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CallRevu recognizes that the average dealership monitors over 500 monthly calls going to Service alone. Being able to track and manage this call volume can get overwhelming. Calls will fall through the cracks, it’s inevitable.

Vehicle service is top of mind once again for many customers as we head into the second half of 2022. As reported by Cox Automotive, June vehicle sales are down 7.75% and yearly inventory sales predictions have been re-forecasted to 14.4M, which indicates many customers are making the shift to hold on to their vehicles longer and getting their cars serviced and maintained instead of new acquisitions.

In a recent CallRevu call tracking data analysis, reporting shows that dealerships in 2022 are experiencing a 14.8% increase in service department calls per month. With over 38% of calls going unanswered, due to being abandoned, mishandled, or sent to a voice mail. This uncovers the need to ensure every call is tracked, managed, and documented to ensure your customers are getting the proper care they demand. Otherwise, regardless of your best marketing efforts, your customers will quickly recognize they have choices and will take their business to your competitors neighboring dealerships or independent repair shops. and you will have missed opportunities and the potential for lower CSI scores that could have been avoided.

How can you avoid these pitfalls? Incorporate a communication intelligence platform that provides call management for your entire dealership from sales, and service, to marketing and online retail. Here are the best practices to consider.

Communications intelligence isn’t’ just for sales

A communication intelligence (CI) platform isn’t just for managing inbound sales inquiries, it should be considered a valued asset that helps manage all call activity across your entire organization. It’s a data intelligence solution that provides analytical metrics that identifies how, when, and why your customers are calling you.

CallRevu recognizes that the average dealership monitors over 500 monthly calls going to Service alone. Being able to track and manage this call volume can get overwhelming. Calls will fall through the cracks, it’s inevitable. So, consider using a CI system that not only helps you track, route, and monitor your calls, but also utilizes state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) and automotive call experts who capture the customer phone experience with call transcriptions and summaries, and identifies keywords and sentiments so you receive mobile alerts within minutes of the call coming in.

Receiving automated mobile alerts will enable your team to act quickly and respond to your customers’ inquiries so they feel valued and appreciated. So much so that, in a recent study, dealers have observed that 1 in every 4 customers who were called back as a result of an opportunity alert, schedule an appointment to visit the dealership. Service departments have a daily ebb and flow with in-person activity; however, the phones never seem to stop ringing. Remember, your phones are still your number one sales and appointment setting asset.

How is your marketing working for you?

Vehicle maintenance is a highly competitive service offering. It’s an area where many customers don’t necessarily have brand loyalty, especially when they are out of warranty. It’s important for your marketing team to have full visibility into how effective their marketing campaigns are working for the investment you’ve made.

  • Are they driving new business?
  • Are they helping with customer retention?
  • Are they effective in capturing higher-priced repair or maintenance packages?
  • Are they influencing trade-ins or vehicle sales?

Let your CI platform be your marketing data resource center. CI platforms are designed to measure calls using dynamic number insertions (DNI) paired with Google Analytics, UTM tracking, SEM metrics, website analytics, and direct marketing, such as email, direct mail, events, and more. This information will identify which marketing channels and campaigns are driving inbound calls for:

  • service and sales appointment scheduling
  • service promotions
  • customer loyalty initiatives
  • vehicle inventory
  • or even vehicle appraisals.

Treating these customer engagements as a proper marketing qualified lead (MQL) will help you measure your marketing return on investment and can provide direction as to where you maximize the most gain.

Hello, can you hear me now?

How you handle your calls is not just about making sure the calls are being forwarded to the right department, if they are being returned timely, or even using DNI to determine what drove them to your website and ultimately caused them to call you. It’s also about making sure your team is equipped with the skills, guides, frameworks and processes to delight customers, especially in your service department when the phone is ringing nonstop.

When choosing a CI platform, select a solution that not only addresses your call management needs, but also offers features that provide coaching and mentoring modules that support your employee development. With AI technology, CI systems are a great employee development resource that can measure how effective your employees are on the phone. Let’s face it, not everyone is great on the phone. In fact, many get flustered easily just by picking it up and saying hello, or you have new employees who aren’t familiar with your phone processes. On the flip side, you might have an exceptional staff that is great at asking the right questions, schedule 9 out of 10 appointments, or even get customer recognition for how helpful they are. Having access to call recordings, and transcriptions, along with best practice video training can be highly effective at making sure every call is handled with the level of care and professionalism you expect.

In many cases, you get one shot at capturing a customer’s business. Don’t let poor phone skills or lack of training be the reason they take their business elsewhere. Always remember, your customers have options, and they are highly knowledgeable about what they want, pricing and inventory. Gone are the days when information wasn’t easily available, the digital age has long changed that. Make sure you have no loose ends, which includes how you manage your customer calls.

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