Best PracticesDealership Communication Tools

What Happens When Customers Stop Answering the Phone? One Major Way the iPhone Hurts Your Sales

Have you updated your iPhone yet? Better hope your customers haven’t. BDCs and sales teams alike tend to bellyache about how difficult it is to get shoppers to pick up the phone when they follow-up. Well prepare for a gut punch, because that is going to turn from an ache to a major pain. One small setting will cause big connectivity problems for your sales team.

Do you ever look at your iPhone, see a missed call and say, “huh, I never even felt it vibrate”? (I say “never felt it vibrate” because most people haven’t turned on their ringers since 2011.) Well you didn’t feel it because it never vibrated. It never rang. And it isn’t going to. The newest update on the iPhone is the cause. From now on, your phone defaults to sending any single call you receive that is not already in your contact list directly to your voicemail. You’ll never hear it ring or feel it vibrate. You’ll just see the missed call.

iPhone update

How does that affect your sales team and BDC? Simple. Connectivity will be the issue. Your team will do their best to execute their tasks to the best of their ability, picking up the phone and calling prospects as the CRM dictates, and it will just ring until voicemail. The customer won’t even have the option to pick up the call if they wanted.

DealerKnows analyzed over a hundred thousand leads and released a wealth of data at the last two DrivingSales Executive Summits. One relevant piece of data we uncovered is that something as simple as having a phone conversation with an Internet lead prospect increases their likelihood to buy 7x more than if no phone conversation was had. Connectivity with customers plays a major factor, and iPhone technology is taking this away.

This one little iPhone update is about to wreak havoc on how many people your team talks to in a given day. You need to start changing your expectations from calls. Get amazing at lead management through email, text and video, and hope for a miracle that your shopper doesn’t have an iPhone. You can role-play phone conversations until your hoarse, but the one task you should begin role-playing immediately… is how to leave a great voicemail that generates a call back. (And let’s face it – voicemails aren’t even listened to as often. Nowadays voicemails are read via the transcript. Are you prepared for this technological disruption? Better hope so.

Don’t know how to leave voicemails that generate returned calls? Just call me. I won’t answer, but I’ll get back to you if you leave a voicemail.

KJones

Noob
Dec 3, 2019
1
1
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First Name
Kayla
Google does something similar with the Pixel by allowing Google Assistant call screening vs the automatic voicemail feature of iPhone. I'm sure more and more phone providers will be rolling out these types of features soon.

Your voicemail note is the key:
You can role-play phone conversations until your hoarse, but the one task you should begin role-playing immediately… is how to leave a great voicemail that generates a call back. (And let’s face it – voicemails aren’t even listened to as often. Nowadays voicemails are read via the transcript. Are you prepared for this technological disruption? Better hope so.
Rarely when I receive a call from a number that I don't have in my contacts do I get a voicemail, which in my mind automatically means SPAM (whether it is or not). Let's just hope robocallers don't figure out ways to leave realistic voicemails! But for now there's still opportunity to get a return call if you leave an appropriate and compelling voicemail.
 
Reactions: Jeff Kershner

joe.webb

UrRefresher
Aug 5, 2010
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62
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Joesph
Good point. I almost never will call a number back that isn't saved in my phone if no voicemail comes with it. I doubt anyone does. I always advocate to leave a voicemail message every time you call a customer. If you craft your voicemail message correctly, it is completely acceptable to leave one on every call, and not be redundant or smothering.
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,823
1,458
113
First Name
Alex
Get amazing at lead management through email, text and video...
And leaving the world's most compelling voicemail that transcribes well when your lead actually has a phone number.

"Good news [CUSTOMER FIRST NAME], the car you want is here and I have the numbers ready to go over with you. I'll follow this voicemail up with an email that also has my direct phone number. You're welcome to text me on that line if that's easier. Oh! I'm Alex Snyder from DealerRefresh motors - looking forward to meeting you!"

Or something to that effect.

Glad you're pointing this out @joe.webb :thumbup:

I am such a fan of having this feature on my iPhone to block the robobastards but had to turn it off so clients don't get auto-screened :egads:

P.S. you did say this too.
 
Reactions: joe.webb

joe.webb

UrRefresher
Aug 5, 2010
56
62
18
First Name
Joesph
Well said, Alex. Looking forward to go over some of these different voicemail messages on our Refresh Friday - but speaking clearly can't be emphasized enough.
 
Dec 5, 2019
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Riz
Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the community, Joe!

One of the ways we're combating this is by consolidating customer communication into single platforms that also allow us to reach customers by SMS. We've found the response rate to be significantly higher this way.
 

Brittany

Getting Refreshed
Jun 25, 2019
59
47
18
First Name
Brittany
Just a heads up from someone who uses this feature, sometimes the calls get through.

I get SPAMMED with robocalls throughout the day, so it was a no brainer for me to use this. However, I still get about 3 calls a day that somehow make it past the block. I don't know how that works, but just something to think about lol.
 

joe.webb

UrRefresher
Aug 5, 2010
56
62
18
First Name
Joesph
Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the community, Joe!

One of the ways we're combating this is by consolidating customer communication into single platforms that also allow us to reach customers by SMS. We've found the response rate to be significantly higher this way.
Involving SMS text is almost a requirement at this point. (Now we just need to hope the customer hasn't chosen to filter text messages to "unknown". :)
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,823
1,458
113
First Name
Alex
Well said, Alex. Looking forward to go over some of these different voicemail messages on our Refresh Friday - but speaking clearly can't be emphasized enough.
Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 8.54.25 AM.png

Tomorrow. Be sure to like DealerRefresh on Facebook and set it to give you notifications. You'll know when the broadcast starts that way.
 

ryan.leslie

Sr. Refresher
Apr 20, 2009
583
504
93
First Name
Ryan
Great stuff @joe.webb. Do you think this will lead dealers back to "ringless voicemail?" I wasn't necessarily a fan of that a few years ago, and still lean against it, but I can almost hear the pitch for it... "Mr./Mrs. Dealer, the phone isn't going to ring if you call anyway, why not skip the dialing? Consider it a process efficiency with no drawbacks."
 
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