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According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2011 around 19 million UK households had internet connection. Mobile phone connections played a large part with around 17.6 million people accessing a smart phone to go online. In fact, access to the worldwide web is changing all the time, and by 2013, Google predicts that more people will be accessing the web via smart phones than by lap tops.
The significant growth in mobile phone and tablet users has meant that people are no longer restricting their search time to working hours. In fact, more often than not, the average worker will arrive home after a long day, put their feet up and switch on a laptop, mobile phone or tablet for some much needed down time. That’s why, to be ahead of the game we need to recognise that some of our best opportunities to attain new customers can be achieved by making the most of ‘out of hours’ periods.
Let’s start by referring back to the basics – maintaining a good looking website with clear photos and pricing will go a long way, but to go the extra mile it is imperative to focus on customer response, call handling and timing. Learning how to recognise the best times to cash in on business opportunities is half the battle, but ultimately your main focus should be on how those opportunities are realised.
Letting customers know that you’re there when they need you to be can be the key to the future success of your business. Offering potential customers an opportunity to make enquiries by informing them of your opening hours is a great start, and if you work later hours on specific days, always tell your customers so that they feel confident they can pick up the phone.
And when you do get that all important first call, make sure that your call handling is first class. At TrustedDealers.co.uk, we listen to calls to make sure that we are constantly delivering the right level of quality and dedication to our customers. It’s not enough to inform someone that a car they are enquiring about has sold, you need take extra steps to show customers that they are really valued. For example, let them know you have similar models in stock which might be suitable, or that you are willing to look further into their enquiry to find a solution. After all, telephone skills will pay the bills so it is important to ensure all details are captured.
In an increasingly competitive world, the principles outlined above not only apply to car sales but also to aftersales and servicing. We often focus too highly on the initial sale of a vehicle, when we should always be looking ahead to how best we can generate repeat business. Offering customers a good reason to return to your dealership is essential if you wish to maintain a good – and profitable relationship with them for years to come.