Nothing fuels my desire to write like the need to set the record straight. I was recently forwarded Alan Ram’s interview on CBT news. In that interview, Alan shared his thoughts on dealers’ spending money with third party services that reviewed calls and coached calls. Well I am here to tell you my BS meter is going radioactive!
In the interview Alan stated: “managers should be listening to their dealerships calls.” Alan, when’s the last time you did this? Do you realize how many calls the typical dealership receives in any given day? It’s a lot, and what manager has the bandwidth to peruse calls all day long! This is a job that can be outsourced for a lot less than what it cost to employ a manager. Why would I want a guy making six figures listening to calls that can be reviewed by a person making minimum wage?
There is plenty of evidence indicating dealerships spending $1K listening to recorded calls can quantify that spend with an additional $10K in profit. Services like CallRevu actually listen to calls within 20 minutes of origination, and are able to alert key dealership personnel when a calls potential was not met. With the average dealership not even answering 34% of their calls, one can see there’s plenty of potential to capitalize on missed opportunities. When people know they are being monitored, they tend to perform at a higher level. This great article written by Mike Haeg from Century Interactive will help you better understand the “Hawthorne Effect.”
Coaching calls is a great way to offer training in areas where improvement is needed. I realized long ago that seminars and video training were ineffective unless followed up with personalized coaching. Salespeople watching training videos and attending seminars will only retain a small fraction of the information presented. Dealers paying a monthly fee to access training videos are wasting their money. The employee watches the video once and then goes right back to their old habits.
Let’s look outside the box and examine the golf industry. Let’s say you’re a 30 handicapper and you have decided it’s time to become a scratch golfer. You purchase several golf instructional videos in hopes of improving your game. The day comes and you decide to take your new knowledge to the golf course in hopes of shooting a career round. Unfortunately things don’t work out and your crappy swing is producing the same three digit scores. A more effective approach would have been to hire a PGA teaching instructor to follow you around the course. Your Instructor would offer a critique after every swing. This type of training is much more effective since it offers the precise training required for that individual based on their actual results. This is exactly the type of service Phone Ninjas offers dealership personnel when coaching individual calls.
So before criticizing dealers for using “magic bullets,” one should do a little more research and better understand how technology can in fact help dealerships gain an advantage over their competitors. I have a very close relationship with CallRevu and I can tell you that our best mutual clients are achieving 80% appointment ratios with first time phone shoppers.
On a brighter note, I do agree with your opinions on BDC’s.
How does the rest of the Dealer Refresh community feel about this? Do you monitor your calls, don’t care, or use a third party service?