Plugging Your Biggest Profit Leak

Nov 01, 2013 | | 11746 |

Plugging Your Biggest Profit Leak

By Karen Schaan

According to an October 2012 Marchex, Inc. study, around 45% of phone calls coming into a dealership represent new customers. So, to increase phone traffic, dealers will invest good money into advertising by placing strategic television and radio spots, mailing coupons, generating web traffic through select online resources and showrooms, and even taking out ads in the local newspaper. These are important investments that, when done right, can increase the number of calls coming into a dealership.

Now, think back to your last ad campaign.

Maybe you mailed an offer to a select list of target customers and followed it up with digital marketing. Were you able to track—specifically—the success of that campaign? Did you monitor the responses through the buying cycle?

Research shows that uncovering leads costs the dealership about $150 per caller; so letting potential customers off the hook can be one of, if not the biggest, profit leak.

Sophisticated call intelligence reporting plugs the leak

Today’s technologies are smarter than ever, giving you access to almost any data you desire with the touch of a button. With that in mind, let’s say you created a campaign with a dedicated phone number to capture responses to your offer. With the right call intelligence solution in place, you can see exactly how many calls each campaign generated.

The detailed reports allow you to identify which worked well, which were average, and which need to be abandoned. The right solution will give you hard data, rather than anecdotal evidence, about which campaigns you want to repeat and why.

In one instance, a dealership using call intelligence reports discovered that one ad resource generated zero calls; the dealer was able to cancel those ads and redistribute the budget among resources that delivered leads. This strategy not only improved the effectiveness of dealership advertising, but also reduced advertising costs by 25%.

Call intelligence reporting can also help you find out where prospects dropped off in the buying process, so you can organize your Sales follow-ups and work more effectively in the future. Better still, call intelligence reporting can show you which customers received no answer, a busy signal, or went to voicemail.

Identify target customers and create effective dealership processes

As essential as call intelligence is for tracking the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and your Sales follow-ups, these reports can also help identify target customers.

Upon examining their call intelligence reports, a dealership in Utah discovered that they received very few calls from a nearby affluent neighborhood. Armed with that knowledge, they were able to create targeted offers and campaigns to generate business from that group of potential customers. Without the reports, they may never have reached out to this new audience.

Dealership staff may also feel overwhelmed by a high volume of calls at certain times of the day. Call intelligence reporting gives you access to specific call details—in order to pinpoint high call volume periods—that can guide you in creating dealership processes around those times to ensure that your customers’ calls are answered quickly and by the right person. To provide better service to your customers, you may need to adjust staffing levels or change the way your calls are routed throughout your dealership.

Call intelligence technology helps alleviate dealership concerns and plugs potential profit leaks. But, it’s more than simply “turning on” a report and having the information in hand. The right people must be involved to understand how business flows through your dealership, as well as understand what the reports and data have to say. Only then can you interpret the data to choose the most effective workflows, dealership processes and call flows.


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Karen Schaan