Forget Secret Shoppers — How Dealerships Should Monitor Phone Lead Handling

min read
Forget Secret Shoppers — How Dealerships Should Monitor Phone Lead Handling

Anyone who has worked at a car dealership or automotive service center knows and dreads the secret shopper. It could be anyone and they will inevitably ruin your day when the regional manager comes by to tell you how much you screwed up the call. Or they asked questions that were a clear tell of a secret shopper call and you followed the script to a tee and know that you’re safe for the rest of the week.

The problem with using secret shoppers to monitor call handling quality is that it's an inefficient, biased, and often ineffective way to truly score how well the sales team is doing. It also provides no objective data to compare different team members and doesn't create a high-level overview for the corporate team to judge performance. It's time for dealerships to automate their quality assurance and phone lead handling using AI. Let's break down exactly how automotive businesses can do that.

Secret Shoppers Don’t Give a Complete Picture of Call handling

First, let's talk about the challenges. Secret shoppers present a very inefficient way to do QA. You can't use them on a large number of calls since they are essentially fake customers and are wasting your sales team's time. At best, they will only score a handful of calls every quarter, so you're only getting a snapshot of how one or two salespeople did on a couple of calls. Since your dealerships handle thousands of calls every month, there's no way mystery shopper calls can provide a complete picture of performance.

Mystery shoppers also introduce a lot of bias into the equation. They could catch the salesperson on a bad day and skew the data. And they are often predictable to the point that salespeople know who they are.

Manual QA introduces bias into the equation

Manual quality assurance by management is spotty at best and managers often introduce bias. Beyond favoritism and explicit bias, there's a lot of hidden bias that's unavoidable because humans are humans — managers might not even know it's impacting the quality of their coaching. It's very difficult to judge something as nuanced as a customer conversation objectively. And because manual QA takes so much time, team leaders often don't have the time to address the root of the problem. The only way that leaders can truly objectively score calls is through automated QA.

Automating Call Monitoring and Scoring Enables More Effective QA

Invoca's automated call QA uses AI-powered speech analytics to analyze every call that comes through in its entirety. It then tags the call and assigns a score to it. You can define different call scoring criteria to qualify the agent's performance and track compliance. Automated QA offers a number of added benefits to the sales team and the business as a whole.

Get complete visibility into ALL of your customer conversations

The main challenge with using secret shoppers is that you can only track a limited amount of calls. You also don't want to take your sales team away from talking to real clients by having them waste time talking to fake customers. With automated QA, automotive businesses get the ability to track and score every single call without impacting productivity.

You get a transcript and scorecard right when the call ends, and you can leave a comment in a specific part of the call, and compare call scores across the entire department, all of your locations, or even the entire organization. Since AI is scoring the calls and every call is scored on the criteria you set, it removes bias from the equations, makes call scoring fairer, and gives you complete visibility into every call.

Enable and empower salespeople to improve their performance

Agent coaching is often a demoralizing experience where the team leader or manager focuses on the negative aspects of every call they listen to. It leaves the salespeople disempowered and lowers morale. Team members frequently dread seeing call coaching is on their schedule. Another issue with this is that there is no objective way to score an agent's performance and provide ways they could improve.

With Invoca's automated call QA, you can easily find the agent's strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. You can use it to set your own unique criteria to require your team to start the call with a specific greeting, mention a promotion, or require a specific protocol. You can then clearly see which team member follows the script and how that impacts their performance.

The entire experience becomes an empowering conversation with the salesperson. You are able to look at all of their calls, share their score with them, see how they are doing overall with script compliance and coach them on the specifics based on an object scoring rubric. One Invoca customer said that their agents used to "dread call coaching time" but after implementing Invoca automated call QA, they actually looked forward to getting their call scores. Anything that you can do to improve morale and retention is especially important in today's tight labor market.

Reduce legal and compliance risk

Sales organizations often have compliance requirements and legal scripts that sales agents need to mention in each call. It's often very difficult to know whether the sales organization as a whole is saying the right script. Our automated QA software analyzes each call and can easily tell if a certain word or phrase was mentioned. That makes it easy for management to see the full picture, the percentage of the sales floor that uses the script and it allows them to minimize any legal and compliance exposure that may come up down the road.

Diagnose and improve call handling

Another common bottleneck in servicing customers on the phone is improper call handling. Customers often get frustrated when they are rerouted to the wrong department or when they experience unusually long hold times.

The Invoca Buyer Experience Report showed that 74% of people have hung up after being placed on hold and 75% have hung up after hearing a message about long wait times. So It's critical for an automotive business to have the right call handling tools to make sure that high-intent customers get routed to the correct department right away.

That means that customers who are looking to buy a car get routed straight to a salesperson and those who want to schedule a service appointment can quickly speak with a service advisor. Automated QA also helps you keep track of unanswered calls by location and reduce them by forwarding them to available staff, other locations, or call centers.

See call data by location

Another powerful feature of automated QA is that sales leadership can analyze call performance across multiple locations. They can see the overall call score by team or by location and they can analyze the script compliance, they can see how well a new sales promotion is working in real-time to improve alignment with the marketing team.

Leadership can see all of this information in one unified sales dashboard that displays the number of calls, the number of conversions, scorecard, average sales amount, and total revenue for each sales agent and each team.

Tap into the voice of the customer

Another powerful feature you get with automated QA is a transcript of every call. That allows leaders to tap into and analyze the voice of the customer and get an in-depth view into why callers convert, what their main pain points are, and who the main competitors are that they are comparison shopping with.

Improve Coaching With Real-Time Results

Invoca's automated QA ranks every call and gives it a score as soon as it ends. So you are able to coach salespeople as soon as the call is over when it's still fresh in their minds. You're able to give feedback on good AND bad performance because you finally have all the data available. And this makes for a much more pleasant and productive coaching experience.

The best part is that you can give employees access to their own call scorecards. They can see their call scores, read the transcription of each call, and see their manager's comments in real-time. This completely transforms the coaching process from a subjective one to an objective empowering experience for the salesperson. Team leaders are able to discuss and pinpoint problems and solve them in real-time, instead of spending hours listening to calls and trying to dig up the right information to coach their team members on.

Incentivize Performance with Objective Performance Metrics

One of the most beautiful things about AI-powered call scoring is that it is objective. No more office politics and bias muddying call coaching. Automated QA creates clear success metrics for each salesperson and team leaders have the ability to gamify the experience by creating leaderboards and cross-store competition. This incentivizes performance and improves the team across the board.

Automated QA Improves Lead Close Rates

Ultimately, the reason conversation intelligence and automated QA are so powerful is that they introduce incredible efficiency to the entire sales process. It allows team leaders to score calls objectively, empower their salespeople, and fairly incentivize performance. Sales leadership is able to see call dashboards across teams and locations to quickly diagnose issues and mitigate them before they start driving customers away.

Automotive businesses are able to get full visibility on all their phone calls, something that is impossible with manual QA. And they can use all the data they gather in the process to improve the efficiency of the operation — which translates to better sales numbers.

Want to learn more about how Invoca can help you improve phone lead handling? Request your personalized walkthrough today.

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