Ian Godbold knows Speed of Response is crucial.

Why automotive expert Ian Godbold knows Speed of Response is crucial to win the race to new customers

Ian Godbold has launched his consultancy business, IGC Digital, to help automotive dealerships win more customers. Our first chat with him covered Ian’s passion for ‘Quality Leads’ and the need for quality data. This time we focus on Step 2… the critical job of converting the lead.

We wanted to find out why he feels speed of response software, like TalkingForms, increases conversion rates and is a massive help to ensuring that in-market customers get the service they deserve

“The last 2 years of unprecedented demand has come to an end for most dealers so they should now be upping their game and improve their service levels to win customers.” Ian tells us that dealerships need to ensure that they give every lead fast and professional attention, or they will lose out to competitors that do. The market is shifting and consumer confidence is uncertain, so it is a time when speed and process are even more essential to make sure every sales opportunity is taken.

Ian goes onto say “there is a case of heavy implementation but a lack of integration.” What Ian means is that investing in software alone does not solve the problem. All software must form part of a process which is repeated consistently to ensure that the customer gets what they want and the business can monitor, manage, and then refine the process to achieve even-better results.

There are many systems out there that respond to leads by email or text. While this may be suitable for researchers, there is only one way to handle in-market buyers and that is to pick up the phone and speak to them… before your competitors do. You need your salesmen on the phones to your top ‘Quality Leads’ to reassure customers, identify opportunities, and make those sales.

The sales team can focus on in-market leads once they are identified. That allows the marketing team to deal with early market customers and researchers, providing any information they want and bringing them closer to the brand and their decision. Dealers have invested in some smart digital marketing however, it is no good having the latest tech and a big marketing budget if your sales process lets your leads go cold.

Speak to Quality Leads Quickly

Using web analytics supplemented with Calltracks data you can find your ‘Quality Leads’, the ready-to-buy customers. Responding quickly to those customers is crucial. As a consultant Ian wants dealers to focus on two things – Identifying the ‘Quality Leads’ and making sure the sales team speak to them first. The whole business needs to be aligned and totally focussed on the same KPI’s and process.

Getting the potential customer on the phone instantly is vital and monitoring the process with tracking and reporting will make sure that the team get the best conversion and customer approval ratings.

Average is not good enough

“The average lead response time is hours and days, not minutes or seconds as it should be.” The standard format ‘email reply’ may be sent straight away but your customers with important questions really want a phone call – now! If you cannot provide a quick response your hot leads will be picking up the phone to a competitor in a matter of minutes.

The data backs it up;

– 78% of customers give their business to the first company that responds to their enquiry
– 40% of the leads that salesman consider ‘lost’ are actually customers still in market
– 71% of internet leads are wasted because the company did not respond fast enough
– Phone calls convert better than emails or messaging
– Leads contacted in 5 minutes are 21x more likely to convert than leads contacted in 30 minutes or more

Putting in additional effort to speak to leads first will not only leave a great customer service impression, but will increase your chances of converting the lead. Being first to speak to the customer makes all the difference.

What is TalkingForms?

TalkingForms is, as Ian described, “a speed of response software”. TalkingForms is designed to ensure dealers speak to enquiries within 30 seconds. Speaking to a customer instantly makes the difference.

The TalkingForms system will take your leads, call your sales team and read the enquiry details to them. You can dial 1 to be instantly connected to the customer, or dial 2 to recycle the lead. It all happens automatically and we aim to get the customer speaking to your sales team within 30 seconds.

TalkingForms is an essential part of Ian’s Toolkit

Simple technology like TalkingForms will help dealerships of all sizes and level the ground for the smaller groups competing against national chains. Ian’s final thought, “True marketing excellence is operational efficiency.” Our software enables you to convert quality leads quickly by consistently providing first-class customer service. It’s a great place to start.

Let us know if you have any questions, would like a TalkingForms demo or to discuss your existing processes.

A final THANK YOU to Ian for sharing his experience and insights with us. You can find Ian Godbold and his new consultancy on LinkedIn.