In the automotive world of today, customers have high expectations. These high standards usually boil down to something pretty simple – they want a quality service team they can trust. So, the key elements to increasing your automotive customer revenue lie in these satisfied, returning customers. JD Powers even supports this fact, reporting that one of the key elements to customer satisfaction is helpful and timely advice from their service technician.
When thinking about how you can create this type of customer-focused automotive business, it all starts with what tools your employees will use during their first contact with your customers – the phone. But how can you utilize your hosted VoIP phone system to improve service levels and increase revenue? Here are a few suggestions:
People are likely the biggest resource of your automotive business, so you want their skills and expertise used in the right places. Likely, taking and making phone calls to set and remind customers of their appointment times isn’t the best use of time. With an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) tool on your hosted VoIP system, you can simplify your entire communication process with your customers. Here are a couple of ways it can provide excellent service without draining your live resources:
- Appointment Reminder Calls: Example: “This is a reminder that you are scheduled for an oil change on Friday, November 2nd. Please contact us if you need to reschedule.”
- Past-due Notification Calls: Example: “This is a reminder that you have a balance on your account. This payment was due on Friday, November 2nd. Please make a payment promptly to avoid additional late fees.”
Create a Call Team
After implementing IVR, you have taken a lot of pressure off the phone demands of the business, but not entirely. When dealing with cars, there are still plenty of calls coming in that simply cannot be automated. However, these calls shouldn’t be the responsibility of your technicians. A dedicated inbound call team created to focus solely on customer response is the best way to keep your service team working on service issues. However, this call team should be trained by your technicians to ensure they can respond appropriately to the issues customers may be calling about.
Your inbound call team will need instant access to customer information like call records and service history, and a CRM is the best way to manage that information. Your VoIP phone system should also integrate with this information as well. Manually starting a CRM or putting a customer on hold takes precious time that can take away from creating a great customer experience, and a CRM and phone system integration can prevent that costly downtime. With this combination, the inbound call team has customer information right away. When a customer call comes in, the client information and service history displays on their screen instantly.
In today’s service-focused culture, it’s no surprise that the reputation of a service department is one of the driving factors in when customers choose which dealership they are loyal to for not just maintenance and service, but also for their new car purchases. It makes perfect sense that focusing on improving customer service while leveraging the abilities of your phone system becomes an essential component of improving overall dealership customer service.