Enhancing the Customer Experience

Let’s look at a typical customer experience that can either generate revenue or cause a potential problem. One of your existing customers needs to make a service appointment. Like most of us, they are very busy, but they take time out of their hectic schedule to call your dealership.

Will their call be answered in a timely manner?

Will their call be answered at all?

Will their questions be answered and the appointment set?

Are you sure?

What are you doing to make sure?

Even though the telephone is a very effective way to communicate with your customers, it can also create problems when not used properly. There is a lot that can go wrong.

For one, your staff gets busy. If calls are not answered in a timely fashion, people get frustrated. Phone calls also offer potential customers an easy out – after all, it’s easier to hang up then walk away. Lastly, whether they admit it to you or not, many employees are far more comfortable talking face to face with their customers. Awkward phone conversations leave potential customers, also known as potential revenue, uneasy and less likely to want to repeat the experience.

When your customers call your dealership, either for sales or service, you need to be ready. You may only get one opportunity to answer the call before a customer calls your competitor and you lose their business. Most dealers say that somewhere between 5 to 15 service appointment calls are either not answered properly or mishandled each day.

That, as we know, is business that is not handled: appointments are not being set and potential revenue is lost. The impact of missing or improperly handling service appointment calls is very measurable.

Imagine that if, during each workday, only three service appointment phone calls are missed or not handled properly. Consider that the average Repair Order value is $200. If you miss just three service calls a day, that’s $600 in lost revenue. If that happens for one month, your dealership has lost $13,800. Annually, that adds up to $165,600 — that’s a lot of money in missed opportunities.

Each month, dealers spend thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing to make the phones ring in their sales and service departments. Each phone call, inbound or outbound, has the potential to generate revenue and must be handled properly. Are you comfortable with the process you currently have in place?

Your entire dealership handles the challenges of your current telephone system. Most dealership employees, from the Dealership Operator to the sales people on the floor to service personnel, are juggling many duties and struggle with finding the time to answer the phone or page when a customer calls, return messages in a timely manner, and proactively follow up with leads … never mind prospect new leads.

The right solution: a Virtual BDC

Your internal woes can be easily solved by an innovative, outsourced, dealership-focused customer interaction and communication process, which in turn can improve the overall performance of each inbound or outbound call by:

· Putting each customer at ease during the interaction

· Conducting reciprocal conversations with your customers or prospects versus delivering an impersonal script

· Being available 24/7 to ensure all calls are made and answered

· Providing consistent and relevant messaging for control and measurement of each call type

The customer interaction options of a Virtual BDC are nearly limitless. By outsourcing your business development center, you can reduce and control operating costs, lower payroll and ongoing training costs, improve company focus with consistent and relevant communications, and gain control and improve your telephony operations process.

~ Gary Mitchell

Director, Telephony & Virtual BDC Products, DMEautomotive

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