Many critics of the car dealer industry have pointed out that a lot of salespeople and dealerships are struggling to adapt their practices to changing technology and changing shopping habits. When consumers were flocking to email as their preferred way to request quotes and more information on new and used cars, dealerships dropped the ball.

According to Automotive News, in 2014 the average response time to an email was 4 hours. Sadly, the ideal response time for an Internet lead is only 20 minutes.

Two trends converged to create a perfect storm in 2016. First of all, online shoppers generally became disillusioned with too many businesses failing to answer emails informatively or in a timely manner. They simply weren’t getting answers, or they weren’t getting the answers they wanted. Second, car shoppers started using smartphones in a big way. Over a third of all consumers use their smartphones to research and shop for cars. Once Google introduced click-to-call, it became easier to actually dial up the car dealership than type an email. Hence the situation today: dealers are getting more phone calls than ever, while most training efforts in the past few years have been directed at online efforts.

Dealerships miss out on a whole 16% of all customers who decide to dial them up instead of email, while two-thirds of calls are mishandled in one way or another, according to live chat and overflow service company Gubagoo. That company responded by designing a service that would catch missed and out-of-business-hours calls. If you’re considering investing in one of these services to improve your lead generation, don’t settle for a mass-produced answer. One of the things that Gubagoo quickly capitalized on was the use of dynamic scripts and inventory integration. They wanted to make sure that their liaisons were using campaigns customized to their dealers to improve the rate at which they booked test drives. An overflow call service is just one part of a system every dealer should have in place for nurturing leads.

Once you discover the best dealer overflow call service, you will never miss an inbound lead again. With a phone-savvy sales team, your dealership will simply outstrip the competition. How do you get a team that knows how to get a prospect’s interest on the phone? Automotive News says that the 3 most important qualities your salespeople need to have are

1) in-depth knowledge of your inventory, because nothing turns a customer off like a misquoted price or similar mistakes,

2) the ability to listen to consumers and really learn about the product they want, and

3) the diligence to stay on top of their To-Do list and get back to leads before they go cold.

Remember, even though inbound calls are on the way up, voice mail usage has fallen precipitously. Once your team has caught up on the rules of engagement, it’s time to maximize your returns. Use an overflow call service and never miss a lead again.