There is an old saying that holds very true in business, “Fortune is in the follow-up.” When it comes to inbound calls to your dealership this could not be said better. Every inbound call is also an outbound call opportunity. It has to be if you are at all serious about maximizing leads, increasing sales, retaining customers, and keeping high CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) scores. Start getting more comfortable with making outbound calls by preparing for them. Learn the reasons that outbound follow up calls are essential in driving traffic to your dealership and valid, proven business practices that should be in everyone’s phone skills toolbox.
Why do you make an outbound call, especially when you already set the appointment? Well, it has to do with CRFT (almost spells CRAFT, doesn’t it—and it sure is a craft that should be learned and utilized). Again, for every inbound call, you need to make and outbound call because you:
Confirm: You set the appointment—make sure the customer did not forget and let him/her know you will be ready for them. This is the first step in providing great service and rapport…and setting up the sale, of course. What if the customer forgot the appointment or realized he/she needs to change it—a simple outbound follow-up call will fix that.
A personal call to confirm an appointment will increase show rates by 36%.
Reengage: There wasn’t an appointment set and here’s you second opportunity to turn that around. Give yourself a second chance to make the sale.
There’s no substitute for handling calls correctly the first time around but because people are human and technologies can sometimes fail us, reengaging the prospect gives you a second chance to win customer’s business and the ability to close deals that you might have completely missed.
And speaking of appointments…
Most appointments are set on the follow-up, outbound call. When reengaged one in four customers will set an appointment.
Follow Through: Did you make promises to the customer? “I’ll call you as soon I have the floor mats.” (simple but important) Did the paperwork get straightened out? Financing? The extra key fob? Many, many opportunities here on the follow-up to get the CSI up by making sure the customer knows you and your dealership deliver.
Turnover: You really messed up a call. You don’t know what happened! It just went the wrong way. Allow a manager to help and get the relationship back on track. After all the customer did call your dealership not the other five he/she eliminated. You know they are interested. Nothing is lost yet…but the opportunity if the outbound call is not made.
Tips to avoid having to exercise this last option and draw more customers to the dealership:
Greet your customer when you answer the inbound call:
“Thanks for calling Lake Shore Marine, my name is John in Sales. What information can I get for you?”
Address the customer’s needs:
“What about that boat caught your attention? Do you own one now? Have you ever bought from us before?”
Obtain the customer’s information in a non-threatening way:
“I’d be happy to check on that and will only be me a moment. Are you calling from home or work? And that number is? How do you spell your last name?”
Schedule the appointment:
“I have great news. We have that boat. Would you like to come in to see it now or later in the day? What time today is good for you?”
Let’s sum it up. The outbound, follow-up call is one of the most important types of follow-up situations. It isn’t just about selling. That outbound call in response to the inbound opportunity positions you away from the competition so, yes, you can generate more business, but also prove to your customers the you and your dealership really cares about satisfying customers.
When you build strong relationships with your customers by always treating the inbound call as an outbound call as well, sales happen naturally. More sales happen. Customers are far more likely to purchase from someone they trust who acknowledges their patronage and provides outstanding customer service. The outbound, follow-up call—It’s a CR(A)FT we should all practice.
ZDS manages the entire process for your dealership, both in our dashboard and by mobile phone—and the best part, it’s free.