Archive for August, 2009

Embracing the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rules

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The word is out! The FTC has made changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rules and they are rolling out on September 1st. The major change that will affect companies in the automotive industry are the prerecorded telemarketing messages that attempt to make a sale of any kind to the consumer; this does not include informational messages, such as appointment reminders. In order to deliver prerecorded telemarketing messages, companies must obtain the consumer’s written and signed consent that includes the phone number that can be called. The existence of an “established business relationship” is no longer accepted through the FTC as acceptable grounds to call.

However, within this hurdle lays an opportunity for companies to broaden their communication and marketing efforts. As businesses adapt their communication strategies to be FTC-compliant, they will see that their messages can be just as efficient and effective as ever before.

This begs the question: How can a dealership embrace the changes this amendment brings? And what other communication channels should dealers consider?

This new amendment opens the door for dealers to find out the preferred method of communication from each of their consumers instead of relying on the trusted prerecorded message. Many dealerships will find that increasing their live-call, direct mail and email campaigns are a better way to communicate with current and prospective consumers. And if there are consumers who prefer the recorded messages, they can receive those as well. By allowing consumers to choose their preferred method of communication, dealerships will improve relationships with their consumers and ultimately increase loyalty and response rates!

For dealerships that are interested in continuing their delivery of prerecorded calls, or have consumers who prefer this method of communication, we recommend that dealers implement direct mail or email campaigns to drive consumers to a personalized URL (PURL), where the consumer will complete the required written consent electronically and instantly. This PURL will also give the consumer the ability to indicate their preferred method of communication (mail, email, telephone, text). Another recommendation is to place kiosks in dealership show rooms to obtain the written consent and communication preferences on the spot! All of these options will ensure your dealership remains compliant!

Please keep in mind, regardless of what method is used to obtain written consent, there must clear and apparent disclosure that the purpose of the agreement is to authorize prerecorded calls.

DMEautomotive will be there to help advise dealers on these new guidelines, as well as the best ways to collect opt-in information from their customers. We are staying current with all FTC law changes and can ensure customers they will remain FTC compliant.

Embracing the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rules

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The word is out! The FTC has made changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rules and they are rolling out on September 1st. The major change that will affect companies in the automotive industry are the prerecorded telemarketing messages that attempt to make a sale of any kind to the consumer; this does not include informational messages, such as appointment reminders. In order to deliver prerecorded telemarketing messages, companies must obtain the consumer’s written and signed consent that includes the phone number that can be called. The existence of an “established business relationship” is no longer accepted through the FTC as acceptable grounds to call.

However, within this hurdle lays an opportunity for companies to broaden their communication and marketing efforts. As businesses adapt their communication strategies to be FTC-compliant, they will see that their messages can be just as efficient and effective as ever before.

This begs the question: How can a dealership embrace the changes this amendment brings? And what other communication channels should dealers consider?

This new amendment opens the door for dealers to find out the preferred method of communication from each of their consumers instead of relying on the trusted prerecorded message. Many dealerships will find that increasing their live-call, direct mail and email campaigns are a better way to communicate with current and prospective consumers. And if there are consumers who prefer the recorded messages, they can receive those as well. By allowing consumers to choose their preferred method of communication, dealerships will improve relationships with their consumers and ultimately increase loyalty and response rates!

For dealerships that are interested in continuing their delivery of prerecorded calls, or have consumers who prefer this method of communication, we recommend that dealers implement direct mail or email campaigns to drive consumers to a personalized URL (PURL), where the consumer will complete the required written consent electronically and instantly. This PURL will also give the consumer the ability to indicate their preferred method of communication (mail, email, telephone, text). Another recommendation is to place kiosks in dealership show rooms to obtain the written consent and communication preferences on the spot! All of these options will ensure your dealership remains compliant!

Please keep in mind, regardless of what method is used to obtain written consent, there must clear and apparent disclosure that the purpose of the agreement is to authorize prerecorded calls.

DMEautomotive will be there to help advise dealers on these new guidelines, as well as the best ways to collect opt-in information from their customers. We are staying current with all FTC law changes and can ensure customers they will remain FTC compliant.

Top Ten Reasons to Outsource your Virtual BDC

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Your first reaction to this title might have been that outsourcing your Virtual BDC will decrease customer interaction and increase costs when in fact, the opposite is true. There are direct financial benefits that come from outsourcing your Virtual BDC, and multiple indirect financial benefits that will arise as well. The brief list below outlines the advantages that come with outsourcing your Virtual BDC.

Top Ten Reasons to Outsource your Virtual BDC

1. Reduce and control operating costs of the in-house BDC by up to 75%

2. Improve company focus with consistent and relevant messaging

3. Gain access to unlimited capabilities 24/7 – scalability

4. Free up internal resources for other purposes such as revenue generation

5. Telephony operations – Difficult to manage or control

6. Answer the phone 100% of the time when a customer calls

7. Proactively follow up with leads in a timely manner

8. Consistent and timely prospecting for new customers

9. Real-Time Reporting & Recording of each call

10. Ongoing Quality Management and training of staff

All of these reasons for outsourcing your Virtual BDC will lead to a greater bottom line for your dealership in addition to providing your customers with a more satisfactory experience. Your employees in the dealership will have more time to dedicate to their in-store customers as well as other necessary duties and your customers who call in will never feel like are being placed on the back burner. The best solution for your Virtual BDC is to outsource it to a company that has the qualifications, experience and customer service skills to handle all issues for every one of your customers 24/7.

Top Ten Reasons to Outsource your Virtual BDC

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Your first reaction to this title might have been that outsourcing your Virtual BDC will decrease customer interaction and increase costs when in fact, the opposite is true. There are direct financial benefits that come from outsourcing your Virtual BDC, and multiple indirect financial benefits that will arise as well. The brief list below outlines the advantages that come with outsourcing your Virtual BDC.

Top Ten Reasons to Outsource your Virtual BDC

1. Reduce and control operating costs of the in-house BDC by up to 75%

2. Improve company focus with consistent and relevant messaging

3. Gain access to unlimited capabilities 24/7 – scalability

4. Free up internal resources for other purposes such as revenue generation

5. Telephony operations – Difficult to manage or control

6. Answer the phone 100% of the time when a customer calls

7. Proactively follow up with leads in a timely manner

8. Consistent and timely prospecting for new customers

9. Real-Time Reporting & Recording of each call

10. Ongoing Quality Management and training of staff

All of these reasons for outsourcing your Virtual BDC will lead to a greater bottom line for your dealership in addition to providing your customers with a more satisfactory experience. Your employees in the dealership will have more time to dedicate to their in-store customers as well as other necessary duties and your customers who call in will never feel like are being placed on the back burner. The best solution for your Virtual BDC is to outsource it to a company that has the qualifications, experience and customer service skills to handle all issues for every one of your customers 24/7.

Loyalty

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Over the past several weeks we’ve discussed a number of very detailed and specific topics…topics that mostly reflect different forms of a person’s character. I’ll end July discussing one final characteristic before moving on to broader ideas in August.

Loyalty.

I believe there are three steps for a person or team to reach the loyalty stage. The first stage is respect. I need to see a specific quality in someone that I agree with in order to begin respecting them. Stage two is trust. I can respect someone who I may not agree with or think is travelling down the correct path. But once I see and agree with path being taken, and the steps leading to that path, my trust can be earned. When and only when I feel a sense of both respect and trust towards someone, will I be able to become loyal.

Loyalty has become a rarity in recent times. A rarity in all industries…the automotive industry, government and especially professional sports. There’s nothing wrong with a little selfishness, but I’ve been one to believe that loyalty, in the long run, pays off.

On the flip side, loyalty is also earned. Earned by your company, your boss, your peers. Blind loyalty will get you nowhere. It absolutely deserves reciprocity. Like most relationships, it’s a two way street. Lee Iacocca once said, “Talk to people in their own language. If you do it well, they’ll say, ‘God, he said exactly what I was thinking.’ And when they begin to respect you, they’ll follow you to the death.”

People need a good reason to stick with an allegiance and stay faithful to their cause. The strength of a team that is both loyal to each other and to a common goal is unmatched.

Loyalty

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Over the past several weeks we’ve discussed a number of very detailed and specific topics…topics that mostly reflect different forms of a person’s character. I’ll end July discussing one final characteristic before moving on to broader ideas in August.

Loyalty.

I believe there are three steps for a person or team to reach the loyalty stage. The first stage is respect. I need to see a specific quality in someone that I agree with in order to begin respecting them. Stage two is trust. I can respect someone who I may not agree with or think is travelling down the correct path. But once I see and agree with path being taken, and the steps leading to that path, my trust can be earned. When and only when I feel a sense of both respect and trust towards someone, will I be able to become loyal.

Loyalty has become a rarity in recent times. A rarity in all industries…the automotive industry, government and especially professional sports. There’s nothing wrong with a little selfishness, but I’ve been one to believe that loyalty, in the long run, pays off.

On the flip side, loyalty is also earned. Earned by your company, your boss, your peers. Blind loyalty will get you nowhere. It absolutely deserves reciprocity. Like most relationships, it’s a two way street. Lee Iacocca once said, “Talk to people in their own language. If you do it well, they’ll say, ‘God, he said exactly what I was thinking.’ And when they begin to respect you, they’ll follow you to the death.”

People need a good reason to stick with an allegiance and stay faithful to their cause. The strength of a team that is both loyal to each other and to a common goal is unmatched.