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Zenith Dealer Solutions Blog

Michael Markette

Michael Markette

Recent Posts by Michael Markette:

Customers Are Texting Your Marine Dealership: Are You Responding?

Technology continues advancing, making it easier for consumers to research, purchase, and communicate with businesses wherever and whenever they want. Marine dealers need to evolve to meet customer expectations. Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report reports that two in three customers want companies to interact and respond to them in real time. A study from Twillio found nine out of 10 people surveyed wanted to talk to brands using text messaging, but less than half of companies had the technology in place to offer that option.

Topics: Appointments Dealership Sales Phone Metrics texting Caller Experience

Three "Must Have" Dealer Phone Skills

Topics: CRM System Phone Leads Customer Satisfaction Dealership Sales phone training Scripts Dealership Performance Phone Metrics listen

Selection and Hiring Dealership Employees for the Phone

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HIRING & SELECTION PROCESS

Topics: CRM System Phone Leads Customer Satisfaction Dealership Sales phone training Scripts Dealership Performance Phone Metrics listen

Let's Try That Again - Missed Phone Opportunities

THE HIGHEST PERFORMING DEALERSHIPS HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON.

Topics: Customer Satisfaction Dealership Sales phone training Scripts Phone Metrics listen

The Callers Experience Begins When they Decide to Call

CallerCX is the portion of your Customers Experience that occurs through voice conversation. That said, CallerCX begins the moment your customer decides to call your store. Human nature drives us to the web to find a business's phone number and click-to-call it. According to BrightLocal, in the past year 71% have had a negative experience because of incorrect local information online. Beyond making it easy for customers to find your phone number like e-tailer Chewy.com does, dealers should audit their Google listings' hours of operations and published phone numbers quarterly. 

All directories should be reviewed and audited especially Bing (Yelp), Facebook and Google. 93% of consumers are frustrated with incorrect information in online directories.  Consumers believe posted Google hours. And marine dealers hours often change across seasons. If Google says you are open and no one answers your customers call because your dealership is in fact closed, CallerCX declines rapidly. Conversely, if Google says you are closed when you are open, you miss calls.  The good news is that these audits and corrective actions are easy. 

24% of consumers will call a local business before going to visit it - are your numbers correct across all directories? And do you have the right numbers published? Zenith doesn't subscribe to having the same number published in across all directories, an argument agencies make to ensure their clients adhere to the Google NAP (Name Address Phone) consistency portion of the Google algorithm. Zenith places the caller's experience above number consistency and we believe Google does too. Post numbers that ring callers to the proper location as seamlessly as possible. Ring sales lines to sales, service lines to service and any special lines you have like a marina or Boat-tel to its team. We have been advising clients in this way for more than 5 years with no noticeable impact to their Google rankings. 

Mark your calendar to audit your hours of operations and phone numbers quarterly to get your #CallerCX off to the right start. 

Zenith Dealer Solutions' goal is to ensure every call to a dealership is a positive experience. 

 Hey there, I'm Zeni. I'm the one who listens to millions of calls to boat dealerships. Have a question about a specific phone challenge your store is facing? I've probably heard it and can provide you with answers and best practices. Prefer to speak with a humanoid? Email support@markettechpr.com

Topics: Customer Satisfaction phone training Dealership Performance

Phone and Web Lead Management

I am a 20 servant to #CallerCX and I am getting more questions today about the phone than ever.  Along with CX, AI make up the hottest topics in the consumer world. The questions I am receiving today are starting to leave the phone and include email as a natural progression towards utilizing Digital Assistants across all mediums, or omnichannel. I embrace this as for years we have trained staff to handle phone leads and web leads differently. Take the nuance of effective communication differences between interpreting written word and spoken word, thee should be no difference. Consider these 5 must-haves in responding to customer inquiries:

 

  1. Craft a compelling Greeting. If by email, work the customers question into the subject line. If by phone, greet the caller succinctly so they know who you are and understand that you are there to help them. Over 70 percent of both lead responses and voice greetings lack any specifics that convey that were here to help.

 

  1. Take time to Get Personal If you are handling a sales inquiry, show appreciation. If you are handling a customer service complaint, empathize with the callers / writer. Some of us prefer to jump in to answer questions and solve problems like a dealership superhero, but don’t. Slow down and work at the customers pace. Ask questions to get them talking about what they want in a boat or car and the supporting customer service.

 

  1. Answer the Customers Questions transparently and with supporting technology, including pricing. Feel free to pull in TrueCar pricing if you’re comfortable with it. I hear dealers screech at this proposal, but after listening to millions of phone calls I’ve ever heard a caller screech by this offer. Its 2018 and suppressing data in email and phone calls only works against dealers. And here is the real key to success, don’t just answer the caller’s questions, dedicate yourself to answering their questions while you have them on the phone. The average sales appointment set rate when you have to call a caller back with answers to their questions drops from 36% to 21%. As for the incorporation of technology in your answers, take a few extra moments when responding to leads and offer a supporting information like a personalized video to ensure the caller understands and accepts all of the details in your answer.

 

  1. Summarize with Your Dealer and/or Manufacturer Benefit Statements Having followed Steps 1 – 3 above you may already have an appointment set if by phone. If not, and if by email, explore the customers current vehicle or boat. If they are in a different brand, tell your brands benefit statement. If they are a current brand customer, sell your dealership. What sets your team apart from all the other dealers in the area?

 

  1. Strong Close We get a lot of questions around closing and its impact on great CX. Strong closing is great CX when it comes from a consultant perspective. We hear sales team members with high character ask the helpful question, “What can I do for you to help with your buying process?” And the typical customer answer is “I’m fine at the moment. Thank you.” A consultant continuously guides the next step with data and clarifying questions. This step is easier said than done and is reliant on the sales team members ability to listen and recommend. The caller tells you everything you need to know to move them down the path to buying a boat or a car. To master #CallerCX, focus on great listening skills.

Zenith Dealer Solutions' goal is to ensure every call to a dealership is a positive experience. 

 Hey there, I'm Zeni. I'm the one who listens to millions of calls to boat dealerships. Have a question about a specific phone challenge your store is facing? I've probably heard it and can provide you with answers and best practices. Prefer to speak with a humanoid? Email support@markettechpr.com

Topics: Customer Satisfaction phone training Dealership Performance

Marine Caller Experience Report

Happy CXDay! To help dealers celebrate servicing their customers, Zenith is releasing the Marine Caller Experience Report today.

Great boat ownership experiences begin with great phone call experiences to their dealership. The smartphone has changed boat buyer behavior and leading dealers are adopting the recently released voice recognition technologies to better serve their customers. 

Today's boat buyers have 24/7 access to information allowing them to consider more options in a shorter amount of time. The need to walk onto a lot to learn about a boat has diminished and the willingness to fill out a web form on a smartphone is minimal. Your customers are click-to-calling your store and their service expectations are high. The web has made extraordinary the new ordinary.

Consider the training and dollar investment that you have put into your web experience over the past 10+ years and compare that to your investment in your callers experience. Does your phone process and skills training offer the same level of transparency and use of technology that your web presence does? No matter what customer facing initiative you are focused on there is an element of the phone that goes with it. Zenith Dealer Solutions is committed to making every call about a boat a positive experience.

This issue of the Marine Caller Experience Report walks dealers through the call process from the moment your customer decides to call your store beyond the end of the call to the point where the caller is satisfied and telling friends and family about their experience. Enjoy.

 

 Hey there, I'm Zeni. I'm the one who listens to millions of calls to boat dealerships. Have a question about a specific phone challenge your store is facing? I've probably heard it and can provide you with answers and best practices. Prefer to speak with a humanoid? Email support@markettechpr.com

Topics: Customer Satisfaction phone training Dealership Performance

Marine Dealer Phone Call Readiness

Callers research extensively before they call a dealer. Put another way, caller prepare for the call. Likewise dealers need to always be 'on' and in turn prepare themselves for calls. We tend to fall into routines and answer the phone because its ringing, not necessarily eager to serve. Lets listen to a few calls to bring awareness to our mindset when fielding phone calls ourselves. 

Topics: Customer Satisfaction phone training Dealership Performance

Relationships Start with Connections

Only 4% of dealership employees state their first and last name when receiving a phone call. Compare this to the 90% of employees who state their first and last name, and often title in their voicemail greeting. We tend to get focused when recording our voicemail greeting. We often change our voice inflection and record the greeting 3 or 4 times before we are happy with it. Why don’t we take that same conscious approach to handling our customers phone calls?

Topics: Customer Satisfaction Dealership Sales phone training Scripts Phone Metrics listen

Fielding New Sales Opportunities on the Phones

With boat show season wrapping up, summer is right around the corner which means boating season is about to be in full swing. Boat show attendees, inspired by the vessels they explored at the show, are now calling your dealership with questions. Your sales team may be well equipped with all the answers, but are they able to identify every sales opportunity?

Topics: Sales Cycle Dealership Sales Phone Data