In this day and age of texting, online support centers, and emailing, it’s easy to forget how valuable a phone call can be for dealerships. Did you know that, according to Forrester, calls convert 30-50% faster than web leads? Phone calls are the second most popular way to contact a dealership, second to walk-in visits. Are you making your phone calls a priority for your automotive dealership?
Consumers usually prefer to talk with a live person when it comes to car shopping. According to DT University, callers purchased a vehicle 10 times more frequently than people who filled out an online form. Phone conversations are also more beneficial to your dealership. When you chat with someone online or answer an email, it’s hard to tell how the customer is feeling. By hearing the tones and expressions of your customer’s voice, it is easier to interpret how they feel. For more help on effective communication strategies, click here.
There are different ways to encourage your customers to call your dealership. Are you using your Google Ads campaigns effectively? According to Google, 57% of consumers use a call extension from a search ad to get more information about a car or to schedule an appointment. Make sure that your phone number is present on your dealer site and in any ad copy that you publish.
Once you’ve made sure that your phone number is visible on your website, social media pages, and business listings, now we want to get set up for better phone calls. Today, we’re going to cover 5 ways to have more successful automotive phone calls with your customers.
1. Answer the Phone
Almost 1 in 5 phone calls fail to connect the call to the dealer, whether the phone call was unanswered or got dropped during a hold or transfer. A simple task like answering the phone becomes not so simple when all your employees are busy or due to technical issues that arise. When a person decides to make a phone call, they are closer to take an action.
Did you know that 2 out of 3 customers will hang up the phone out of frustration if it’s not a live person that answers the phone? That means that if you have an automated voice answering system, you may be scaring away your customers. Make sure you have a live agent answering the phone if you want to keep your customers engaged.
2. Get the Caller’s Information Right Away
When you first answer a call, you should try to get the caller’s name and phone number right away. That way, in the case that you get disconnected somehow, you are able to follow up. Be sure to let your caller know that you want to collect this information in the case that the phone call drops. This also helps you remember the name of your caller, and by using their name, you will make the phone call more a more personal experience.
3. Follow Up if Your Call Drops
Returning a call to someone who was waiting, had their call dropped, or accidentally hung up already puts you ahead of the majority of businesses that don’t follow up with their customers. A dropped call could be an honest mistake or technical issue, but a lot of people are reluctant to call back because they are busy or don’t think it is worth it. As a dealership, it is your responsibility to serve the customer and call them back.
4. Don’t Negotiate on the Phone
There are several reasons why you don’t want to negotiate with a customer on the phone. First of all, if someone is calling to find out a price and start negotiating, they’ve probably found a car they want at another dealership and is just trying to see what’s the lowest price they can get.
Negotiating over the phone is never a good idea because your customer is likely to hang up in frustration, ending your phone call before scheduling an appointment with them. Instead, your goal should be to get the person to schedule an appointment and talk to them in person at your dealership, which brings us to our next point.
5. Ask to Schedule an Appointment
Although this should be the end goal of your phone call, a lot of representatives fail to mention scheduling an appointment before the conversation is over. Your conversation should revolve around getting your caller to schedule an appointment and come visit your dealership in person. It’s a good idea to have your calendar open during phone calls so you can create appointments right away.
To wrap up, here are a few additional tips to help you have more successful phone calls:
- Suggest alternative cars if the specific vehicle your caller is asking for is not on your lot.
- Use a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) to keep track of your phone calls and information you collect during those conversations to make the customer feel more welcome.
- Smile as you talk. It will help you sound more friendly and keep you in a positive mood.
AutoJini’s marketing consultants have been in the automotive marketing industry for over 18 years. Team up with experts in the field to start selling more cars today. We are eager to talk with your dealership to see what we can do to boost your sales and help you improve the relationships with your customers. Contact us today to get started!