Tuesday, May 19, 2015

When a Hurricane Comes Calling: How Your Call Management System Can Help You Prepare

Well, folks, it's that time of year again: hurricane season. It starts in a few weeks on June 1, and rumor has it we're in for one of the least active hurricane seasons in a decade. But this news isn't a free pass to put hurricane preparedness on hold this year.

Before you hit the beach, use this handy guide from the American Red Cross to help you get storm ready.

We also want to let you in on a little secret the guide doesn't mention: You can use your call management system as a preparedness tool.

Communication is a crucial part of preparing for hurricanes (and other disasters too). To help your business weather a storm, it's important to make sure your prospects and employees aren't left in the dark about what's going on with the company. Here are two ways you can use your call management system to keep the lines of communication open.

Reroute Calls During a Power Outage

Even if your business isn't damaged by a hurricane, it might still experience power outages that could knock your phones out. But just because the power is out doesn't mean you’ll have to evacuate potential sales.

Several years ago, as Hurricane Ike was bearing down on the coast of Texas, we worked with a client to create a simple contingency plan in case any of the business's 15 locations in Houston experienced an outage.

If the phones were knocked out, we had Enhanced Call Completion set up and ready to have calls forwarded to a voicemail system, recorded and emailed to the correct dealership. This would ensure that messages, leads and sales were not lost due to the conditions.

You can create a similar solution for your business using your call routing tool. You might also want to record a voicemail message explaining why you’re not answering the phone (like "We’re currently unable to answer the phones due to Hurricane X, but we'll return your call as soon as possible").

Keep Your Employees in the Loop

Broadcast messages aren't just for your customers. You can use them to keep your employees informed during emergency situations.

For example, you could send a message saying, "We have lost the roof at our Suzuki location and all employees are not to return to work until Tuesday," or, "The front road to the dealership is closed until further notice. For now, please enter the dealership from the west entrance."

A little bit of prep goes a long way — each of these steps take minimal effort to set up but can play an important role in helping your business survive the effects of a hurricane.

Can you think of other ways you can use your call management system for hurricane preparedness? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Three Reasons You Might Not Want a Call Tracking Mobile App

In today's car sales climate, you need to be quick on the draw to reel in customers. Call tracking software can help you follow up on leads and get the job done, but we know that you can't be at your computer all day. When you're out on the lot or in the service department, having a mobile app that ties into your call tracking software can come in handy.

However we recognize that having immediate access to all of your call data when you're away from your desk isn't for everybody. Here are some reasons why a mobile app for your call tracking software might not be fore you.

You Love Sitting at Your Desk All Day


Working at a desk
You are the master of your domain — so long as your domain doesn't extend much past your office door. Why would you ever need to leave the comfort and safety of your trusty desk and computer? You have everything you need right in front of you, especially your Rolodex.

If you're married to your desk,  you definitely wouldn't want a mobile app that can pull up lists of recent calls for a selected campaign no matter where you are. In fact if something goes wrong while you're out of the office, you actually love rushing back so you can fix the problem. You never need to listen to call recordings on the go.

You Still Use a Flip Phone

Flip phoneWe get it. You're traditional. Not so much that you'd go without a cell phone, but just enough that you won't get rid of your Nokia flip phone from 2001. If you like kicking it old school, the last thing you'd care about is a mobile app that allows you to view reports linked to your call tracking software.

Some people want to know exactly how well (or poorly) their phone staff is handling calls, even when they're not in the office. That sounds like a hefty burden to carry, knowing your calls are being taken care of. Don't worry — with that dino of a flip phone, you'll never know what's happening on your phones when you're away from your dealership. Burden lifted.

You're Not Concerned With Saving Missed Leads

Life preserver in waterMissed calls? No big deal, you say. If a customer is truly interested in buying from you, they'll either call back or visit the dealership. For you, there's no reason to rescue a lost lead, especially if you're not at your desk.

If you feel this way, it's completely unnecessary for your mobile device to alert you when your staff has missed a call. Those kind of alerts just aren't for you. You're content to just let the lead go, even though you could use your mobile device to assign the missed call to a sales rep or immediately follow up yourself.

If none of these scenarios describe you, you should use a mobile app that integrates with your call tracking software. Still not convinced? Take our quiz to decide.