The Calling Pain Point
I called a dealership three weeks ago because their marketing efforts worked and reached my email inbox. I’m in the market for a Ranger Fisherman 621FS. I was offered a great model with the engine I want, and a low monthly payment. I called and the receptionist told me the sales person I asked for was not available. I left a message saying I’m interested in a Ranger bass boat. "I have an older boat now that I’m thinking of selling, and please have the sales person call me back." I said.
Can you predict the alarm bells going off soon? The sales person never called me back. I left my number, name and a good time to call...Was my call worthless to this person? You know that I called another dealership afterwards. You know that I found someone else to help me. I did not call this person for a status check on a repair. I did not call about a warranty issue. I called and gave a clear indication that I wanted to buy!
Not all phone calls to a dealership are created equally. My phone call should have been this sales person’s high, very high priority. I won’t call anyone else in this dealership again, either, because obiously they don't want my money.
The Solution to a Mishandled Opportunity for a Sale
This sales person should have received some kind of indication that my call was top priority—an “alarm,” if you will. Bells should be ringing, “Missed sales call, missed sales call!” If he/she ignored it, then a manager should know about it because there’s a training opportunity here, a very big one. Again, not all phone calls into your dealership are created equally, and some should be at the top of the sales team’s list. And they should know about these calls (a manager should!), or income and credibility of the dealership suffers not only in the short term, but in the future as well (I will not call that same dealership again...why should I?).
The Path of the Phone Call and the Alarms Along the WayThree very important components of the inbound phone call are: how the caller connects, the manner in which the agent gathers the caller’s information, and a big one—how the call ends and what is the next step for the agent. Let’s examine the path of a crucial call, the sales call, to your dealership.
I call the dealership. Do I speak with sales? Am I greeted properly and know who I'm talking to? Am I offered the information I desire, and am I asked for my information (my name, last name, phone numbers, email, address) in a non-threatening manner? Then, am I asked for an appointment at a specific time to test drive/see the...RV, boat, bike or car? If I connect with sales, speak to an agent and he/she sets a same-day appointment, great—no alarm needs to be raised here. The call was handled very well.
- Alarm Level 1: If the agent doesn’t set an appointment, follow up is needed, but there is a next step in the process. This is a concern and should be addressed with an outbound call.
- Alarm Level 2: If no appointment is set and there is no next step, this is a higher concern, hence a higher level of alarm. This needs to be addressed: why no next step (opportunity to train here, also), and should a manager step in?
- Alarm Level 3: The caller doesn’t reach sales and leaves a message. Big, very big alarm here. This is a high priority for the agent. The sales person should know this, pay attention to the level of seriousness on this call, and call back very quickly.
- Alarm Level 4: The bells are really ringing the loudest on this one! The caller asks for sales, doesn’t reach sales (hangs up, perhaps, in frustration) and does NOT leave a message. Highest priority here on regaining this sale opportunity. This is the highest Alarm a manager should receive as quickly as possible, and respond to the matter immediately.
Not All Calls Are Created Equally—Degrees of Priority
As you can see in the accompanying graphic, not all calls are created equally and some have a higher degree of priority if the dealership’s bottom line is not to suffer in the short and long term. Knowing which calls to respond to in a proper hierarchy is paramount here. The Alarm parameters should be set accordingly so it’s easy to know that call A is first (caller asked for sales and hung up), and call B is a follow-up confirmation to an appointment already set. This is of course a method of using Alarms wisely and ensuring that no leads or opportunities from the inbound calls are missed.
Get Your [Phone Call] Priorities Straight with Alarms
Zenith Dealer Solution can help. That’s what we do. We monitor over 20 million calls a year to businesses like marine and RV dealers and any time we hear a missed opportunity to gain a new customer, we alert management by sending an Alarm based on set parameters of importance and immediacy of the response needed so they address the “otherwise unknown” matter, save deals, and establish long-term, profitable relationships.
One in four of our alerts results in new business for our dealers.
Not all calls are created equally, so let Zenith Dealer Solutions make this easy for you and alarm you to calls that need immediate attention first.
Take a look at our short video and learn more about Zenith Dealer Solutions or contact us and let us show you how your dealership never has to miss another phone opportunity.