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5 Phone Mistakes That Will Cost You Business

Phone hanging off the hook
Article Highlights:

  • Top mistakes dealers make when vetting a new phone system.
  • Why it’s important to analyze your current system.

When you consider your phone system, your first thought is probably, “it’s just a phone system.” I’d like to challenge that thought. With pressing shifts in consumer demands and expectations, “just a phone system” doesn’t cut it anymore.

Thanks to click-to-call capability from your mobile device, phone calls continue to rise, forcing your dealership to handle leads in real-time. You have a few short moments to make a good impression. Technology plays a big part in your customers’ experience. Elite technology, however, is the key to ensure you’re not losing precious business.

How do you sort out “just the ordinary”? We identified the top five mistakes dealers make when vetting a new phone system

1. Accepting manual processes.

Think about the evolution of cell phones. Ten years ago, cell phones were a completely different ball game. Text messages? You would need to punch one button numerous times to get a desired letter. Caller ID? Pretty much non-existent. Imagine using a 10-2- year old cell phone in today’s fast-paced technology word. We’d be frustrated and overwhelmed with the amount of steps and time it takes to complete a simple task. The times have changed, and your phone system should be keeping up.

2. Losing sight of the big picture.

Taking care of the customer is your dealership’s first priority when the phone rings. Consider dealership sales turnover. Have you ever considered what happens to a salesperson’s customers when that salesperson leaves? How is your phone system tracking that activity? How does it report on said activity? You could be losing business and not even know it. These are the questions you should ask if you want to focus on the big picture.

3. Under-valuing customization.

All dealerships are unique. Cookie-cutter platforms won’t meet the needs of automotive retailers. You need more flexibility to exceed customers’ expectations. This means you can:

  • Run personalized reports to analyze call volume and characteristics per department.
  • Assign unique phone numbers to advertising campaigns to determine effective marketing practices.
  • Set up call forwarding to mobile devices to ensure salespeople never a miss call.

4. Underestimating process gaps.

The phone is your dealership’s lifeline – it’s one of the few tools connecting your entire dealership externally and internally. Your phone can’t be just a phone that makes and takes calls. It has to be a connection between departments, employees, and customers, storing and relaying information to help you do your job faster. Consider how long your average phone inquiry lasts, how often customers are transferred or placed on hold, or how accessible customer information is for the employees who answer calls.

5. Placing training on the back-burner.

Finding time for training can seem impossible with the hustle and bustle of every day. Learning a new system comes with an adjustment period. With preparation and planning, you can help ensure your employees are engaged and invested in your business. With proper system training, you can focus on what you do best: selling more cars.

Take the time to properly vet providers when it comes to a new phone system. Do your research. A vendor should value innovation, transparency, opportunities, cohesiveness, and participation.

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Vice President, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jody Huff is the Vice President of Sales Development at Reynolds and Reynolds and has been with the company for over 26 years. Jody’s alma mater is Texas A&M University where he earned a BBA in Marketing.

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