I often meet with auto dealers of all sizes across the U.S., and what I’ve seen is that very few realize how many opportunities they are missing due to unhealthy phone systems. Various research has shown that calls outpace internet leads by as much as 4:1 due to mobile devices and click-to-call buttons, but many of those calls go unanswered.
Our analysis of over 2 million phone calls to dealerships discovered 31% of sales calls and 20% of service calls did not reach an agent. That’s an insane number of high-quality leads lost. Do you know if your phone systems are letting you down? Check for these three danger signs.
High Abandoned Call Rate
An abandoned call refers to a call that ends before a conversation occurs. In the average dealership, the abandoned call rate can be as high as 40%!
Customers abandon calls for a number of reasons, including frustration with a long time on hold, being dumped into a voicemail or getting stuck in an endless loop of ringing extensions.
Review your abandoned call rate at least once a week. A rate of 18-25% or less is ideal. If your rate jumps above this number, consider employing strategies such as announcing estimated wait time, offering virtual queuing, or giving callers the option of receiving a callback or text when an agent becomes available.
Phone Volume Takes a Nosedive
As a dealership, you have a lot of contact numbers spread across online platforms, such as Google, Cars.com, Yahoo and Bing. These platforms typically notify you via email when edits are suggested. The problem is that some of these platforms, such as Google, allow users other than the business owner to make edits to listings.
If someone makes changes to your phone numbers and you miss the email notification, you could be missing a lot of calls. Even worse, spammers could update your legitimate information as a way to send leads somewhere else.
If your phone volume suddenly takes a nosedive, check for correct information on online platforms. As a best practice, assign one person to check all online numbers at least once a month.
Sales Appointments Drop
Customers calling your dealership have generally done their research online and narrowed down vehicle choice. They are calling because you have a vehicle of interest and they want to come in and see it. If calls are coming in but appointments drop, check your phone list. With the average dealership turning over a third of its sales team every year, it’s easy to see how phone lists can quickly become outdated.
This can lead your receptionist to unknowingly send calls to obsolete extensions and voicemails. Make it a priority to review phone lists once a month to ensure all the numbers are accurate.
Phone calls to your dealership are your best bet to engage with low-funnel, high-quality consumers who are ready to buy. Make sure your phone systems are healthy by keeping an eye out for these three easy-to-fix danger signs. You could reap at least 30% more sales calls and 20% more service calls.
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