OEC Blog

Your customers are lying to you! (part 2)

Your customers are lying to you! (part 2)

While your customers are relentlessly bombarding you daily with phone calls, often taking up to as many as 8 call-backs to get the order complete; they’re also “secretly” ordering from you online after hours.  That’s right, over 52% of mechanical orders are happening – unassisted and online – every night while your parts department is closed!

In part one of this article, we declared that it was time to start transitioning customers away from the phone and onto online ordering. Here’s how:

How to “Cut the Cord”

Yes, changing behavior is one of the hardest things to achieve.  But it can be done as long as you stick with it and recognize that it will take time.

The following suggestions can help to gradually shift your customer’s behavior towards online ordering.

1. Incentivize with Online Discounts.  Offering a 5% discount for all online orders is the fastest way to grab a customer’s attention.  The key is getting the word out to your customers.  Here’s a few ideas:

    • If you have outside sales reps, arm them with flyers and other leave-behinds promoting the offer with instructions on online ordering.
    • Add the offer to your website (Think Domino’s!) You can advertise on your dealership website as well as place an offer within the RepairLink application.
    • Instruct counter people to close every phone order with an offer of 5% off their next order.
    • Promote the offer on your invoice or other customer documentation.
    • Add the discount offer to your “on-hold” message – the smart ones will hang up and order online!

2. Demonstrate Consistent Responsiveness.  Ok, ok.  The reason most people call is because they need to know RIGHT NOW that they can get the part(s) they need.  It’s simply human nature to take care of one task before moving on to another.  But you can give them the same peace-of-mind by immediately opening the online order.

RepairLink will automatically display an “In progress” status to the customer allowing them to multi-task knowing that you’re “on it.”  The key though is consistency.  You need to make a real commitment to open every online order within 5 minutes and respond within 30 minutes – every single time.  Once you have built that trust, your customers will value both your online efficiency and responsiveness.

3. Make Online Orders a Higher Priority.  Obviously easier said than done, but think about McDonalds.  Customers going through the Drive-Thru are generally serviced much faster than those inside.  So who goes inside these days!  Staff your department to work on online orders first.  Then reinforce this practice by letting phone callers know they can order online faster and with discounts.

Why “Cut the Cord”

Now this may seem like a funny question at this point in the article.  But chances are you’ve been reading with some skepticism . . . skepticism that customers will ever change, skepticism that returns will increase without your expertise to determine the correct part(s), skepticism that you could lose upsell opportunities.  These are all valid points . . . in your mind.

Remember, 52% of all RepairLink orders are currently happening without you.  Returns have not increased.  Nor have your overall sales declined.

Instead, you’re on a path to increased productivity, decreased cost and the assurance that the customer is always promptly served despite someone calling in sick.

While your customers are relentlessly bombarding you daily with phone calls, often taking up to as many as 8 call-backs to get the order complete; they’re also “secretly” ordering from you online after hours. That’s right, over 52% of mechanical orders are happening – unassisted and online – every night while your parts department is closed! In part one of this article, we declared that it was time to start transitioning customers away from the phone and onto online ordering. Here’s how: How to “Cut the Cord” Yes, changing behavior is one of the hardest things to achieve.  But it can be done as long as you stick with it and recognize that it will take time. The following suggestions can help to gradually shift your customer’s behavior towards online ordering. 1. Incentivize with Online Discounts.  Offering a 5% discount for all online orders is the fastest way to grab a customer’s attention.  The key is getting the word out to your customers.  Here’s a few ideas: If you have outside sales reps, arm them with flyers and other leave-behinds promoting the offer with instructions on online ordering. Add the offer to your website (Think Domino’s!) You can advertise on your dealership website as well as place an offer within the RepairLink application. Instruct counter people to close every phone order with an offer of 5% off their next order. Promote the offer on your invoice or other customer documentation. Add the discount offer to your “on-hold” message – the smart ones will hang up and order online! 2. Demonstrate Consistent Responsiveness.  Ok, ok.  The reason most people call is because they need to know RIGHT NOW that they can get the part(s) they need.  It’s simply human nature to take care of one task before moving on to another.  But you can give them the same peace-of-mind by immediately opening the online order. RepairLink will automatically display an “In progress” status to the customer allowing them to multi-task knowing that you’re “on it.”  The key though is consistency.  You need to make a real commitment to open every online order within 5 minutes and respond within 30 minutes – every single time.  Once you have built that trust, your customers will value both your online efficiency and responsiveness. 3. Make Online Orders a Higher Priority.  Obviously easier said than done, but think about McDonalds.  Customers going through the Drive-Thru are generally serviced much faster than those inside.  So who goes inside these days!  Staff your department to work on online orders first.  Then reinforce this practice by letting phone callers know they can order online faster and with discounts. Why “Cut the Cord” Now this may seem like a funny question at this point in the article.  But chances are you’ve been reading with some skepticism . . . skepticism that customers will ever change, skepticism that returns will increase without your expertise to determine the correct part(s), skepticism that you could lose upsell opportunities.  These are all valid points . . . in your mind. Remember, 52% of all RepairLink orders are currently happening without you.  Returns have not increased.  Nor have your overall sales declined. Instead, you’re on a path to increased productivity, decreased cost and the assurance that the customer is always promptly served despite someone calling in sick. Start Today Take the “bull by the horns” and start proactively shifting your customers to online ordering. They’re ready.  And you’re ready.

Take the “bull by the horns” and start proactively shifting your customers to online ordering. They’re ready.  And you’re ready.

By: OEC Staff | February 10th, 2016

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Posted in: Best Business Practices