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Customer Service

Customer Expectations and the Crazy professor

One of my college professors was famous for a crazy stunt that he pulled every semester. On the first day of class, he would introduce himself, take off his shirt and jump out the window. A few minutes later he returned to the classroom, calmly put on his shirt and asked, “Do I have your attention?”

He certainly did.

It turns out this guy wasn’t crazy at all. Do you know how hard it is to capture the attention of a bunch of jaded students? I would guess it’s almost as difficult as capturing the attention of a bunch of jaded car shoppers.

Many car dealers have mastered the art of getting attention. Think of the inflatable gorillas, wavy tube men and thousands of balloons that adorn lots everywhere. Think of the dealers that don 10-gallon hats and scream at the camera that this is the best deal of all time.

It’s one thing to be able to get attention. But the real question is, once you have that attention, can you deliver an experience that meets customer expectations?

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Bill_Wittenmyer_Connect_With_Leads

Ask a dealer what they need to sell more cars and a typical answer will be “more leads.” On the surface, this makes sense. But to get more leads, you need to spend more money. Even then, you’re never really in control of how many leads get generated.

Now that new car sales and lead volume are plateauing, a better solution for selling more cars is to increase your customer connection rates. This may require a shift in mindset and habits of your sales staff.

After all, your salespeople were probably trained in the art of persuasion. They know how to overcome objections and close the deal. But do they know how to get a potential customer to respond to an email or call them on the phone? Read More

When it comes to increasing service revenue, there is no shortage of areas to consider – improving process efficiency, expanding facilities, hiring more technicians, just to name a few. With an ever-expanding list of action-items, many dealerships are overlooking one of the easiest ways to increase service revenue and the best part – it doesn’t involve spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in remodeling or new-hires.

The low-hanging fruit in most service department lies in declined service. No, seriously. If you don’t have a rock-solid process for recapturing declined services, your dealership is likely leaving a large amount in missed opportunities (and future sales) on the table. The good news is this is a relatively easy fix and a surefire way to add to your dealership’s bottom line. Read More

Mishandled Calls at Dealership

When you call a business to seek assistance or information, what irritates you the most: the seemingly impossible chore of navigating phone trees to get to a live person; the options that are irrelevant to you; or the fact that, when you do get somebody, they’re the wrong person and have to transfer you?

Probably all of them! Well, the same is true for your customers. What do they experience when calling into your dealership? Do you even know?

Phone Processes, People, and Technology

Sadly, many dealers place far too much faith in their phone processes, people and technology. Just because your dealership has call monitoring doesn’t mean your customers are well cared for. In fact, those calls may not even be listened to — except, perhaps, at the end of the month when a manager is scrambling for those few extra units to close the month.

Like any technology, just because you pay for it doesn’t mean it’s getting used. The fact is, if you’re not using it, you’d be better off with no automated phone system and a simple receptionist. Why? Because then your customers could at least talk to a live person.

What do you think customers do when they get irritated because they can’t talk to someone at your dealership? They hang up and call your competitor!

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Brand Loyalty and Dealership Customer Service

The automotive industry is extremely competitive – not just locally, but also at the manufacturer level. Manufacturers spend truckloads of money on conquest marketing and brand loyalty – which you would think should be great for dealers – and, to some degree, it is.

But think for a just a second here, does your OEM really care whether your customer stays loyal to your dealership? If you answered “No,” you are 100% correct. While manufacturers like dealers to treat their customers well, and build a loyal base, it really doesn’t matter to them whether your customers buy and service their vehicles with you, or any other franchise store, as long as that customer stays loyal to the brand.

That’s reality, folks. Those CSI surveys are only important to the manufacturer because they want to ensure customer stays loyal to THEIR brand, not yours. And there’s a critical difference between the two. Read More

With competition at an all-time high and sales margins shrinking more and more each month, no dealership can afford to ignore inbound call handling. In this eye-opening one-hour webinar recording, Bill Wittenmyer of ELEAD1ONE shares strategies, tips and tricks to improve inbound call handling performance and convert more valuable phone leads into appointments.

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