Message or NO Message – Which one is it?

Do you leave a message each time you call…OR do you not?!
Which is the right approach?

why you no call me back

Some recommend leaving a voice message each and every time you call a potential customer. While others recommend you do not.

This is the conversation we’re having right now over on the DealerRefresh forums. This are the type of conversations we have each day – so if you’re still lurking and have yet to join, what are you waiting for?

I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong . I would even bet it fluctuates across regions AND the demographics of the customer.

Myself – I don’t return phone calls from a number I don’t know, especially if it isn’t followed by a voice message. But that’s me and I’m not sure how I compare to the average.

Throughout this conversation, several other topics and opinions come about. Like…

  • Should you call from different number and/or your cell phone? Switch it up and see if you can’t sway the customer to answer.
  • When leaving a voice message, what do you say?
  • What contact information should you leave in your voice message?

No matter what you believe to be the right answer, the CHALLENGE is getting the customer on the phone. Even more so, convincing a customer to actually return your voice message. So, what do you do to convince that customer to call you back? Because the perceived conclusion is – the consumer never returns your call.

Too often we base our opinions or build our practices on short, incomplete data. Let’s use this one as an example.

On average, 40% of phone calls into your dealership hit a brick wall!! – 40% that’s not a number one can ignore. 

As we converse and share our opinions and practices on how to get the customer to call you back, what if they ARE calling you back, but you’re not aware of it.

On average, 40% of phone calls into your dealership hit a brick wall!! – 40% that’s not a number one can ignore. 

Here’s some supporting data from Mike at Century Interactive.:

* Connecting calls 60% of the time is better than the current national average. That means 40% of inbound calls don’t reach someone who can help the caller. 

40% of phone calls hit a brick wall

40% of phone calls hit a brick wall!

Why aren’t calls being connected?

Calls never connected - 38% Hung Up!

Calls never connected – 38% Hung Up!

38% Hung up while on hold.

How many of the 38% that hung up was a potential customer returning your voice message? This is what I mean by basing our opinions and building processes on short, incomplete data.

This conversation is priceless for several reasons more than original topic (Megan, thanks for posting it). As you read through the thread, it’s so much more than when to or when NOT to leave a voice mail.

Just one of the takeaways from this thread but I believe to be the most vital – are you giving potential customers your DIRECT contact information, making it as easy as possible for them to communicate with you?

What Business Are YOU In?

A friend of mine from school just took over ownership of a local vehicle service shop. I congratulated him. What an amazing opportunity.

Are you in the business of customer service?

I asked him – what business are you in?
He replied, with a funny look – we fix cars and trucks.
Why would I take my car to you to get fixed?
Because we work on all types of vehicles and we usually fix it right the first time.
So what – most everyone does that. What BUSINESS are you in?
We fix cars and trucks.
No! You’re in the business of Customer Service. You just so happen to fix cars.

He pondered. Over the next 20 minutes of conversation around now running his own business, he had that AH-HA moment.

“I’m in the business of making people feel better about getting their vehicle fixed.”

You got it!

4 Steps to Being an Essentialist – Learn to Say No

A few days ago a friend of mine shared an article with me all about being busy. At first I thought, “I’m too busy to read this article, is there a 30 second video?” But, I was fresh off a lengthy conversation with him about being pulled in too many directions and the inability to simply say, “no”, so I read the article.


And, every word rang true.

Like you, I’m balancing too many balls in the air and hoping that I drop not one. While I will admit I haven’t actually implemented anything in that article I read regarding being pulled in too many directions, being too busy and simply saying no – I am a lot more aware of it and I would like to think that leads to change.

Turns out I’m not alone. According to Harvard Business Review this is called the More Bubble. The More Bubble is just what it sounds like – how much more can you pack into your life until it burts? For many of us, stuffing ourselves full is about bragging and not so much about busy.

We are more aware than at any time in history of what everyone else is doing and, therefore, what we “should” be doing. In the process, we have been sold a bill of goods: that success means being supermen and superwomen who can get it all done. Of course, we back-door-brag about being busy: it’s code for being successful and important.

Whatever will save our poor souls? Essentialists, that’s who. It’s hard to spot them in the wild – but, they can be seen enjoying another person’s company sans smartphone. Instead of scheduling a meeting, they schedule “blocked off” and get essential work done.

How do you become an essentialist you ask? Here are 4 steps (according to Harvard):

A Why Buy Is a Must Have!

“Today, the fight to convince automotive shoppers to buy from you is won and lost on the digital battlefield.”

This is a statement frequently made by Mike Hills, General Manager at Acton Toyota of Littleton, one of the most successful and progressive Toyota dealerships in the country.

fight to convince

We hope and trust all of you out there reading are in full agreement with Mike’s belief. If not, please realize the only time Mike made a mistake was when he incorrectly thought he had made a mistake, but in reality, hadn’t. We’d also refer you to a recent study from DMEautomotive to convince you Mike’s right on the money.

The DMEautomotive study reveals that overall car buyers only visit 2.2 dealerships to make a purchase. This study confirms similar research from McKinsey which found car buyers visit just 1.6% dealerships before buying- plummeting from 5 just a decade ago. That’s right. In just 10 years the average number of dealership visits for a car purchase decreased by well over 50%.