Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director at audio branding specialists PHMG, explains why the time your customers spend on hold can be turned into a vital marketing opportunity.
The UK vehicle sector has enjoyed a recent resurgence as private registrations and fleets grew considerably this quarter (23.7% and 23.3% respectively). Savvy workshop owners will reap the rewards of this market buoyancy, promoting their brand and multi-faceted vehicle services.
Supporting your customers
When working on vehicles, technicians may not always be close to the phone, but not being available to pick up incoming customer calls doesn’t mean your phone can’t still do a job for you. The telephone is often your company’s first interaction with clients and should be treated as instrumental in the customer journey, used for booking their next service and smart repairs, to roadside emergency assistance and vehicle conversions.
If a business owner or fleet manager is answered by an impolite or uninformed employee, or if a call is left unanswered or put on hold for an unacceptable length of time, the damage is done and your reputation could be marred by one brief phone call.
First impressions count
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How frustrated do you feel when greeted by monotonous beeps, repetitive “please hold” messages, or even silence?
On average, workshops put customers on hold for 31.11 seconds per call. This becomes a worrying statistic when a recent independent survey revealed that 73% of Brits won’t do repeat business with a company if their initial call isn’t handled to satisfaction. Another survey revealed that 38% of firms still leave customers listening to nothing but generic music, while a further 29% leave callers in silence and 28% subject them to beeps.
Almost thirty seconds without entertainment and engagement is enough time to drive callers away, deliberating which workshop to call next.
Getting you back on the road
Putting callers on hold doesn’t need to be a negative encounter. Instead, it represents a unique opportunity to provide informative dialogue that keeps callers engaged – tell them about seasonal offers or multi-vehicle discounts, the vehicle types you’re equipped to take care of, workshop locations and promote any new specialist services you offer.
Give customers added reassurance that they are dealing with a reputable company by reinforcing your award accreditations or accolades. Give general advice about road safety or how to best care for fleets during seasonal periods – battery care during the winter months, for instance.
The promotional opportunities of on- hold marketing provides brand-congruent and timely messages which perfectly represent your business.
On the right track
On-hold marketing can transform previous ‘dead air’ into a highly targeted interaction, whilst allowing you to educate and engage with customers. Custom-made music and informative marketing messages have been shown to reduce caller hang-ups by 79% while also decreasing the perceived waiting time, putting your workshop firmly on the road to success.