How To Mystery Shop at Your Own Dealership

Post by
Andrew Lemoine
How To Mystery Shop at Your Own Dealership

The automotive industry is built on the relationship between customers and dealership staff. It doesn’t matter if your customers are working with you online, over the phone or in person, they want their time to be respected and they want to be treated well. Seeing how your team operates from a customers perspective is the best way to figure out what your strengths are and where you need to improve. The best way to do this is by mystery shopping your dealership. This will show you what it’s really like to do business with your dealership and identify the things you need to work on in order to maximize profits. 

Of course, there are plenty of companies out there who you can pay thousands of dollars to mystery shop at your dealership, but we think you should save money by doing it yourself. Whether you use a friend, family member or someone on your upper management team, their insights will give you valuable information on what you need to be better at. In this article, we’re going to give you 4 different ways that you should mystery shop your dealership to ensure you’re not leaving any stone unturned. 

1. Call the Sales Department

 Most shoppers today do their research online until they’ve narrowed their vehicle search down to 1-3 vehicles. Once they’ve narrowed down their search, around 60% of them call the dealership to get any further questions answered. Usually, these phones calls are the customers first person to person interaction with a team member from your dealership. So in order for you to discover how well prepared your sales department is, have someone mystery shop by calling sales and asking about a specific make and model. You should be hoping to hear the sales associate or BDC agent be able to explain the difference between trims levels, explain the inventory shortage and lead you in the right direction for your next steps. 

2. Call the Service Department

Studies have shown that over 30% of inbound service calls go unanswered, are abandoned on hold or are misrouted. The first thing you need to determine with regards to your service department is what percentage of calls are actually answered. Once you’ve gotten the service advisor or BDC agent on the line, check to make sure they can answer basic questions about setting up an appointment. 

If your dealership has a digital voice assistant answering phone calls, ensure that the voice is conversational and functional. It should be easy for your customers to setup appointments or cancel appointments using the digital voice assistant. 

3. Test Your Digital Tools

Take time to work your way through your dealerships website and test out any widgets or digital retailing tools. Not only should these be easy to find, but they should also be intuitive to use and work without slow loading times. Fill out a lead form and see how long it takes for you to be contacted. The autoresponders you have set up on your website should make it easy for you to turn a lead into a legitimate sales opportunity for your dealership. 

The other thing to test on the website is how functional and helpful the AI powered chat bot works. Can it answer basic questions on pricing, inventory and new promotions? This process should be quick and easy for the customer to use and if the chat bot isn’t able to answer a question, ensure that it sets up a call with a team member and the customer to answer further questions.

4. Have Someone Visit the Showroom

The last thing you should do when doing a mystery shop audit is to actually have someone visit the showroom as a customer. How quickly does it take for someone to greet you and ask how they can help you? How enthusiastic does the team member seem about speaking with you? Take some time to go through the beginning stages of the process and take notes of the things that are important to you at your dealership. 

Make it a Priority

You can’t fix a customer service problem if you don’t know what’s broken about your processes. Once you’ve done a mystery shop and found the gaps in your processes, it’s a good idea to mystery shop your dealership every 6 months or so. It only takes a few minutes to make a call to one of your departments and these calls can reveal a lot!

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