Often, they are actually calling to see what they can expect from you when it comes to customer service. The phone call could be the critical tipping point that either converts or loses your prospect. If callers are subject to long wait times, an inefficient calling experience, misrouted calls, or unknowledgeable phone staff, they are likely to seek out a competitor as they feel that the call is an indication of overall service.
We live in a digitally enabled world. Gone are the days of uninformed prospects making their way to your dealership simply by virtue of location. When it comes to modern customers, you’ve got to work for their business, both in the showroom and service lanes. Many are making their way to you via digital marketing sources and they call you to determine if it’s worth their time to visit your store. That puts the phone call as the determining factor in the customer journey between additional revenue or loss of a customer. Never doubt it—your phones are the single most important point of contact in the customer journey.
The Phone Call Sets the Tone for the Customer Relationship at Your Dealership
It’s no great secret that customers don’t always expect the greatest customer experience when they walk into a dealership. Often, they are actually calling to see what they can expect from you when it comes to customer service. The phone call could be the critical tipping point that either converts or loses your prospect. If callers are subject to long wait times, an inefficient calling experience, misrouted calls, or unknowledgeable phone staff, they are likely to seek out a competitor as they feel that the call is an indication of overall service. Crush the call and you’ll likely end up with a new customer.
The Phone Call Lets You Enhance the Customer Experience Upfront
Digital tools have helped to change the path of the customer journey. Before even coming to your dealership, 92% of car buyers perform online research, according to Google. In fact, many prospects even use the phone call to rule you out as an option. Modern buyers have evolved past the sales jargon. They come armed with information and they want three things.
- Speed: Callers to a dealership expect answers quickly. They want their concerns addressed efficiently. Time is valuable and they’ve already dedicated some of theirs to the phone call. Long wait times, routing and re-routing of calls, and delays in getting the right information to your caller are all indicators of an inefficient customer journey and will lead to your elimination in the minds of your prospects.
- Control: The average buyer does not want to feel swept away by the sales process—they want to feel a level of control over the experience. Phone calls are the perfect opportunity to empower your prospects. Let them guide the discussion, while acting as a consultant in the car buying or service process.
- Transparency: Past data shows that “87% of Americans dislike something about car shopping at dealerships and 61% feel they’re taken advantage of while there.” Ditch the fluff for your caller and be upfront about options and pricing.
The Phone Call Lets You Provide a Personalized Experience
According to AutoTrader, personalization is the key to a better buying experience. While this part of the customer journey often begins with digital marketing and advertising sources, it culminates with the phone call. Callers will have questions about a particular car in your inventory or maintenance requests specific to their unique situation. Providing excellent customer service is the final hurdle to getting a customer into your dealership and the ultimate opportunity to provide personalized answers to your caller’s requests. Because face it, if their questions had an easy answer, they likely would have found the answer themselves and wouldn’t be calling.
The Phone Call Lets You Manage Expectations During the Inventory Shortage
The chip shortage has caused massive inventory scarcity across the country. While many dealers have been scrambling trying to find ways to weather the shortage, others are taking a proactive approach and they’re using their phones to keep customers informed. Taking a consultative approach, phone reps are able to help customers pivot if a certain vehicle is unavailable by identifying alternatives or maintenance plans until something becomes available. This sort of consultation is most effective when appliedino direct communication and helps to improve the customer experience during the downturn.
The Phone Call Gives You Additional CRM Data to Improve Your Customer Relationships
The phone is an absolutely essential part of the customer journey, but the journey doesn’t end there. Ideally, you want to convert your prospects into loyal customers to keep them coming back for more purchases and service—and the best way to do that is with more data. Using a full-suite call monitoring solution that is integrated with your CRM is the best way to get a 360-degree view of every customer while providing the service and purchasing experience they are looking for.
Remember to optimize your phone calls and you’ll provide a winning end-to-end customer journey.