The Marchex Blog

Conversation Intelligence at the Auto Dealership

One of the most glaring obstacles dealers face in today’s automotive market is the lack of visibility of what occurs during sales conversations with customers. Three primary issues may arise because of this blind spot: operational issues remain unsolved, essential information provided by buyers isn’t captured, and overall customer satisfaction suffers. All scenarios could lead to lost revenue, especially today when auto customers often reach out to dealers only once. 

Exposing the conversation blind spot is critical because the most important stages of a sale often occur offline–namely during phone calls. Now more than ever, customers communicate with auto dealers on the phone via call or text. In many cases, most of the communication between dealers and buyers takes place through these channels. Unsurprisingly, dealers cannot gain full context of a prospective buyer without access to phone conversations and the information they contain, such as whether an in-person visit was scheduled or if a sale took place. The most convenient, effective solution to this blind spot is conversation intelligence. 


Conversation Intelligence Sheds Light on the Blind Spots  

There is a solution for visibility already embraced by many dealers: conversation intelligence. Platforms like Marchex Engage for Automotive reveal specific details of sales calls that dealers can utilize to address any pressing customer needs and finalize a sale. Conversation intelligence also allows dealers to evaluate employee performance and see if any issues need to be resolved on the salesperson’s end, such as not following call handling best practices instilled by the dealership. It also ties up loose ends in the auto buying process, exposes operational issues, and provides dealerships with significant returns.  


Boost Employee Performance 

Most dealerships inform their teams on how they expect them to conduct phone calls with customers, but management often doesn’t have a window into what happens during these calls. They may be losing revenue as a result. Internal Marchex research shows a poor track record of answering even the most standard questions regarding vehicle delivery and the ordering process from sales representatives at surveyed dealerships: of the potential buyers that called and connected with a representative, 60% did not have their concerns regarding make or model availability adequately addressed. Poor communication can be disastrous for businesses, especially in the modern automotive market, as today’s callers are more likely to have done their homework ahead of time and call already intending to buy. If salespeople do not make a positive first impression, the dealership is less likely than ever to get a second chance.  

Conversation intelligence opens the blinds to what dealers have been missing on their sales calls. By using it, dealers can efficiently view exactly what went wrong on each call and coach their sales representatives in a more relevant, personalized manner. They can also revise their standard call handling procedures according to what resonates with customers.  


Reveal Key Information 

Conversation intelligence is also useful because it aggregates first-party data directly provided by customers. Information from a dealership’s own conversations with buyers will contain far more individualized, timely information regarding what customers want and which needs must be met for a purchase to occur than other data collection methods.  

Using platforms like Engage for Automotive, dealers can track not only surface-level data such as ad clicks and form fills, but also extract deep insights on customer intent and put them together in one place. This process maximizes efficiency by cutting down on time spent manually entering data and monitoring individual calls. Once a call has been made, caller information is logged straight into the CRM (click-to-call) so users can reach out to leads directly from the platform without needing to separately track down caller information. Other key details like conversation outcome and lead intensity are added to the contact profile. Dealers can then prioritize the more promising leads and identify exactly what went wrong on failed calls using the information automatically organized and presented to them on the platform—skipping “busy work” entirely.  

Dealers also have a chance to save sales if calls suddenly go south. If a lead marked as high intent to buy ends a call without warning, Engage users can set up real-time action alerts via text and/or email to be notified right away and assign a representative to reach out to the customer before they call a competitor.  


Elevate The Customer Experience 

Conversation intelligence is essential for the modern dealership for a plethora of reasons but is perhaps most useful for improving the overall customer experience. When the dealership team knows exactly how serious their contacts are about buying, what they require before a purchase, and how the calls themselves unfold, they can serve these contacts in a more timely, personalized manner. Having full context while engaging with potential buyers yields satisfied customers, more sales, and higher revenue.  


Reach Out Today 

If you would like to gain a more detailed picture of your customers, effectively coach your sales representatives, and improve the customer experience, do not hesitate to schedule a demo with us today to learn more about conversation intelligence and Marchex Engage for Automotive. Our team has many years’ experience working with dealers to find solutions and increase their revenue in the modern automotive market. We’ll be more than happy to help your business thrive.