Something for nothing

If you’re a dealer, there’s a good chance you’ve already paid for phone services you’re not using.
It’s a shame, according to Michael Markette, managing partner of CallButton LLC, because those services could help you hold onto and make the most of leads that are currently slipping through your fingers. They also could help you make better marketing decisions, improve employee training and boost customer satisfaction.
Channel Blade, iboats, YachtWorld,, BoatTrader and BoatTest are among the companies whose service packages may include offerings from CallButton. Through its partners, the company manages phone services for more than 3,000 dealers, brokers and boat manufacturers. But many don’t realize exactly what they have and the true value it can offer when used to its full extent.
The 800 numbers offered by the company are often used to track marketing return on investment, helping dealers and builders determine the most effective methods of getting their message across to consumers. What many people don’t know is that CallButton can also use the data it collects through these numbers to track who is calling your dealership and why and how those calls are handled by your employees. It can create charts and graphs to show the geographic areas from which people are calling – information some dealers have used to decide where to open new locations – and the time and days of the week during which the phone is busiest, which can be used to determine staffing levels. All conversations are recorded, which can help you train salespeople on phone skills and can be saved in your CRM database as part of each customer’s record.
In addition, CallButton’s services can be used to route calls that come into the dealership to the most appropriate person or location, ensuring that the dealership never misses a buyer’s call, even after hours.
Finally, using a combination of reverse look-up and the recorded conversations, it can take information on who calls your dealership, and why, to create databases of customer information that you can use in targeted mailings.
Salespeople fail to capture callers’ contact information 85 percent of the time, often because callers are not ready to buy immediately, according to Markette. We all know that the boat research and buying process can take some people several seasons and others many years. A list of those consumers who called your dealership interested in buying but did not buy in a given year becomes a list of those “most likely to buy” the next year, points out Markette.
With industry conditions causing many marine businesses to more closely manage their expenses, putting those services you’ve already paid for to work for your dealership can only help your business survive and thrive. — Liz Walz

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