DO you really know what your sales staff are saying on the phone? What if they were making criminal claims about rival car manufacturers? How would you know if they were harassing another member of staff or simply wasting hours of the working day chatting to friends and family when they should be working?
Unfortunately, these examples aren’t made-up incidents, but typical horrors discovered by dealers who have recently signed up to the intelligent call recording systems provided by VoiceSafe. And, according to director Paul Cleverly, cases like these are just the tip of the iceberg.
‘We’ve discovered examples of sales people on the phone describing £30,000 prestige cars as “a clocker’s dream” while in one group several members of male staff at various outlets were sexually harassing the group sales administrator,’ Cleverly told Car Dealer.
Call monitoring using VoiceSafe soon revealed these incidents, along with others that, while less disturbing, were still having an effect on dealers’ bottom lines. The system’s ability to display the top numbers called from, or to, each phone at the dealership, whether the top 10, 50 or 100, has proven particularly illuminating.
‘We discovered a business manager in one company was receiving seven to 10 hours of calls a week from one single number, and when we checked the number out it turned out to be his wife calling – for seven to 10 hours a week he wasn’t working for the company,’ explained Cleverly.
These may be extreme examples, but the VoiceSafe chief points out that the system has proven very effective in more basic ways, improving the professionalism of the business. ‘We piloted the system with six dealerships and one of the first things we discovered was that 11.7 per cent of their incoming call traffic was not even being answered,’ he explained.
‘They had spent good money on advertising yet they were immediately losing almost 12 per cent of the generated leads by simply not even talking to them.’
By recording and analysing the call traffic at their centre, dealers have been able to improve the professionalism of their staff and increase productivity.
‘The system cuts the traditional bull-factor that sales departments have long been renowned for,’ added Cleverly. ‘Quite quickly 100 outgoing sales calls can be turned into 200.’
VoiceSafe uses an entirely web-based interface, enabling management to listen to calls from anywhere on its network that has an internet browser. Staff response to calls can be monitored and training improved as a result, while the staff themselves can listen to calls they have taken to confirm things like address details and any commitments they might have made to the customer. Of course, one of the biggest issues for any centre is customer complaints and VoiceSafe proves particularly effective by analysing how such complaints are dealt with.
‘An average service manager costs around £50,000 a year to a dealer and a large proportion of his role will likely involve dealing with complaints. If he can deal with them faster and more effectively it will save the dealership time and money,’ said Cleverly.
Cleverly also says that dealers see a whole range of benefits from Voice-Safe, and at surprisingly little cost, particularly if dealers make use of yet another feature which allows outgoing calls over a mobile phone network, dialling out via a SIM card and saving the dealer great amounts in call charges.
And he thinks analysing the true effectiveness of a dealer sales force is something that is very overdue.
‘These days, the best productivity is essential and VoiceSafe offers a highly effective way to achieve this, at little cost to the dealer,’ added Cleverly.
More details from 0845 421 5050.