Each month, dealers spend thousands of dollars on marketing trying to drive traffic into their service departments. To a dealer, it is a beautiful thing when they see cars lined up in their service drive and hear the phones ringing at the service advisor stations. As a dealer, what more could you ask for?

Well here is what you are going to get…

If the lane is full and your advisors are busy helping those customers who drove their vehicle in or had an appointment, who is answering the phones and helping those customers who are calling in to set an appointment or ask questions?

Realistically, your “drive in” customers, who are ready to spend money, are not going to appreciate or tolerate waiting on your service advisors who are answering phone calls. Your “call in” customers, who are trying to spend money, are not going to appreciate or tolerate being put on hold. You now have a dilemma in your service department that must be addressed.

Recently, during a conversation with David Vallone, an industry expert in Fixed Operations, it became apparent that this problem occurs on a regular basis in most dealerships and cannot be left unchecked. In essence, David explained that when service advisors are trying to work with “drive in” customers and answer phone calls during peak times, frustration sets in from all sides of the equation because of the chaos caused by all the activity in the drive. He stated that once the phone starts ringing constantly with everyone busy with customers…it now becomes “the Angry Phone!”

Not only does the Angry Phone just keep ringing, the people who are calling are getting angry because their calls are not answered, directed to a voice mail, or placed on hold. If the advisor answers the call, the “drive in” customer gets angry because they are standing there confused as to why their visit to the dealership is less important than someone calling in. Even the advisor is getting angry because they are frustrated with the process and that has no chance of being right.

So…what is the solution to the Angry Phone problem? Implement a Virtual BDC live answer telephony “Backstop” system that is designed to answer the calls and make service appointments that your staff is unable to handle because they are busy or the call comes in after hours. The VBDC Backstop system can even handle your inbound calls after “x” number of rings not answered to ensure that your customers do not have to wait long. This means that all calls are answered and no opportunities lost.

Please remember that profitable and long-term customer relationships are a by-product of timely and effective customer interactions that ultimately result in positive customer experiences. So eliminate the negative consequences of “the Angry Phone.”

~ Gary Mitchell

Director, Telephony & Virtual BDC Products, DMEautomotive

Gary has 25 years of experience in providing franchised auto dealers with marketing and technology solutions designed to increase revenue and overall profitability. Gary has held national positions with ADP Dealer Services, LML Technologies, and DMEautomotive. He is currently responsible for researching and designing new products and marketing campaigns based on industry trends and specific dealership needs. He directly interfaces with Development and Product Management to monitor market needs and requirements, taking into account emerging technologies, competitor products / services, industry trends, and regulatory / compliance changes for both OEM and regulatory bodies.

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This blog has been republished from its original location at DMEautomotive’s blog

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