What's the best VoIP phone system for a car or auto dealer?
We cover some ideas about the best VoIP phone system for a car or auto dealer. Car dealers depend on their phone systems. Whether it’s sales or service, that phone is your life line. Without it, your dead in the water.
So, when car dealers we’re talking to want to make the switch to a VoIP phone system, many of them want to know what’s the best? They don’t want the Kia, they don’t want the Cadillac, they want the fully loaded top of the line luxury special edition VoIP phone system for their dealership because they understand that phone is an investment.
What's the best VoIP phone system for a car or auto dealer?
Simply put, it depends. But, when we visit auto dealers who are looking into VoIP technology, we notice some common problems and similarities in how most organizations drive their new car sales or service business.
I’ve found the following features make the most impact on the internal management of the business, as well as the impact of the customer calling into the dealership, getting to the right person the first time. We all know that customers are doing 70% percent of their research and shopping before they even pick up the phone, meaning that phone call could easily be a deal ready to close, making it vitally important.
The importance of call recording at an auto dealer.
In the auto dealership world, there are aspects or areas of the business where call recording is either a good idea, or downright necessary.
Typically, most of the toll-free companies are already recording those calls, but the issue that we’ve found is that many dealerships need help with is not only recording those inbound calls and tracking them, they also need their local phone numbers tracked. In some instances, 50% or more of their phone traffic comes in through local numbers as opposed to a toll free line since many people are turning to Google as a means of finding the right phone number.
Also, the need for outbound calls to be tracked is something many dealerships need. For example, many calls (50% or more) within a service department are outbound, and these are just as, if not more important than any inbound call.
When we look at helping a dealership, we can help them drive significant savings by giving the service director, or the general manager, or sales manager the option to listen to recorded calls, as well as listen in on inbound or outbound calls for coaching purposes.
Additionally, archive tools easily let them retrieve a call This is necessary for service departments that need to settle pricing disputes since it eliminates the he-said-she-said and ensures accountability among staff and customers.
Spot checking sales & service staff members.
With high volume sales or service teams, sales managers can’t easily spot check on traditional phone systems. With VoIP technology, we can give them the availability through software or phones hardware to coach, monitor, or join any of their staff, which are:
- Coach - Listen in without customer hearing, assisting employee on the phone verbally.
- Monitor - Listen in without anyone knowing.
- Join - Forced conference calling option.
This is useful to a business development center in two ways:
- When combined with instant message, staff can instant message their BDC manager and ask for help on a tricky phone call. The manager, in one move, can right click and join their call.
- You can easily train your staff when new people join the dealership in sales or service.
Integration with CRM tools for seamless reporting.
Generally our VoIP phone systems integrate with Higher Gear, Dealer Socket, E Lead, Vinsolutions, and CDK to name a few. Other VoIP systems may or may not integrate with these systems, with other CRM tools may or may not integrate with other VoIP phone systems.
The point is, if you’re looking for a VoIP system to integrate with your CRM, you should investigate this during the sales process. Let your potential VoIP provider know who you’re using, and what you’ll need out of the system.
This is also a great thing for general managers combatting the use of mobile devices. Many new VoiP systems include a dealer-controlled mobile app that allows them to record a call and interage the call log directly with their CRM. The dealership can still keep track of employee calls with the dealership phone number, when the rep goes home for the night, the app can get turned off, and the staff member’s phone is back to being just their phone.
Historically, dealerships did not have a means of managing voicemail for their staff. As we all know, you can’t manage what you can’t see. In our experience, this is a common problem in most dealerships with traditional telephone systems. Besides a lack of visibility, voicemails are not emailed to the users so they are slow to check and respond to leads. This is especially true on a sales guy’s day off.
Now, each manager can easily manage their team’s mailboxes to ensure they’re promptly checking messages and returning calls. Voicemail can easily be checked visually through email, software, or mobile apps, as opposed to a red blinking light on a desktop phone.
This also easily allows for the creation of a service mailbox, especially for when the service department gets busy at 9am. The department can have a rapid response escalation so that in the event a mailbox doesn’t get checked in a timely manner, an email or text message will automatically be sent to other staff members, ensuring that no customer’s needs go unanswered.
Steve Lustig of Autosport Honda had an issue we helped him out with. He said to us, there’s 25 voicemails sitting in a general voicemail box at reception that weren’t checked in a week. That could mean 25 people hate me, my business, and my reputation is tarnished.
Obviously, this is unacceptable at a dealership in or around New Jersey. With VoIP, this is a problem of the past that can easily be fixed.
Call Scoreboard or Dashboard
As your looking at your sales team, in business development or out on the sales floor, they’re not sure how many inbound & outbound calls are made. If the salesperson doesn’t log it into a CRM, or their system isn’t easily integrated, managers can’t get a grasp on what’s truly going on.
VoIP gives them very easy to read analytics and call log reporting so you can see the activity of each of your staff members. This means a level of accountability that’s unattainable via traditional phone technology.
BONUS! Cost Savings!
Generally VoIP is cheaper for numerous reasons. Here’s a few article on the topics to help illustrate why:
- How much will it cost my business to migrate to a hosted VoIP phone system?
- How much does a VoIP Phone System cost a business?
- How much does a premised based VoIP phone system cost a business?
- What are the hidden costs with a VoIP phone system?
When it comes to car dealers, the variables above tend to make the biggest impact in a dealership environment, and in turn make the biggest impact on what type of VoIP system is best for a car or auto dealership. Of course there’s more to consider, but these five (or six if you’re counting the bonus) reasons to look into VoIP at an auto dealer tend to make the biggest difference.
By Damon Finaldi
President, Tele-Data Solutions
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Direct Line: (908) 378-1217
I’m the general manager at Tele-Data Solutions. I love helping my customers and creating the best working environment for my team members to grow and to thrive. I grew up with the telecom business and have seen the evolution of phones—from the analog world to IP—and the huge positive impact it can have on a business.