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3 Ways to Eliminate Distractions for Your Advisors

Service advisor at desk answering phone
Article Highlights:

  • How to make your service advisor's job less distracting.
  • Automation and streamlining are key.

Service managers, you know your advisors are busy. You know they play a pretty significant role in your success. In fact, nearly 75% of calls into a dealership are for parts and service. That’s a lot of potential revenue on the other end of the phone!

But to be honest, they are faced with a lot of distractions throughout the day that can have major implications on how well these incoming service calls are handled. From in-person conversations with appointment and walk-in customers, to playing phone tag with customers about their vehicle status, to selling additional work for your technicians, it’s a constant battle of trying to balance all of these day-to-day activities.

However, with the right tools in place, their jobs can become more streamlined and less distracting. Follow these three simple tips to better handle phone calls in service.

  1. Automation

Think about how many times your service advisors receive incoming calls from customers asking for updates on their vehicles. Or how many times your advisors have to place outgoing calls for appointment reminders. While these are valuable to your business, your advisors could be spending their time doing much more profitable tasks.

You can automate these cumbersome processes with a 24/7 self-service line for incoming calls and automatic voice notifications for outgoing calls. Customers will be able to stay in the know, on their terms. From parts arrivals and RO statuses to ready for pick-up and appointment reminders…. These manual tasks simply go away, allowing your advisors to focus on building relationships and generating more revenue.

  1. Mobility

How often are your service advisors actually available to take incoming phone calls? We already established that 75% of calls are for service, but here’s a few more facts that will get your wheels spinning. First, it’s important to recognize that 77% of dealership calls are from new customers…. That’s new business. That’s new revenue. This sounds great in theory; but, here’s the kicker, nearly 20% of calls into the dealership are missed or unanswered. That’s revenue down the drain just because the phone wasn’t picked up.

To help prevent missed calls in service, you can “twin” your advisors’ desk phones to their cell phones. “Twinning” is basically mirroring what happens on their desk phone so that it also happens on their cell phone at the same exact time. This is especially useful when advisors are talking with a technician, checking on parts, or even on their lunch break. With new revenue on the line, you can’t afford to miss these calls.

  1. Dialed-In Information

This is probably the most important aspect of the phone call, but it’s often overlooked or taken for granted. Caller ID changed the way everyone navigated the telephone, but you’d be surprised how many dealerships are still operating without it.

A lot of dealerships are still answering calls with basic, impersonalized questions. Not only do you first have to identify the customer (how many Jon Smith’s do you have to sort through to find the right one?), but then there’s additional wasted time trying to identify and sometimes understand what the customer is calling about.

A customer profile screen that pulls directly from your DMS and immediately displays before the phone is even picked up solves all these problems. You should be able to see customer history, vehicles owned, customer lifetime value, upcoming service appointments, and even web and marketing activity that tells you exactly why a customer might be calling based on their recent interaction with your website or emails.

You’d be surprised how far this dialed-in information can take you. It might seem small, but it really changes the big picture for the better.

Next Steps

Phone calls in service are critical. Following these three simple steps using a fully connected phone system will dramatically improve your phone game. If nothing else, consider implementing a service BDC to help with service phone traffic. Having a dedicated team for appointment reminders and follow-up will still allow your advisors to do what they do best: upsell.

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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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