Call Tracking: Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?

happy man in glasses looking through car window and waving hand while driving auto

Listen. Everybody knows what call tracking is and the technology. It’s been around for a long time. The vendors that offer this technology have done a great job convincing dealers that they should have it. And they have spent their money acquiring that technology. So, no what, the dealer goes to the management staff and says, “Hey guys, now we can listen to incoming calls and follow up!” and everyone claps their hands and acts like it’s the best thing since sliced bread!

But you know what, there is only ONE TIME that many dealership managers use it. Can you guess? I’ll tell you later if you haven’t already gotten it right.

Call tracking is essential for a dealership – whether that be auto or powersports – especially in these times of lean inventory but always, nonetheless. How many times has a potential customer – whether sales, service, or parts – called in, the receptionist answers the phone and transfers them to whichever department to just send the customer to voicemail? Probably more than you think.

If you have a BDC, what happens when your young BDC agent gets someone on the phone but isn’t experienced enough to answer questions, can’t transfer the call to anyone because nobody is available and simply tells the customer that someone will call them back?

People, these (and more) situations happen CONSTANTLY in your dealership. And over 2/3rd of your opportunities will come over the phone. But you know who isn’t paying attention to any of this? NOBODY!

The customer is though. That person “might” wait a little bit but chances are that they are going to simply call the next closest dealer and, if that dealership gives them the answers that they wanted, you just lost a sale… simply because you didn’t answer the phone.

I get it. People get busy. But that’s why call tracking exists. Your store misses a call? That call should be not only recorded but also digitally tracked and integrated with your CRM! A customer would still be impressed if someone called them back within a few minutes, apologized for nobody being available and answered their questions. You can’t do that without information, and you won’t have any information unless it’s everywhere for you and if nobody is paying attention to you? You’re screwed and lost a sale!

Call tracking is great… if someone is paying attention to and listens to it. If it integrates with your CRM, even better since now there will be a “lead” in your CRM that someone could listen to and follow up with. C’mon people, nobody is listening to all of the calls that come into their call tracking. It’s all dismissed…. “Oh, this one’s for service.” Or “This one’s for parts.” If anyone does actually listen to anything, it’s sales and you know when they do?

Now I’m going to give you the big REVEAL that I promised earlier. The answer to the question of “What is the ONE TIME that many managers use call tracking?” (And when I say “use” I mean listen to calls.) It’s the last few days of the month when there is this big push to meet sales objectives (yeah, screw parts and service… there’s no revenue there, right?). Then you see sales managers listening to calls as if the calls were crack. Then it becomes all about calling Johnny into the sales office asking, “What happened to this customer?” or talking to the BDC about the lack of follow up… and oftentimes, these are calls that a WEEKS old! Do you think Boll CarBuyer will be impressed to get a return call 2 weeks later? Hell No! Chances are that they’ve already purchased a vehicle!

I get that, even those sales managers who TRY to listen to all calls, get fatigued from hearing service or parts calls and eventually just give up and stop. But in those calls may be a golden nugget that is a sale. They just never got to it.

If you continue to miss sales opportunities by not answering the phone, not listening to call tracking, and not having a service that integrates into your CRM… EVERY department in your dealership is going to suffer and lose revenue that it could have had by simply answering the phone or calling the customer back within minutes.

If you don’t want to be that diligent or take the time to help your customers (potential or current,) you might as well offset your lost revenue by not having a phone system because you won’t be the one that customers are looking for.

I’m Larry Bruce and this is my 2 cents.