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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Brian Pasch

Brian Pasch CEO

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Mystery Shopper Horror Stories

In the past few months I've had the pleasure to work with passionate dealers who have asked me to do a comprehensive assessment of their Internet operations.

I called on my good friend Jerry Thibeau to help me with the mystery shopping part of the assessment.

In addition to the innovative Phone Ninjas process that Jerry created,  my team also made calls and lead submissions on our own. It was an eye opener to see that a number of submissions failed basic customer service standards.



Operating With Broken Processes

Some of the leads we submitted were never responded to via an auto-responder or a personalized email.  Some leads never received a phone call.  

Readers in the trenches of BDC/Internet departments may not be surprised by these findings but the dealers we worked with and their staff were very surprised that their processes were broken.

When you consider the tens of thousands of dollars invested each month to drive calls, leads, and ups to the dealership, it is amazing how few dealers have a consistent monthly process in place to mystery shop their dealership.   This could be the biggest ommission in a dealership budget and most likely one of the biggest profit leaks.

Standards & Measurement Lead To Improvement

Without inspection, coaching, and benchmarks for first class performance, dealership BDC processes will never improve.  One thing a like with Phone Ninjas system is that Jerry created a Phone Skills Index (PSI) score for each Internet/BDC agent.  

As the agent develops through coaching, and their PSI scores increase, a direct correlation to an increase in appointments can be seen.

Our Internet operations inspections also revealed that a CRM provider had an email server than was blacklisted, which was preventing some emails from being delivered.  How much did that cost this dealer?  Do you have a few gmail accounts that you use to test your own CRM system each month?

It is also important to recognize human behavior in regards to inspection and measurement.  Leaving this task to an internal employee most likely will not get the ideal result.  In some cases, dealer princiapls will not get the honest assessment that they truly need.  

In other cases, the inspection will get postponed as more pressing tasks get pushed on the "inspectors" plate. Can dealers afford not to listen to how their calls are being handled?  Are sales professionals following the proven sales process "script" or making things up on the fly?  Are your emails really getting delivered?

If you don't have an independent process and measurement system in place, you may be fueling your greatest source for lost opportunities.  Plug the hole today.


Brian Pasch CEO of PCG

Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing

Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences 

Brady Irvine
I only clicked "like" because there's no "love" button, great job Brian. It's important to look at every aspect of the customer experience through their eyes.
Jim Bell
Great post Brian. Would love to see some stats from you on what you found as far as response times when responded to. One thing that I love doing is mystery shopping to keep our team on the top of their game and share any insights that our competitors are and aren't doing to keep us ahead of the curve ball.
Jerry Thibeau
Jim, I can tell you that your PSI score has a direct correlation to your appointment ratio. When we start with a lot of our clients they are averaging PSI scores under 2.0. A 2 PSI (Phone Skills Index)score equates to about a 20% or less appointment ratio. Dealers achieving a PSI score of 4.0 or better are averaging appointments North of 70%. When it comes to response times, the average dealer is a couple hours. Dealers achieving a 15 minute or less response time have very high contact rates. They often catch the customer still shopping. If you want to get a snapshot of your PSI score, start here:
Glenn Pasch
Great post. We have talked about this in meetings. I do want to shout out someone who is doing it right. Eric Mendoza of Berlin City Auto Group. I submitted a lead and within an hour got a response back. Then the next day I got a VIDEO response with a short bio about him asking how he could help. Each of the next few days I have received emails all asking politely how he could make it easier for us to communicate. I will be reaching out to speak to him and let him know how impressed I was as his continued follow up.
Bryan Armstrong
Sadly, I think most Dealers do not WANT their Store shopped for fear of what they'll find. Since most Dealers pay an ISM only on the deals they deliver each Month, is it any wonder that "cherry-picking" occurs? Perhaps including a PSI score as a pay-grade incentive would help alleviate some of those issues. After all, most Dealerships tie CSI to compensation. Should we only focus on the minute percentage of SOLD Customers to evaluate a Team? Perhaps the answer lies in the un-sold Majority.

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