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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.
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.
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
PCG Digital Marketing
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