The Truth About Mystery Shops

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mystery-callIn recent months we’ve been mystery shopping dealerships, where we pretend to be a customer to see how stores across the country manage their inbound leads.  These calls help us keep our current clients on track and provide us with an opportunity to show other dealerships areas of improvement for their stores.  

Managers love the part of our training classes when we mystery shop their competitors. Why? Because the bar is set so low and they know with even a little bit of improvement they’re well positioned to gain business.  

Now, it’s important to note that managers should have an indication on how their calls are handled because they should be listening to call monitoring throughout the day. That’s a whole other story that we’ll leave for a future blog post. 

We recently did a Facebook live video where we played a mystery shop for viewers and unfortunately most calls we make are mishandled.  

We’ve outlined 5 major mistakes that salespeople or BDC reps make when taking a call:

1. They sound bored or even worse, bothered.
Shoppers are calling in on what is potentially the second biggest purchase of their life.  When answering the phone your team should be friendly and generate excitement for the caller.  Often times we call a dealership and they are so unenthusiastic and that comes in loud and clear. 

When your team can show genuine interest and enthusiasm for the call they set the tone and hopefully a long-term relationship moving forward.  

2. They don’t have control of the conversation.  

The way to gain control in any conversation is to ask questions. If you ask the right questions the shopper will tell you everything you need to know to sell them a car. 

All too often we hear reps waiting for the caller to ask the questions and they respond until that shopper stops asking.  When this happens the shopper often turns the call into a bid for pricing information. However, if your people are controlling the conversation you can avoid this scenario while providing exceptional customer service.  

3. They focus only on the car the shopper is calling about.  

Did you know that over 80% of shoppers change and buy a different car than the one they originally called in on? Almost every call we make we hear the sales person or BDC rep type in to find the car the caller is interested in and focusing exclusively on that, without opening them up to other options.  

It would be logical to think that if a shopper is looking at an Accord they may also be open to a Camry, right?  This is a critical component that almost every call is lacking. 

4. Not selling the benefits of doing business with your dealership.

Shoppers are calling around to other dealerships before they make the decision on where they want to go.  Make sure your reps know what your competitive advantage is. Maybe you give free oil changes for life or free manicures while the car is in service. 

The introductory call is a great time for them to let them know what perks you offer. After all, shoppers want to know that they’ll be taken care of and having that information up front will set you apart.   

5. They don’t ask about the trade.  

The trade makes up half the equation of the car buying decision in many cases but all too often shoppers aren’t about it.  Even worse, the rep may direct the shopper to sell their car at carmax or through a private party and then come in to them to buy a car. 

You are much better served by having both ends of the transaction and providing that shopper with the opportunity to see how it is appraised at your dealership- after all, they want the best bottom line price, right?  

The truth is, the calls that come into the dealership are leads that your dealership is paying for and your team needs the right tools so they leverage each and every opportunity that comes in. Every time your team picks up a call and doesn’t know what to say or says the wrong thing, a valuable opportunity is lost.  Arm your team with the tools they need to be most effective and you’ll blow away the competition.  

Call us at 1-866-996-4665 or email us at info@alanram.com to request a free mystery shop recording of your dealership.    

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