6 Calls Your Automotive Service Department Needs to Make to Improve CSI

min read
6 Calls Your Automotive Service Department Needs to Make to Improve CSI

The automotive industry is facing an unprecedented vehicle shortage due to supply chain issues and high demand. This has driven up new vehicle prices significantly. It was big news in 2021 when the average price of a new car reached the $40,000 threshold. But today’s car shoppers are already nostalgic for that sticker price — in 2022, the average new vehicle costs a whopping $48,301!

As a consequence of these skyrocketing prices, more consumers are opting to stick with their existing vehicles and wait for the new car market to settle down. That’s certainly my approach with my ’06 Toyota Rav4! With all of these aging cars on the road, there has been a surge of maintenance issues cropping up — in my case, a rusted-out muffler. This has led to an increase in service appointments. If you’re like many service centers, you’re fully booked with appointments for the next few weeks — maybe even months!

This influx of appointments provides a great opportunity for your service center — you have the potential to gain new customers for life. All you need to do is provide a seamless experience. But if you fail to live up to expectations, you may never see your new customers again. According to our recent study, 76% of consumers say they will stop doing business with a company after just one bad experience. 

Outbound phone calls are a critical piece of the customer experience for service centers — they keep your customers in the loop and proactively answer questions. In this blog, I’ll share the six types of outbound calls your service center should make to improve your customer satisfaction index (CSI) score.

1. Appointment Confirmations

Sometimes life happens and customers forget about their service appointments. To keep appointments top-of-mind, many service centers will reach out to confirm the time slot via phone. Appointment confirmation calls provide a personal touch and give you the chance to reschedule right away if a conflict has come up for the customer. You can also pair this with an automated SMS or email so that the customer has a written record of the appointment time.

2. Regular Status Updates — Even If Everything Is Going Smoothly!

Today’s consumer is accustomed to instant updates about every purchase — they even have trackers for pizza deliveries. The least you can do is pick up the phone and give consumers regular status updates as their car is being repaired. Even if everything is running smoothly, a customer may become frustrated and have a negative overall experience if they’re not informed. Status updates help to reassure customers that their vehicle is a top priority and to prepare them for any unforeseen maintenance concerns. It also helps them plan ahead to pick up their car.

3. Follow-Ups for Declined Service Requests

A consumer may reject a service representative's initial service request for a number of reasons, including cost, personal preference, or the need to compare prices with competitors. However, a “no” now doesn’t necessarily mean a “no” forever. Your staff should still follow up with these callers later to see if they still need assistance — it’s possible that the competitors didn’t have any time slots available or that they quoted a higher price for the repair. 

4. Missed Call Follow-Ups

Phone calls go unanswered at even the best-run service centers. In fact, according to our data, the average automotive business misses 23% of inbound phone calls. When you miss a call, it’s critical that your team follows up in a timely manner, otherwise your leads will likely call a competitor. But simply handing your team a big list of every missed call isn’t a good way to organize follow-ups. This approach can be daunting and it lacks focus — your team doesn’t know which of the missed calls were hot leads and need to be prioritized. 

To solve this issue, leading automotive brands use Invoca’s Lost Sales Recovery feature. This tool gives teams complete transparency into how many calls their dealership locations are missing — and which callers are most important to follow up with first. 

Sample high-intent missed calls dashboard

Invoca’s Lost Sales Recovery feature also prioritizes your missed sales calls using intent data. For example, it can flag high-intent callers who called from an ad for a special on tires. It can also sort callers based on the IVR keypresses they entered (for instance, press “1” to speak to sales or “2” for service.) This helps you determine who you need to follow up with first, and if the follow-up should be done by a sales or service representative.

In addition, you can set up Slack notifications with Invoca’s missed call alerts. Your team will receive these alerts in real-time, so they can follow up with missed calls as they occur.

Want to learn more about how missed calls impact your bottom line? See How Much Missed Sales Calls Cost Car Dealerships and Repair Centers here.

5. No-Shows

Even when you send appointment reminders, it’s inevitable that you’ll have some no-shows. Conflicts and unforseen events can pop up. When a customer doesn’t come in for their appointment, they’ll welcome a follow-up call to get a new appointment on their calendar. Just make sure you speak with empathy and understanding, rather than chastizing them for missing their time slot. 

6. Check-ins for Overdue Service Appointments

Every car needs routine maintenance, and this goes double for the aging clunkers people are driving around to avoid sky-high new car prices. Routine maintenance doesn’t just keep vehicles running smoothly — your customers also need regular maintenance to keep their warranties valid. In your CRM, you have records of each customer’s last maintenance appointment. You can use this information to call them with a polite reminder of any overdue or forthcoming maintenance their car needs. This allows you to take initiative and get them into the service center, rather than waiting around for them to call. It also shows that you’re attentive to their vehicle’s needs.

Analyze Outbound Phone Calls With Invoca’s AI

Your service department is making hundreds or even thousands of outbound calls to customers every day (that is, if you’re following our advice above). But do you have visibility into all of those phone calls? Do you know if your reps are following the right scripts and talking points? Do you know who is providing the best service on the phone and who needs extra coaching? 

For many service departments, outbound phone calls are a data black hole. Sure, you can listen to a sample of them to get an idea what’s happening, but that’s a time-consuming process and it barely scratches the surface — in many cases, you're just operating on a hunch. To solve this issue and get visibility into 100% of your outbound phone calls, you can analyze all of your calls with Invoca conversation intelligence — no matter where they originated or what platform they were recorded in. Your outbound calls can be sent to Invoca automatically via API or bulk uploads.

With Invoca, you can automatically score every call at scale, according to your criteria. For example, you can use Invoca to detect if representatives use a proper greeting, confirm the appointment, and mention any relevant pricing or promotions. Invoca gives you complete insight into which agents are knocking it out of the park and which need additional practice. 

Invoca improves the coaching process by making it easy to identify coaching opportunities within your call recordings and transcriptions. This saves you countless hours of listening to calls and allows you to focus on what’s most important — actually giving your service reps feedback. Invoca also offers in-platform coaching, so you can @mention them directly in the transcripts and give them real-time feedback on their performance.

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about how Invoca can help your service center create better experiences that drive appointments? Check out these resources:

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