Major Hang Up Hurts Car Dealerships

Poorly answered or unanswered phone calls send customers to the competition.

Keith Shetterly

October 23, 2015

1 Min Read
Major Hang Up Hurts Car Dealerships

Some of the best people at a dealership work in fixed operations. They do a great job. Service is a money maker. And yet, the phone there is often poorly answered or, worse, unanswered.

The average service department is 120% to 140% overcommitted on the phone. The phone rings a lot. Far too many calls for service go unanswered.

What happens to all those callers? Many of them hang up and end up at places such as Jiffy Lube where they are strongly reminded in every way dealerships are not necessary for common service work.

A dealership’s valuable car-owner base is a large part of those unanswered callers. So not only do customers learn to visit other service spots, they may end up buying their next vehicles elsewhere.

Consider a couple more points on the actual financial losses from poorly answered or unanswered phone calls.

After just two services with a competitor, some OEMs will shift their targeted marketing to selling that competitor’s service to your car-owner customer base. And if your unanswered phones disappoint one of those customers each open day, how many sales opportunities are potentially going to your competitors.

Solutions to prevent such defections include hiring dedicated appointment-setters for service, building a service-focused business development center or outsourcing one.

These approaches not only can keep customers, they can conquest customers. If they handle the calls right, customer satisfaction is teed up from the first phone conversation.

No matter which approach you take, if you want both more service work and more vehicle sales, make sure your phones are being answered.

Keith Shetterly is vice president of Autoloop’s Engage Call Center. He is a former dealership e-commerce director. He is at [email protected] and 281-229-5887.

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