Customer Experience

David Loveday, International Product Manager at CDK Global, advises the best ways to delight your customers every time they call your dealership.

What’s your name again?

A simple change to phone procedures can lead to much happier customers

We’ve all been there. We’ve called the insurance company or doctor's office and happily given our name and details, only to find out that the person we’ve revealed our life story to isn’t actually the person we need. A little put out, we're transferred over… and asked to repeat the same information again. By the third time we're asked to repeat it, we're ready to scream.

The automotive industry is not immune to this problem. The sad truth is that dealerships ask customers to provide their information an average of 3.2 times during phone calls.  Whether it's someone's first or tenth time phoning your dealership, this is absolutely deadly.

Happily, there's a better way. Here's how to improve the experience from the first phone call forward.

What’s your name? What's your name? What's your name?

When a customer is about to buy, he's treated like the salesman's best friend. But then a month after the sale he calls in and nobody seems to know who he is? That's just cruel. And it's no way to build customer loyalty.  

Here's a good start: When a customer calls in, don't say “Good morning, Acme dealership." Why not greet them with “Hello Mr. Jones! Nice to speak to you again. I see your sport coupe is due for a service; is that why you're calling?”  Continue to use their name throughout the interaction. Treat the customer as an individual, not just a number plate, and you'll go far.

Remember 'why' as well as 'who'

To go from 3.2 repetitions to 0.0, the key is consistency. When a customer calls in, make sure your team can instantly see not just who is calling but what her needs are. When the call is passed through to the service department, make sure they know that this customer has called to check on their tune-up or brake repair. That's the golden moment: every time she isn't asked for their information, the customer understands that you’ve listened to her and value her—and that your dealership and your team are very good at their jobs.


How do you know what they need? How did you get so clever? By integrating telephony with your customer relationship management system (CRM). It's the best way to put all the answers you need at your fingertips. When each customer calls, you have instant access to their full records; you'll know whether it's a long-time customer ready for a new vehicle, a newer customer ready for service, or a parts customer checking up on delivery.

That helps you direct incoming calls to the right person every time—giving a truly great experience to your customer. And as a bottom-line bonus, it helps your team manage more calls, more effectively, every day.

Keep it going

Customer care is about more than following up after the sale; it’s about being consistent with every call. Poor call habits create a major hit to satisfaction levels and department revenue. A first-class customer experience turns every call into a win for both sides.

No more repeating—and no more screaming. That's how you show customers you care.


Read more insights   Learn about Integrated Telephony

Customers are asked their information 3.2 times on average by the same dealership.

Build satisfaction from the moment a customer calls you

Customers can

  • Be welcomed by name when they call the dealership
  • Have someone return their call when unanswered
  • Have their information recorded so they never need to repeat their details.

Additional benefits for the dealer:

  • Return customer calls quickly, to make sure you never miss a sales opportunity.
  • Receive reminders to call someone back.
  • Record and check call handling quality.