WardsAuto | Technology Helps Car Dealers Listen, Analyze and Act

When I think of how best to serve customers, I am reminded of Malcolm Forbes, the famous and famously successful entrepreneur, who once said, “The art of conversation lies in listening.”

Put another way, the key to stronger customer relationships is listening to your dealership’s customers every time they call, text or just stop by.

I’ll admit, there are several keys to creating a positive customer experience, not just one. However, the easiest key to use is listening. That single act also is the most often overlooked and underemployed contributor to dealership success.

What if your dealership team could listen carefully and, at the same time, analyze what they’re hearing and respond quickly to customer needs and wants?

Now they can, with alert-based call recording and trending analysis technology. Okay, that’s a mouthful. How does it work?

Let’s say a customer calls a dealership with a problem or is otherwise unhappy. The call is automatically recorded and transcribed, in as close to real-time as possible. In this scenario, when setting up your call-recording alert system, the dealership already had selected keywords and phrases to look out for (what’s known as “sentiment analysis”), as well as how to respond to those words or phrases.

Certain words, such as “unhappy” or “speak with a manager,” would trigger pre-defined responses. This means a manager can be alerted, via a text message or email, and receive a transcript of the conversation. At this point, the manager is well-positioned to join in the live call and help resolve whatever issue is under discussion.

Put simply, customer issues do not fall through the cracks. Moreover, they are addressed as soon as possible, helping to ensure higher customer satisfaction rates. Customers know a dealership doesn’t take their business for granted. The technology shows the store is committed to listening to them and responding appropriately with haste.

Studying trend reports based on conversations or text exchanges with customers pinpoints which keywords are most meaningful to customers. Tracking keywords uttered in phone calls, in turn, can help understand trends and identify the best marketing words to use.

When words are captured and transcribed, it’s easier to take action based on what’s been said.

The secret to any successful conversation is to treat it as if the person is directly across from you. If you listen, your customers will tell you everything you need to know about what they want to buy and how they want to be treated. You don’t have to guessing.

Gary Graves is the CTO and co-founder of InterActiveTel. His expertise includes business process automation, business intelligence systems and technical strategy consulting.

WardsAuto | March 2017

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