who Calls And When To Confirm An Appointment?

Appointment confirmation calls work best when made by a manager who can think well on his feet; can convey his excitement about having the customer come in to the dealership; and can answer all questions that the customer may have. Often times, a customer wants to talk himself/herself out of the appointment, so the manager is the best person to keep that customer coming in.

The Best Time For An Appointment Confirmation Call

It’s best to make the appointment confirmation call four hours before the scheduled appointment. This might mean the call is made in the afternoon or evening if the appointment is next morning; or in the morning, if the customer is coming in the afternoon or evening that same day.

The Monetary Importance Of A Confirmation Call

One of the reasons that confirmation calls are so important is that a wealth of statistics show customers are 35% more likely to show if this call is made. That’s one in three people more likely to show up at the dealership, and this makes all the difference: appointment rate up means show rate up means more sales. This process has to be strong if you’re serious about that last (sales) part.

A No-Show Means A Reschedule Call

You made the confirmation call, the customer came in, and the sale (repair) was made. The process worked perfectly. What if the customer is not showing up...Are they late, or? This requires another type of call—the rescheduling call. Best time to utilize is about 15 minutes after the customer is late. In this time frame it’s very natural to ask, “Hey, Joe, I see you’re running late for your appointment. If you need to reschedule, let’s go ahead and do that now.” Now, if you call three hours later, you are coming from a weaker, less natural, position.

How’s Your Dealership's Confirmation and Reschedule Process? Measure It.

When I ask dealerships about their appointment confirmation and rescheduling calls, I never find that a dealer says, “Oh, we never do it.” All say they have a process, but when I ask if the adherence to that process at 100% all the time, very select few can answer with a resounding, “Yes.” I’ll then ask, “Is it 70%, 50%, or even 35%?” Often times, the dealers just don’t know.

There are a ton of mystery shopping companies available in the RV, marine, and car space, that for about $150 will mystery shop your store, set an appointment and then of course wait for the confirmation call. They will report on the timing of the call, the quality of the call, and when the appointment no shows, will tell you if they received a reschedule call in the desired time frame.

This is a very important measurement for just a few dollars. You will know exactly where your dealership stands in the process, what the reality of the situation is, and whether it’s time to re-engineer it, monitor it, and train your staff to it. Don’t let a broken link here cost you money. Find out, fix it and make your confirmation and reschedule calls when they need to be made.

Don't have the right process in place? Too busy to make the calls? Or are you simply missing a lot of phone opportunities? Let Zenith Dealer Solutions help you. Get in touch and we'll have you fixed right up!

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Topics: phone skills phone process Appointment Confirmation Dealership Performance