How to Improve Dealership Call Connection Rates

min read
How to Improve Dealership Call Connection Rates

Phone calls are often the preferred method of contacting a car dealership. According to our research, 67% of automotive consumers called a dealership in 2022 — this was up from 61% in 2021. 

However, despite the important role phone calls play in the buying journey, many dealership networks are failing to properly connect them, resulting in high unanswered call rates. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “I know MY dealership answers all of its sales calls.” You may want to reconsider, because the statistics say otherwise — our research found that the average automotive business misses 23% of inbound phone calls

These missed calls result in unconverted revenue opportunities and they waste the campaign dollars your marketing team spent driving phone leads. Bottom line: missing phone calls is costly for your dealerships. 

Keep reading to learn our top tips to improve call connection rates at your dealerships, reducing missed calls and unconverted revenue as a result.

Missed Calls Cost Dealers Revenue and Waste Marketing Budget

As I alluded to above, missed calls can be costly for your dealership. “But, like, how costly?” you may wonder. Don’t worry, the two examples below can put a dollar figure on it for you. The first shows how much marketing budget your missed calls are wasting and the second shows how much revenue your missed calls are worth.

The marketing cost of unanswered calls

Do you know how much your missed calls could be costing your dealership network’s marketing team? According to the latest industry statistics and Invoca platform data, that figure could be upwards of $53,000 per month! And that’s just the wasted spend on paid search. Check out the breakdown below:

The revenue cost of unanswered calls

Just how much are your missed calls impacting your dealership network’s bottom-line revenue? Industry statistics and Invoca platform data show that your missed calls could be costing millions in revenue each month!

Want to learn more about how missed calls are impacting your dealership’s revenue? Check out our blog, See How Much Missed Sales Calls Cost Car Dealerships and Repair Centers.

Tip 1: Automatically Route Callers to the Right Salesperson or Location

Call routing is critical to improving your call connection rates — if you can’t get your caller to the right location or department in a timely manner, they’re likely to abandon their call. In our 2022 Buyer Experience Benchmark Report, 54% of consumers said that excessive transfers create a poor call experience — this was one of the top gripes the participants listed. 

So, how can you ensure that you send each caller gets sent to the right person on the first try? Solutions like Invoca offer a variety of call routing tools that you can customize to meet your business’s unique needs. Below are several different routing features dealerships frequently use.

Digital intent-based call routing

The consumer’s first interaction with your dealership isn’t usually a phone call — most of the time, they’ll visit your website or click one of your search ads first. The caller’s digital journey before the call can help you determine what their intent is. But many companies don’t take this into account — they treat the web visit and phone call as siloed experiences.

With Invoca, you can connect the digital-to-call experience by using the caller’s digital journey information to inform call routing. For example, if the consumer called you from your “service center” webpage and their geographic location was Chicago, you could automatically route them to the service center at your Chicago dealership. This ensures the caller is quickly connected with the right person who can meet their needs, without getting transferred or repeating themselves.

Ring group call routing

If call volumes are high or your dealerships are understaffed, you can reduce unanswered calls with ring group call routing. This feature allows you to route callers to a list of phone numbers sequentially, simultaneously, or via round robin until someone answers and accepts it. 

For example, you can route calls to one dealership first, but if they don’t answer, forward the call to another location or your IVR. You can also route calls to a prioritized list of local salespeople so top performers get more calls. Finally, you can have calls ring multiple reps’ phones at the same time until someone answers. 

Tip 2: Let Callers Self-Route With Easy-to-Build IVRs

Sometimes, the easiest solution is to let callers self-route, so they can connect themselves to their preferred destination. With Invoca, you can easily create custom IVR phone menus to automatically qualify and route callers to the right location, department, or agent. IVRs can also answer questions, assist callers during busy times or when locations are closed, collect customer data, and deflect low-value calls like people asking for directions from tying up salespeople and service writers. 

Invoca IVRs can understand both voice responses and keypresses, providing better caller experiences. They’re also simple for anyone to build, so when your customer’s needs change, you can easily add locations, update services, and change hours—without having to involve IT or a vendor.

Sample conversational IVR in Invoca — no coding or IT help needed to create

Tip 3: Get a Complete View of Missed Calls and Prioritize Follow-Ups with Conversation Intelligence

Phone calls go unanswered at even the best-run dealerships. When this happens, 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. 

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 limited-time 0% APR financing promotion. 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 rep.

Sample high-intent missed calls dashboard

Set up Slack notifications with Invoca for real-time missed call alerts

When it comes to following up with missed calls, time is of the essence. The longer you wait, the more likely these leads are to call one of your competitors instead. To help your sales and service staff follow up with missed calls more efficiently, 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.

Tip 4: Use Missed Call Insights to Improve Staffing, IVR Flows, Ad Scheduling, and More

In addition to prioritizing follow-ups, Invoca’s Missed Call Recovery feature can help you make other adjustments at your dealerships to prevent missed calls in the future. Invoca gives you a  comprehensive picture of how many phone calls you’re missing at each location, when missed calls are occurring, which marketing campaigns drive the most missed calls, and more. This allows you to understand the root problems causing missed calls so you can correct them.

Below are some common pivots our automotive customers make with the insights from Invoca’s real-time reports:

  • Increasing staffing during times when calls go unanswered
  • Increasing staffing at dealership locations that have higher missed call rates
  • Adjusting ad scheduling to run only during business hours
  • Correcting IVR and routing issues that impact missed call rates
  • Providing training, incentives, or gamification to lower missed call rates 

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about how Invoca can help you improve phone call experiences at your dealerships? Check out these resources:

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