Data can be overwhelming and looking at the wrong data can be disastrous. It’s very important to know which phone metrics require your attention and how those metrics drive profit and culture change at your dealership. Unless you have the right benchmarks in place for comparative purposes, you’re just collecting data. Is your dealership improving performance on the phone? Setting more appointments? Making the confirmation, follow-up and outbound calls they need to make? Are you gathering contact information for CRM, driving CSI up? The metrics you look at can give you valuable insight into what's happening on the phones right now and how you can improve the success you're having on the phones.
Let’s define your “success metrics.” These are “gauges on the dashboard,” that you should constantly review and improve. They are below in red.
Connection Rate and Appointments Set on Inbound CallsOn inbound calls, it is paramount that the caller connects with a sales agent qualified to help him/her. Statistics consistently show that about a third of calls don’t reach the intended agent. Always go for the live answer...carefully evaluate auto attendants and phone trees, as these can become obstacles in customer communication. Pay attention to this. Are your calls connecting to agents? Are they going to voice mail? Disappearing into a black void? Texts? Determine whether the connection rate is a process, staffing or training issue.
On all connected calls, are you setting appointments? Is your staff following a process and asking for firm appointments? Are they utilizing scripts correctly, earning contact information and handling objections? Is there an appropriate turnover to a manager when necessary, review of the phone up, and follow up? Visibility into this metric often uncovers wealth of training opportunities in addition to process issues.
How Many Appointments Were Set?Appointments will lead to sales but you cannot sell on the phone or to an empty seat. Pay attention to this metric. The goal on an inbound sales call is an appointment. Is appointment setting by your staff as strong as it should be? Where are the opportunities to improve and set goals? Start with one a day, then two, and so on.
How Many Appointments Show?Were all the appointments made firm and specific? Sales staff should be getting verbal and mental commitments from the caller for the appointment, and confirming the appointment four hours beforehand. It’s a statistical fact that 35% more show when the appointment is confirmed.
How Many Appointments Bought?How many of the above appointments led to sales? There are training opportunities here, that goes without saying. Is your staff closing on appointments? Are managers being utilized correctly? If the appointment showed, but there was no sale, why? Is there a follow up process in place?
What Is the Ratio of Appointments to Sales/Service Consultants Per Day?(Appointment Ratio = appointments divided by people divided by days)
Are your people constantly setting appointments or less so? There might be an issues with staffing and you need to staff according to call volume. Do you know your call volume patterns? Is there a performance issue with staff members that warrants either training or removal from the phones? Do you have standards and checkpoints established? Look at this metric to see where your staff strengths and weakness lie.
What Is the Contact Ratio?(Contact Ratio = number of calls made divided by the number of customers reached)
Don't ignore outbound calls. Pursue all missed opportunities that didn’t connect. Mistakes don't have to stay mistakes. Make sure your sales team is making outbound calls and reaching out to those interested customers whose needs were not met. Many dealerships don’t place as much emphasis on outbound connections or say they are too busy, but the best practice here is to pursue all missed opportunities. This means making outbound calling a part of a strong phone process.
Remember: When making an outbound phone call, the primary objective is to set an appointment also. If there is no appointment and no next step, make sure to enter a reminder into CRM with the optimal callback date/time.
Does Staff Follow a Documented Process?
We cannot stress this enough. Following the below process works and all staff should adhere to it.
Here’s an example of a process map from call to sale. Consider where your staff is on this.
Call Arrives>>Operator hands to sales>>Operator notifies manager>> Sales person uses script>>Sales person gets real appointment or phone appointment>>Manager reviews phone up with sales rep>>Manager makes confirmation call or CSI call>>Appointment is kept or not>>Call to reschedule appointment>>Sale is made or not>>Manager turnover>>Follow-up call, sold or unsold
- Operator denotes new relationships and notifies management
- Manager makes a confirmation call
- Measure what is happening in your store, mystery shop what you think isn’t happening
You need to know if staff is following this process. Are checkpoints in place? Make sure training and accountability go hand-in-hand.
By reviewing the above phone metrics regularly, you will have an accurate vision of the success your dealership has on the phones. If your performance is less than stellar, your bottom line is suffering and you need to start gaining control.
We can help with just that. With ZDS, you can start gaining control of your phones and watch you phone success metrics improve. Learn how—give us a shout.