How Call Management Can Alleviate the Labor Shortage

How Call Management Can Alleviate the Labor Shortage

When dealerships are understaffed, efforts must go toward prioritizing the customer experience. Call management is critical to this strategy, so knowing what to track allows for quick fixes and a better customer experience.

Even in the best of times, workforce turnover is an issue for many auto dealers. Since the Great Resignation, finding new talent has become even more difficult. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 47 million people quit their jobs in 2021, leading to worker shortages everywhere.

While some dealers want to hire new employees, others choose to keep operations lean. With inventory supply still an issue, and the threat of a recession on the horizon, the thought of adding staff now seems like a risky expense. 

Regardless of the scenario you find yourself in, chances are your auto dealership is understaffed. The ability to prioritize and manage resources efficiently will be critical to not only survive but to thrive in the next couple of years.

Leads Take Precedence

Auto dealership personnel have many priorities — and distractions — during the day. However, 56% of inbound sales calls are inquiries or leads, and 44% of inbound service calls are leads. Therefore, call management should be a priority on every dealer’s list. When a dealership is understaffed, the risk of these valuable leads slipping through the cracks is high.

The most significant problems that occur with inbound calls include the following:
• Staff does not answer in a timely manner (or at all)
• Calls get transferred to voicemail
• Customer was put on hold indefinitely
• Customer gets disconnected
• Customer does not receive a return phone call

Metrics to Track

Volume of Repeat Calls

Approximately 30% of inbound calls are repeat calls, which indicates your customers are not being taken care of on the first call. If you train your staff to resolve every issue during the
first call, the overall volume of inbound calls can be substantially reduced, which lightens the load for everyone.

Call Volume Peaks & Valleys

What time of day does your dealership receive the highest number of phone calls? This is different for every dealership. Track call volume every day for several weeks, identify the busiest times for incoming calls and allocate staff resources accordingly.

Best Time for Outgoing Calls

Knowing when most of your inbound calls occur makes it easier to know when to schedule outgoing calls. Obviously, you don’t want employees to make outbound calls when inbound call volume is high. The best timing for outbound calls can shift based on many factors, including what day of the week it is, what season it is, if there is a holiday or based on events such as recalls or manufacturer sales.

Using call management technology that monitors call activity 24/7 and provides real-time feedback is the best way to know the optimal time for outgoing call efforts so that workflows can be adjusted accordingly.

Customer Experience

With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), call management technology has become increasingly sophisticated in its ability to gauge the quality of your dealership’s customer experience. When resources are limited, managers don’t have time to listen to endless phone calls or try to figure out what happened every time there is a customer complaint.

AI is able to identify and send alerts related to phone calls that contain negative customer sentiment, as well as call summaries that have negative interactions. This feedback is provided in real-time, so managers can immediately intervene and fix problems before customer complaints happen.

When dealerships are understaffed, all efforts must go toward prioritizing the customer experience. Call management is critical to this strategy, so knowing what to track allows for quick fixes and a better customer experience.

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