Automotive Digital Marketing ProCom

Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers

Loading... Be Patient!

Mr. Car Shopper is viewing screen after screen of various websites trying to find the vehicle to fit his buying criteria. A vehicle catches his attention- well equipped, low miles and a price that seems lower than the other like vehicles so it is time for an action. Mr. Car Shopper links to the dealer website and considers four choices:

1. “Like” the dealership by hitting the Facebook button

2. Contact the dealership by email 

3. Call the dealership

4. Visit the dealership in person

Mr. Car Buyer likes the vehicle and is ready to initiate contact so he sends an email requesting more information about the vehicle. His email is received and a lead is automatically generated in the CRM system. The quick and diligent BDC and/or Internet Manager sends an email to Mr. Car Buyer and attempts to set an appointment. 

 

Across town, Ms. Car Shopper is viewing screen after screen of various websites trying to find the vehicle to fit her buying criteria. A vehicle catches her attention- well equipped, low miles and a price that seems lower than the other like vehicles so it is time for an action. Ms. Car Shopper links to the dealer website, looks at the “contact seller” link and considers four choices:

1. “Like” the dealership by hitting the Facebook button

2. Contact the dealership by email

3. Call the dealership

4. Visit the dealership in person

Ms. Car Buyer likes the vehicle and is ready to initiate contact so she calls the dealership and speaks with a dealer representative. Ms. Car Buyer is happy to hear that the vehicle is available but the dealer representative is unable to nail down an appointment with Ms. Car Buyer. If the dealer representative decides Ms. Car Buyer is a legitimate prospect, Ms. Car Buyer's information is entered into the system. If not, no lead is generated.

I’m not trying to downplay the “Like” button or any other social media connection and there is nothing better than the prospect walking through the door. The question is why are emails automatically populated as a lead in the CRM system and a phone call is left to the discretion of the dealer representative? 

I know, you cant paint with a broad brush but this is a common practice.


Views: 211

Reply to This

Replies to This ADM Discussion

What's your point? I have been marketing and selling vehicles for over 30 years and have never witnessed much of an argument that the following calls to action are valued in the order listed:

  1. Showroom Visit
  2. Appointment for a Showroom Visit
  3. Phone Call
  4. Email (an actual message sent by the customer)
  5. Chat Discussion
  6. Lead Form
  7. Any Type of Consumer Engagement (including a Like, Follow, subscribe, etc.)

Nobody has ever questioned that the ultimate goal is to get the prospective customer into the dealership, showroom or service drive, but short of an appointment, an incoming phone call is OK, and better than a lead form... And, a direct email message is better than a lead form as well (spam filters). But, if we get nothing else, I'll take a social media connection that at least gives me direct communication access (better than a lead) and complete information on who the customer is, what they like, drive, where they work, went to school, who they are related to, etc., etc.

 

Like I started out with... What's your point?

 

Agreed, any contact form a prospect is valuable. I noticed that CRM tools treat emails and phone calls differently and I think it leaves a hole in the process that, thankfully, a few of my dealers are taking notice and fixing the problem. As long as an email automaticlly populates a lead in the CRM that has to be worked and closed and a phone call lead is left to the discression of the dealer representative taking the call to manually add the prospect to the CRM, there is a big hole in the process. I am working with all of my dealers to close this hole ASAP.
When did "HOLE" become a dirty word?  Most of the bigger CRM vendors have call tracking that will populate a customer record, so in essence it does not need to be entered, just updated.

I think the point is that first inbound call from a first customer is at risk of being orphaned, even if the CRM automatcially tracks the call or not.  An Internet lead, however, populates a customer name, email, and hopefully phone number; an inbound call may have callerid, but it may not be accurate as to who is calling.  Or it may be suppressed by the caller any number of ways.

 

I've dealt with this problem for years.  Customers call the sales line for service and the service line for sales, so if you put ALL inbound calls into the CRM automatically then hooooo boyyyyyy what a mess to sort out!

Keith, you are right. Customers make this problem hard to solve when they call the wrong numbers and that problem will persist. I'm trying to convince my dealers to use toll-free numbers that they use for classified online or print advertising, which I provide, and have those calls not only register in the CRM but automatically populate a lead. I'll see 40-50 calls to a dealership any given week on my tracking system (Whoscalling.com) and I'll ask the BDC Manager how I did that week and he'll say 4 leads. NO WAY!

There will still be a few calls that were meant for service, parts or other but the all important sales leads will all be valued equally. 

All this talk always reminds me...in the near future, accuracy of incoming and outgoing information and contacts will separate those who gain and retain customers versus those who annoy customers and lose them.  I haven't seen a dealer yet who has a clean database with highly accurate information.  A linchpin manager would be taking the bull by the horns and cleaning things up right about now.  The future will not tolerate "automated" mistakes.  You'll lose prospects that way.

Ralph, I would put "Chat" above "Email" since you're having a live conversation with a customer.  E-mail correspondence can take days, the average chat session last about 10 minutes.

I know I am splitting hairs here, but that's my two cents.

But I do like your question at the bottom!

I agree 100% with Jerry on this one.

Jerry, the facts support you on placing a higher value on chat sessions than on Internet Leads... Chat sessions have a higher sales close rate (on average) than Internet Leads from forms without a chat session involved.

 

That is why i listed Chat as being higher value than a lead... However, when a customer makes direct email contact with the dealership, outside of a lead generation form, those customer initiated contacts via a direct email have a higher close rate than chat sessions... But, they are very rare!

 

In any event, I certainly have seen the value of live chat sessions, and do not question their value.

A lot depends on who is handling that Chat session.  You give me one of those and I am converting it to a phone call.  From there it becomes very easy.

Jerry - In my experience, any electronic contact of any kind that can be converted into a phone call is a winner... Unless your phone skills suck, which in your case is not an issue!

 

Keep in mind that when a customer INITIATES THE CONTACT with a dealership, or somebody that works at the dealership, the contact is more likely to result in a phone call.

Which is my point.  In a chat I have them and can easily convert to a phone call.  With an Internet lead I don't always get a phone number, thus I have to play the e-mail game.  And even when there is a phone number it does not mean contact will be made.  Thus I would rank "Chat" one evolutionary step ahead of an Internet lead submission.  Go read this.

 

We're on the same page here Ralph, just a minor opinion difference.

RSS

ADMPC is a Network for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing, Advertising and Management Pros sharing Digital Strategies and Execution Tactics.

Please Consider Automotive Marketing Professional Community Sponsors

ADM Badge

Loading…

Based On Your Interests...

Onsite/Offsite Combination ADM Consulting & Coaching
Select the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for

Automotive Marketing Tools

Get ADM Toolbar

Click here to take the ADM Member Survey

 

Google Automotive Network Targeted Placement Ads

Getting too many emails from ADM? Click mailbox below to control which types of alerts and updates you are sent......


Instagram

© 2014   Created by Ralph Paglia.

ADM Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service