Automation Plus Personalized Touch Boosts Service Customer Response at Savage 61 Dodge by 30%

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For Savage 61 Dodge of Reading, PA, executing a factory recall campaign was both time consuming and ineffective. “We used to have someone sit down at night and try and reach as many people on the phone as they could. It never worked really well as typically we could only reach about 10-15% of our customers affected by the recall. The whole process was very frustrating,” commented Mike Neal, Service Manager. While searching for more effective ways to handle customer contact for recall campaigns among other things, the dealership came across CallCommand, a company focused on LifeCycle management to increase owner loyalty, frequency of purchase and revenue per transaction.

For Savage 61 Dodge of Reading, PA, executing a factory recall campaign was both time consuming and ineffective. “We used to have someone sit down at night and try and reach as many people on the phone as they could. It never worked really well as typically we could only reach about 10-15% of our customers affected by the recall. The whole process was very frustrating,” commented Mike Neal, Service Manager.

This situation is not a-typical of dealerships across the US. Vehicles have been recalled in larger quantities since the mid-1990s. While 2005 was down considerably -- totaling about 16.6 million through mid-November compared with a record 30.8 million the previous year -- it was still a high volume for the average dealership to handle. With 20,000 dealerships nationwide and 16.6 million vehicles recalled last year, the average number of drivers each dealership was required to contact and help service was 830.

Savage 61 Dodge is part of the Savage Auto Group, a group of 8 franchises recently voted the Leading New Car Dealer for 2006 by the People’s Choice – Who’s Who in Berks County, Berks; a program that seeks to reward local businesses for developing strong and memorable relationships with their customers. Building personal relationships with customers is part of the dealership’s philosophy.

While searching for more effective ways to handle customer contact for recall campaigns among other things, the dealership came across CallCommand, a company focused on LifeCycle management to increase owner loyalty, frequency of purchase and revenue per transaction.

Included in their suite of solutions is a web-based personalized calling system that incorporates the use of Internet technology to help car dealers establish and maintain close personal relationships with their customers. Calls are executed with advanced telephony that does not tie up existing phone lines of personnel. With CallCommand, the dealership can contact an unlimited number of customers, all in a matter of minutes.

“My voice on the message explaining the recall and expressing urgency prompts a lot of attention. Customers respond well. They like the fact that CallCommand specifically does not place calls during peak times such as dinner, but calls during the day and leaves messages on their answer machines that they can retrieve at their convenience. In fact, for the last recall we did, rather than the 10-15% we were previously able to reach, we contacted 100% of our customers on the recall list and within just 2 weeks we had over 40% of them in and serviced. It’s also a better solution than a mail piece as people tend to pay more attention when they hear a voice mail message from you personally,” said Neal.

Impressed with the results, Neal presented CallCommand at a regional service managers meeting and won first prize for the best new idea – the first time he had won the prize in all the 18 years he has been attending these meetings.

“It’s so easy to execute a recall campaign. I can target customers in my DMS or, upload the list from the factory, call an 800 number, record a message and we’re done; I can reach hundreds of customers; all in a matter of minutes, at less cost to the Dealer. This system is far more efficient and frees up my employees to service the customer," commented Neal.

Besides factory recalls, the service department uses CallCommand to help move special order parts off the shelves faster by notifying customers with a personal call. The dealership also places service reminder calls to customers, which has increased the number of customers who call to change appointments rather than be a no-show, resulting in better time, workload management and increased show ratio.

Neal additionally uses the system to further build relationships with customers with automatic birthday calls, anniversary calls and calls to new car buyers to personally introduce the customer to the service department – going a long way in capitalizing on sales to service conversion.

"The main point is that this system allows us to follow-up and to make a real commitment to our customers at a low cost. It also speeds up the time it takes to get the message out. CallCommand simplifies the whole process and keeps my people focused on the most important aspect of our business - servicing the customer," said Neal.

About CallCommand™:

Call Command™ is a leading provider of voice and other direct communication solutions for automotive retailers and OEMs as well as a growing customer base in home improvement, schools, municipalities, independent services, telecom, churches and financial services.

Their patent pending technology decreases marketing and communication costs while simultaneously improving customer responsiveness. All of their solutions are fully web-based and do not require hardware, software or telephony equipment.

Since its founding in July of 2002, the company has grown to over 4000 users in seven different industries and continues to grow daily.

CallCommand is revolutionizing the way companies communicate with their customers and prospects. Using CallCommand’s products and services, organizations are improving their owner loyalty, frequency of purchase and revenue per transaction.

For additional information please contact Lindsay Whitson: phone: 1-800-814-6820, visit CallCommand’s web site at http://www.callcommand.com, log onto any search engine (i.e.: Yahoo, Google, MSN) and type the word “CallCommand” or visit their online virtual press room at http://www.callcommandpressroom.com.

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Sara Callahan

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