Neglecting to answer inbound calls can lose potential customers lead to bad customer reviews and damage a dealer’s reputation, claims Dragon2000.
Data published by answering service Message Direct revealed that 85% of consumers whose calls aren’t answered by a business will not call back.
And according to Dragon2000 even with the recent shift to consumer use of online methods, 65% of consumers prefer to contact a business by phone, versus just 24% who prefer to fill out an online form.
However, telephone answering service, Moneypenny conducted a survey of 300 businesses with under nine employees, examining 10,000 businesses' call data and found that a third of the businesses surveyed (33%) failed to answer their incoming calls, with 71% going to voicemail and 29% simply ringing out.
According to Moneypenny, 69% of callers refuse to leave voicemail messages.
Dragon2000’s operations manager, Karen McKenzie (pictured), said: “Customers that take the time to call up a dealership can be left very disappointed if their calls are ignored.
“The problem is exacerbated if they are phoning with a vehicle issue or problem. If customers are angry or upset, they are much more likely to write a negative review, which can damage a dealer’s reputation.
“The dealer may not only be faced with a disgruntled customer, but also a bad online review which airs a grievance publicly.
“If a dealer then ignores the bad review and fails to respond, the issue is magnified. This sends out the completely wrong message to potential new customers.
“Reviews are becoming increasingly influential so it’s essential that dealers handle bad reviews is a professional manner.
“Dealers need to ensure they have the resource to handle daily phone enquires and the systems in place to deal with out of hours calls, and respond to them as soon as possible the next working day.
“They also need to think about the way their staff answer calls, and coach them if necessary. Giving their own name and the name of the business in their opening greeting sounds professional and affirms to the caller they have the correct number.
“During the conversation, having a friendly manner, using clear speech, actively listening and having a positive attitude are all important elements so the customer feels valued.”