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Wow a Real Voice. It Freaked Me Out.

I was calling the other day to set up some travel and when I dialed I got a real voice versus an IVR. The funny thing was, I checked to make sure I dialed the right number.

 

Now how funny is that. We are so accustomed to getting a recording (you have reached...) or a support line, (please enter your account #) that when we actually get someone it makes us feel like we did something wrong.

 

The reason I bring this up is if we who are in the business of sales or delivering a service are accustomed to this, so are our customers. My question is, is your business focused on the customers or your convenience?

 

Do you let all calls go into a loop, or support line or IVR so people are already frustrated by the time they speak to someone? If they ever really do? Or if I called you during business hours would I get someone to help me right away?

 

I have heard all the arguments for IVR and call routing and the economies of scale, but if your business is trying to differentiate itself today, going back to a human connection will do that.

 

Sounds funny saying that but as Gary Vaynerchuk said at a recent conference,(paraphrase) "Your grandparents are better suited to do business today than you are. They understood relationships and common courtesies and focused on people first, not selling products." 

 

Sometimes going back to what worked before all the technological wizardry we have today is the right way to do business.

 

I know I want my customers to reach people when they have a question. What about yours?

 

Let me know your thoughts.


Glenn Pasch

COO PCG Digital Marketing

Join Me on   Google +

Views: 359

Tags: Automotive, Customer, Digital, Glenn, Internet, Marketing, Moment, Online, PCG, Pasch, More…Reputation, Service, Training, Truth, Zero, of

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Comment by Aaron Hassen on April 18, 2012 at 2:05pm

Glenn,

I appreciate the sentiment of this article.  This is not only true of the telephone, it is also true of live chat. Often times consumers are let down by clicking on a button promising interaction with the dealership only to find that they are chatting with someone who does not actually work at the dealership and cannot respond intelligently with specific information about the vehicle they're looking at.

The dealer chat company I work for offers all possible answer options: dealer answer, dealer answer with help and fully-managed. While I can understand situations when dealers cannot answer themselves (holidays, after hours, peak showroom hours), it strikes me that if we're considering the consumer experience, than ideally every moment of truth and every touch point should be direct.

Comment by Brian Pasch on March 28, 2012 at 7:06am

"Please leave a message and we will assign you a support ticket number and get back to you shortly...."  

CNBC recently did a TV show on how the American public is pushing back from IVR and automated support lines called "Customer (Dis)Service.  It was an amazing look at how corporate America has given up on direct customer support.

Dealers are well advised to test or ask about how support is handled before they signup for a new service.  Will you be getting a live account manager or a phone bank?  Will you have a consistent account manager or a rotating bank of people that you have to introduce yourself every time you call?

One of the best customer support testimonials I have heard in our industry was for DealerFire.  Founder Eric Hoopman designed his business to make sure their customers get a qualified person handling the call on the first call, whenever possible.  Their customers rave about their personalized service.

I would say that their customers are very satisfied....so the challenge is to evaluate your phone processes. 

Comment by Adam Thrasher on March 28, 2012 at 6:56am

I think the better question is will someone even pick up the phone?  And if they do are they properly trained on how to answer the phone.

Comment by Aj Maida on March 28, 2012 at 6:53am
Please press 1 for english.....ugggghhhh
Comment by Glenn Pasch on March 27, 2012 at 8:39pm

Mike I agree.

for me waiting on hold is acceptable for a short time if someone put me on hold vs a IVR chasing around guessing what extension. This goes for products with support lines. If I buy a  service I should be able to speak to someone, not a support team who does not know my account, but a dedicated account person who can help me

thanks for the comments

Comment by Glenn Pasch on March 27, 2012 at 8:37pm

Tom

PSE&G in NJ and it was a first for me as well. actually I did not answer the phone, sunday morning, but when i saw the # i ran to it, totally surprised and then i called them .at least they reached out. maybe the tide is turning

Comment by Glenn Pasch on March 27, 2012 at 8:36pm

Darrin agreed

please pick up the phone. even if we are transferred it is better than a recording

Comment by Darrin Smith on March 27, 2012 at 8:27pm

@ Glenn.. thanks for the hit "0" comment. My most recent adventure was with Verizon over my options for a new subscription. I first called (this is a phone company mind you) then got so frustrated I ended up utilizing a live chat.

Live Chat made it easier; very sad to say.

From a dealership perspective; they need to have a live body answer the phones... period

Comment by Tom Gorham on March 27, 2012 at 8:10pm

@Glenn - LOL, I must say you have a different utility company than I'm used to. 

Comment by Mike Esposito on March 27, 2012 at 7:38pm

At Auto/Mate we made the commitment a long time ago: every customer and potential customer gets a live person answering the phone, every time. A DMS is the lifeblood of every dealership and if something's not working, you should not have to wait on hold! We have made the same commitment to providing technical help, fast. And guess what, providing personal service has paid off far more than an automated answering system ever would.

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