It is arguably the best time to be in the world of car sales, we have consumers at the end of our finger-tips, literally. In fact a staggering *84% of our car buyers are starting the process on their mobile phones, as a result 9% go on to purchase a car online.
With the number of e-commerce buyers set to increase by 40% come 2020, how do you ensure that you stand out online?
Well, the first thing is don’t panic. You have all the tools in your toolbox but it’s all about how you use them.
I am 100% sure that
if you have worked in any sales role, you will have heard “the magic phone”
That awkward moment where you have been trying to get a hold of a customer for
at least 3 days, sat at your desk prospecting day in, day out, because the
customer told you they must sleep on it. Then, just before you go to add them
to the missing person list forever, someone else calls them and they magically
pick up the phone.
Oh, the irony of that situation. But don’t worry, we have all been there and I am sure we will all be there again. Now that we have companies like JudgeService who actively work to re-invigorate your lost leads you can guarantee that the awkward moment of your sales manager asking you, “how come you didn’t manage to get a hold of your own customer, but JudgeService did?” is here to stay.
Not only that, would
you believe the “magic phones” we have in Harrogate, where the JudgeService
call centre is based, now have the power to work efficiently with the reporting
system and every Sunday night, generate a report of all the customers, that
have been marked as a lost lead the week previous, but somehow the professional
team have managed to convert and identifying them as wanting to buy a car from
As you can imagine
Joe the General Manager thinks this report is the best thing since sliced bread.
In fact, it is the highlight of his weekend. Joe loves nothing more than
sitting in his state-of-the-art office with his bacon butty, black coffee and
perfecting his look of pure disappointment waiting for you to turn up even 3
minutes late, so he can tell you how bad you really are. He will obviously go
on to say JudgeService must have “magic phones” because they can get a hold of
customers that you can’t.
Although that maybe some people’s reality there is a positive spin to the “magic phone” scenario, and that is money, hot prospects, and referrals. If you really had done everything possible, and someone else managed to get a hold of the missing customer for you and found out exactly what they want to buy, and then handed it back to you, first thing on a Monday morning, surely that is the best Monday morning you could wish for? You could argue that they are better than PX leads, web contacts or even phone enquiries and you don’t even have to worry that they will be given to the top salesperson because they are your customers.
I don’t know about you, but if I had the
opportunity to start my week with even one hot lead, I would take the
opportunity with both hands and run with it.
We all know that the world of businesses is
happening around us, and we know we can’t ignore that. However, just like every
aspect of life, sometimes we all need a reminder.
In business we all face challenges and with each one,
we are presented with a whole new toolbox of opportunities.
System integration could be the biggest tool you
have, even if you don’t know it yet. As the old saying goes “Jack of all trades,
master of none.” We know that we all could start offering extra services in
different areas, because we have come to know an awful lot about different
businesses, but the best forward-thinking companies choose not to pursue them. Why?
The simple answer is that they are specialists in
their field, and when a customer requests a different service to what they
specialise in, they go out hunting for a company that they can integrate with
who are specialists in that area.
Just like building a house you wouldn’t get a bricklayer
to do the electrics, you would contract an electrician to do that. Similar to
building a business you can go out and find other companies to do the things
you may not be as good at or have time to do.
This enables you to provide an outstanding service
to your customers. Through integration, companies work together, helping each
other grow. Improving your services at a favourable rate while they gain
customers through integration, and you add value to your existing customers.
At JudgeService we shine the light on integration
starting with our CRM partners, companies such as Navigator, AutoSLM, PBS,
EnquiryMAX and more.
These companies enable us to close the loop on our data.
We can access and process data more efficiently, reducing the pressure on time for
our support teams. So, they can concentrate on their core function, customer
Integration allows us to send valuable data back to the CRM platforms in real
time,which creates tremendous value to our clients, their customers and the CRM
We don’t need to make people duplicate work anymore,
there is no need for 16 different systems to access one customers detail. We
are past all this.
Our time is valuable and so is our customers, so stop wasting time on things
that can be automated and work together to grow and provide value to your
I am going to wrap this up by summarising the
benefits of integrating with third-party companies just in case you are still
not convinced it is a brilliant process.
Outstanding customer service
If you would like some tips on how to integrate with
third parties, please feel free to ask me how we do it at JudgeService.
There is a direct correlation between the number of days it
takes to sell a car and the level of customer satisfaction. A dealer with a promoter score of 30% will
see cars stay in stock for just over 46 Days, whereas a score of 70% will be 34
days. 90% promoter score brings it down
even further to 28 days.
In effect this creates additional sales “days” as a “free
hit” – more sales requiring no further capital.
First comes the salespersons
attitude, followed by attitude at handover and then explanation of paperwork.
Micromoment Promoter score
after 5% improvement Days
quicker to sell
Salespersons attitude 18% 5.3
Attitude at handover 16.4% 4.8
Explanation of paperwork 15.8% 4.7
Mechanical standard of vehicle 13.3% 3.9
Cleanliness of vehicle 13.1% 3.9
Choice of vehicles 12.7% 3.7
Whilst you can’t teach people to smile you can teach
positivity and you can use our
surveys and certainly train how to
explain paperwork, financial documentation and why they’re important and being
If you are worrying
about how you will hit target this September, then these tips are for you.
After reading this
blog you’ll kick yourself and wonder why it has taken this long for you to do
something about it. However, the key is not just to do the actions required but
do them properly and professionally, not half hearted.
I know you try and
look after your existing customers; you may give them a call once a year to
wish them a Happy Birthday or send them the odd promotion leaflet.
But is this enough
to keep them engaged and loyal to you? I
would argue that it’s not.
So, here is my first tip to keep your customers engaged and give them no reason to go to your competitors. When a customer brings their old car in for a service, 9 times out of 10 they will have a look at the stock you have. Why not offer to appraise their car? Work out what the cost to change would be, offer them a test drive while they wait and as clever way to build up an appetite, park their old car next to the spanking new one in the car park?
2. Finance is your friend
On average 91% of
your customers will buy on finance. A large chunk of them will be on PCP. This
means that dreaded balloon payment becomes your friend. An agreement that you
can monitor, this will allow you to see when they can change and when they must
change, unless they want to pay a large amount of money. Even if they are
prepared to pay the money wouldn’t they rather use that as a deposit on a shiny
Once you have found the golden nuggets, don’t stop there. Why should they come back to you?
Use the fact its September. People love having the newest high-tech things. In fact, 90% of people will buy on emotions. The way you make them feel when they are looking at the car will play a huge part in their decision. Talking to their imagination using their emotional connections, is a sure-fire way to maximise sales. Don’t ignore emotion.
4. Professional Prospecting
atmosphere. They are special customers. Make sure they feel that way and turn
them into loyal customers.
You can do this by
creating a VIP event, exclusively for existing customers.
Use a professional
prospecting service. You will be surprised how much of a difference this makes.
Adding to the feel of exclusivity you have gone to great lengths to ensure they
know they can change their car.
The JudgeService contact centre provides this service for our clients.
Our latest case
study shows that when we contacted 311 existing customers 116 made an
appointment! That’s a 37% conversion rate.
116 hot leads!
5. Sometimes we all need a little reminder
We can put all the
work in to get the appointments but, don’t let your foot off the gas just yet.
Often, we make the
mistake of booking an appointment, taking it as gospel and then wonder why we
get “no shows”.
Look at it from a
different perspective, you book a dentist appointment or a hair appointment and
the day before you get a friendly reminder to tell you that the business is
looking forward to seeing you at a certain time.
I don’t know about
you, but I am always hoping for that text just to make sure I have the right
time or even date.
Why should your
customer be any different?
gentle reminder call.
“Hi Mr Jones, we are
looking forward to seeing you Saturday @11:15am
Just to make you
aware there is free parking at the front of the building and Jack will be
waiting in reception to show you around the new cars”
Ensure you give
everything you do 100%. Remember, these are your customers, don’t give others
the chance to take them away.
The good news is I can
show you a proven way to increase your sales by 11% without the BS of heavy
marketing cost, oh, and the dreaded open boot, balloon hanging sells cars
Yes, you read it right!
I can show you how to increase sales by 11% and the best part about it is, it’s
by using all of the tools you currently have.
Who would have thought that on average 36% of your customers that did not buy were still in the market? Well, I can tell you they are!
Newsflash to you and
all your “tyre kicking friends”; JudgeService have found that these customers
are genuinely in the market to buy a car and 11% of them then go on to buy.
So, I guess the
elephant in the room is how have we done this? Simple-we just picked up the
phone and asked them. We asked them are you still in the market? We asked them
why did you not buy? We asked them would you like the dealer to contact you.
Now there’s no doubt we
get a better response rate because we are a trusted third party or you could
even say that we are automotive specialists working in an insight business.
But the reality is we
called your lost leads and found the magic key to increasing your ROI, and in
the meantime, we found out the areas you can improve:
On average 29% of the customers were not offered a test drive! (Bums on seats people!) it’s the golden oldie
35% were not offered finance? I mean why? You make money and the customer leaves in a lovely car that meets all their needs for a payment they can comfortably afford. We are all winners.
I guess the moral of my
story is that the customers are there, they are in the market; the question is
do you have the time or the skills to convert them into sales?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have seen that
“online retail giant Amazon” has been criticised for displaying FAKE REVIEWS.
A recent article by Which? states that, “Of 12,000 reviews… the majority (87%) were from unverified purchases.”*
And this is not the first time Amazon sellers have been accused of this. Last year, an investigation took place that
showed Amazon sellers refunding people after leaving a 5* review. Interesting
the lengths people will go to for a review!
Over the past year, JudgeService has
grown by simply forming key relationships with businesses that share the same
target audience as we do.
A few months ago, JudgeService had a
breakthrough, a breakthrough that came in the form of Sally, our new sales
She stood at the front of the room and
asked us “how many of you ask for referrals?”
Her face did not look surprised at all when we started to stare guiltily
at the floor –because this is a look she has seen a 100 times before.
We’ve always known customer satisfaction is important for businesses. What we didn’t exactly know, is by how much it can affect sales. So last year, we analysed our data, to find out how customer experience has been driving sales for used car dealerships.
The results of our research have been phenomenal. We found out that promoter scores have a direct correlation with used car stock turnover –improving vehicle sales by several days with a 5% increase in satisfaction rating. Moreover, we’ve identified which parts of the customer journey matter most in improving customer satisfaction.
Our over-arching takeaway from 2018, therefore, is to take a deeper look into your customers’ experiences to grow your business. Here, we have identified 5 items you can optimise to make it an even more powerful 2019 for your car dealership.
Collect and Use Your Database
Before the 25th of May last year, there was a frenzy over the legality of the data Continue reading →
Attended by hundreds of industry experts and giants from all over the country, the Negotiator Conference & Expo 18 was a treat for estate agents and suppliers. Conference presenters included Professor Andrew Baum of the University of Oxford, David Cox of Propertymark and former UK Ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, among others.
The event’s theme was Changes, Challenges and Choices, fitting to the current economical humps the British nations are bracing up to face. Brexit was discussed and alluded to many times throughout the day, highlighted by Sir Ivan Roger’s speech. He assured his audience of interesting times ahead, especially for the industry that sells what remains to be the most expensive purchase in the market. “Brexit presents the biggest crisis this country faces since the Suez Crisis or possibly World War II,” he said.
Sir Ivan Rogers, Former UK Ambassador to the EU
A member of the audience asked another presenter that day to predict what the market is going to be like in the new year and what it would be like after 29th of May –answered by giggles and uncertainty.
Another popular topic was technology and the future. Professor Andrew Baum spoke largely about Proptechs. According to him, there are currently billions being invested by business accelerators in Proptech, however he predicts that both “money will be lost” and that “there will be some very successful survivors.” He also mentioned how rooftops are now a popular investment in London, foreseeing its importance for drone deliveries. Matthew Spence from Humberts, Andy Soloman of Yomdel and Tom Mundy of Goodlord all spoke about some digital means to help advance property businesses in the country.
Professor Andrew Baum, of the University of Oxford
Meanwhile, the Tenant Fees Ban was discussed by David Cox of Propertymark, explaining definitions, timescales and enforcement. The legislation includes only permitting rent, utilities, tenancy deposits, holding deposits and tenant default fees as payments. Rate increase from month one, renewal or continuance of tenancy and references will be banned. Failure to abide will be penalised £5,000 for the first offence and £30,000 for further offences. It is speculated that the ban will be implemented in Spring 2019.
It was indeed a jam-packed day and much insight was gained from the many presenters and exhibitors at the Grosvenor Hotel in Mayfair, London. As it was JudgeService’ first property expo, we picked up a bunch of useful nuggets and nous at the Negotiator Conference and Expo 18.