By Jack Behar, CEO of InterActiveTel
In all respects, 2016 has been a banner year for the auto industry. The SAAR has soared and we’re ending the year on a high note with a record seven years of sales gains. However, don’t pop the champagne just yet. Reports are also showing a plateau in sales is coming, which means it’s time to work smarter, not harder, to earn customers. One way to do so is to dig into the data housed in your call tracking software to help increase CSI, marketing and sales opportunities in the coming year.
2. Dial In Your Marketing — Remember all that money you put into your last big vehicle sale? Or service promotion? Did you see the results you were hoping to find? Customer interaction analysis takes a lot of the guesswork out of determining marketing results. Trending reports show you exactly what keywords are hot; if the crucial words in a campaign show up again and again, you know you’ve hit the sweet spot. You can then take these words and apply them to your landing pages, promotions, direct mailers and other marketing materials. Think of keyword tracking from phone calls as your secret identifier for the targeted words most meaningful to your buyers.
3. Turn Phone Leads Into Sales — Imagine this scenario: A customer calls in and asks about a specific vehicle on your lot; unfortunately, the model they most wanted sold that morning. How would your staff respond if a caller’s first vehicle of choice was already sold? Would they suggest an alternative vehicle? In a Dealix study, 35 percent of dealers did not. They let a great low-funnel shopper hang up the phone and call a competitor.
Call tracking can help you bring back these missed opportunities. A recent industry article cited an analysis of more than 600 U.S. dealers that showed closing rates are as high as 25 percent when a mishandled call is revisited. It should be no surprise to learn that calls are one of your hottest leads for sales and service. By the time a customer picks up the phone to ask about a vehicle, they are typically at the bottom of the sales funnel. By using customer interaction analysis, you can illuminate where you’re going wrong and help cultivate loyal customers.
4. Train Like a Champ — Call tracking can also invaluable for employee training. Your managers can listen to the calls, speak directly with customers to isolate the problem, and turn that knowledge into a training opportunity. When your employees know better, they will do better.
5. Move that Metal! — Inventory is the biggest investments for most dealerships. Aging inventory cuts into your ROI thanks to interest costs and also takes up valuable showroom space. When you augment your sourcing strategy with intelligence from your own phone calls, you can minimize the risk of languishing inventory and get the most out of your investment.
While we may not see a soaring SAAR in 2017 like we did in 2016, there are still plenty of opportunities to move the metal and grow your bottom line this next year. By taking your call tracking software to the next level in terms of the above five steps, you can get a jumpstart on the competition and make 2017 another record-setting year for your store.