Revolutionizing Phone Call Management: Adapting to the Digital Era

November 16, 2023
Learn how phone call management within the automotive industry is transforming
In partnership wiTh
Invoca Logo

Zach Hendrix Headshot

Zach Hendrix

Director of Automotive


Paul J Daly Headshot

Paul J Daly



Kyle Mountsier Headshot

Kyle Mountsier



Join our 30-minute webinar to learn how OEMs and dealerships are exceeding customer expectations using call data to personalize marketing and improve call handling through conversation intelligence.

  • Discover strategies to streamline call routing, optimize conversion rates, and improve CSI through advanced analytics and automation tools.
  • Uncover best practices for integrating phone call data into marketing campaigns and audiences for a more personalized and exceptional customer experience.
  • Learn how to bridge the gap between online and offline interactions to create a seamless customer journey.
  • Get inspired by real-world examples of how automotive businesses have embraced AI-powered technologies like Invoca to optimize call management processes.
  • Explore how AI-powered features can revolutionize call scoring, quality assurance, and overall marketing performance.

In addition, we'll share the advantages of using Invoca for BDCs, including call scoring and quality assurance, and how Invoca's technology can enhance your marketing strategy and revenue growth within the automotive industry.

Join us and uncover the secrets to successful phone call management in the automotive industry.

Helpful Links

Case Study with AutoNation - Using Invoca Conversation Intelligence to Connect and Optimize the Omnichannel Buying Experience

Case Study with Christian Brothers Automotive - Using Invoca to Optimize Media Spend and Coach for Increased Customer Satisfaction

Invoca for Automotive

Book a demo with Invoca

Speaker 1  2:27  
today's buyer journeys are more complex than ever, to win their business, you have to connect with consumers wherever they are on their path to purchase. If you convert new sales and customer appointments over the phone, your digital campaigns are already driving valuable leads. But if you don't have a clear picture of your buyers online to offline journeys, you're in the dark. And that could be costing you millions in lost revenue.

Ann-Marie Johnson  2:58  
Hey, everyone, welcome to an ASOTU Edge webinar. Today, we are going to be joined by our friends at invoca. Zach Hendrix is going to be with us. He's the director of automotive and we're going to be talking all about how to revolutionize your call management program, especially around and adapting to the digital era. So I'm really looking forward to it. There's a lot of great information. And I'm gonna pass it off to Paul and Kyle.

Kyle Mountsier  3:23  
Hey, there go, here we go.

Paul Daly  3:26  
I was looking around for like an old school phone. Right? Because I was like, there's gotta be one in back there in the prop room. See, there's probably one I didn't have. I don't I thought about it too late. But I love the topic because there's like, everyone understands a phone call, except for maybe like Gen Alpha. But actually, but not really know because we who are we talking with? We were just at modern retail conference and use car week. And they were saying how Gen alpha and Gen Z actually are going back to talking picking a phone and audio. So I think like we had this little gap. It's more important than people like I imagined

Kyle Mountsier  4:07  
I have to imagine like a Gen Alpha person, like laid out on the couch. Right, like holding their cell phone wrapping the quarter. Oh, not the cord around the school. No, yeah. So I think this is why I'm so excited about this is because there's this general knowledge that understanding what's happening on your phones is important. Right? We've everybody would agree with that. For years and years, we've been talking as an industry about call recording, training, you know, looking back at what's happened so that you can be better in the future. But what we haven't done is what's the real time impact of customer connection like what's happening right now, in your store? In your showroom, when someone picks up the phone? How is like before You get the call recording 22 minutes later and you get an email that things didn't go right. What happens before that? That's the that's the tip of the spear that this industry is really going to, I think talk about and I'm excited to have this conversation because I believe that there's going to be a lot of leading the charge on this, we heard some of this at modern retail conference with people saying, what's the art of possible about connecting this disconnected part of the shopping journey,

Paul Daly  5:26  
it's so easy to like, look at clicks and VDP views and all these like very easy digital, like data points that we can use to leverage into other insights that we can then make changes and have it shape our behaviors. But with the technology out there, like we're kind of there with the phone calls now. Right converting phone calls and words and conversations into digital data points that we can also leverage into future execution. It's a brave new world look when we can make Kyle a video of Kyle speak Hindi. Because of like all this technology and AI crazy, I think, I think I think we can leverage some of that technology or not that exact technology, but you know what I'm saying? Like, they're back to the phone call conversation, right people.

Kyle Mountsier  6:11  
So we're gonna bring in Zach, if you're in and you're watching, do know that whether you're watching online, or in our app, there's a comments tab right there to the side, or in or in line, we do see those comments, our team sees those comments, or if you have questions as we go, we're going to leave time near the end of the webinar today to answer some of those questions. So and if we can answer them in line, excellent. But we'll make sure and leave some time at the end, as we're kind of discovering the data, the art of possible what's going on and how invoca is serving the industry. Make sure that you drop those questions, drop those comments in, and we'll try and respond to those either in real time or at the end of the webinar. But with that said, let's just get Zach on up here.

Speaker 1  6:58  
With new insight into campaign performance, customer behavior, and call handling quality, you'll have the data and analytics you need to get out of the dark. And take your results to the next level. Book your personalized demo today to get started.

Kyle Mountsier  7:21  
There we are, I have to ask the here's my first question before we get into all the call stuff. Like who was the person that thought that said, You know what, we're gonna do a 32nd commercial. And at the end, we're just gonna let it run with money burning. We're just gonna let it was pretty awesome about that. I was like, That's so good. So

Zach Hendrix  7:40  
we have a very talented team. You're back out here on the West Coast. And many thanks to Lacey for that.

Kyle Mountsier  7:48  
So there you go. That's awesome.

Paul Daly  7:50  
Exactly. It took me by surprise. It did. It was like, oh, no, the audio is fine. Oh, I get it. Well,

Kyle Mountsier  7:56  
okay, so let's start there, Zach, and first Welcome. Glad to have you here. Let's get out there. Like, what? Why is the money burning? What's the reality? Where's the like, give us the State of the Union of what's happening in in the phone world, and why the money is burning in the world of customers picking up the phone to call us. Gosh,

Zach Hendrix  8:20  
I think the money has been burning for a long time. Now we just have metrics and insights and technology that empowers us to see that money and how to change the outcome of that. And so you're back into consumer expectations that are the leakage or the slippage of this money. The expectations have always been that we attempt to meet the customer exactly where they're at, I'll be at online or when they choose to pick up the phone and call one of our dealerships. And so specifically, in terms of burning that money and focus solution helps bridge the gap between all of those online activities where cuz customers show us their digital body language, and marries them up with what they decide to do when they pick up the phone and call us.

Paul Daly  9:04  
For somebody who just dropped in or maybe like this is the first time you know, they just dropped in because they check out the webinars and they hear and see the name invoca might not be a super familiar word. Maybe you just like a quick like 60 seconds on where you came from. Yeah,

Zach Hendrix  9:19  
if you're just joining us, and you're Googling Invoker right now, it's your first time hearing about invoca. invoca is a conversation intelligence platform that specializes in working with multilocation businesses just like automotive dealerships and manufacturers. We don't. Yeah. No worries. We help bridge the gap between digital interactions. And when someone decides to pick up the phone and call. Historically, you might think of those things through lenses of call tracking, or call management, conversation analytics or integrations which we specialize in.

Paul Daly  9:54  
And why might they not have heard of you around the automotive like what other types of industries and companies Do you work with because you have a lot of credibility and transferring that I want to make sure we transfer that into the auto industry because isn't your first time around the track?

Zach Hendrix  10:07  
Yeah, invoke is great because we get to build products for our customers customer. And what that means to me specifically is that across multiple verticals, I'll be at banking, fact finance, telecom, your local independent junk haulers, for example you might use in Boca, we help those customers, at the end of the day, marry up what's happening with all of their digital online interactions or engagements with when someone decides to pick up the phone and call. So there's conversations that happen over the phone needs to be married up with what they're doing digitally. Most of the time, consumers do not lie to Google whatsoever, right? Google seems to be like the God we pray to right? You don't go to Google and say I've got a problem with my knee and expect to find a car result. Right. So that's where invoca specializes in specifically, is those multilocation complex businesses. Automotive is a natural fit for that. And so over the last couple years, we've really made a statement in the automotive industry and look to gain traction and prove our concept and solutions more.

Kyle Mountsier  11:11  
So give us a little bit more insight when you talk about connecting ads because I this is a relatively new concept in there, there's a couple in the space that are starting to explore this where Invoker has been doing it outside of the auto space for a long time connecting ads to the customer interaction. You know, in the industry, we've we've gotten used to terms like DNI, right dynamic number insertion on our website, so we can know where someone came from potentially in reporting, or we've gotten used to like a phone bridge. Or maybe we've created numbers for every property across across the internet that that maybe we're displaying ads, or displaying inventory, or displaying a service phone number, so that like we can do a little bit of making sure that the right person is at least answering the phone the majority of the time. So there's like some level of merit familiarity with setting up the phone system in order to get the right you the right, you know, end user to the right. Dealer user. What's What's the new way of that? Like, what's the what's this new connected, that you're talking about? Well,

Zach Hendrix  12:23  
again, backing into the digital engagements, it's very uncommon that you would lie online for what you're searching for. And so if you search for let's take a different industry, for example, if you have to call your cable company, and you search for something like cancel my service, that is a very different call than if you search for add HBO to my service plug HBO There you go. But yeah, no, no relationship there. But payment now. Yeah. So. So that call needs to be treated, routed managed according to the consumers expectations of what they searched, or what they have historically, potentially done with our business before. So capabilities like being able to route calls based on the webpage that consumers are on the search that they started with, or even the historical buying process or value that they have to our end dealerships. For example, wouldn't it be great to be able to route customers who have bought multiple vehicles from US service multiple times from each of our locations, to a specific Concierge Team to treat them a little differently than a new customer? So those are some of the solutions that we attempt to deploy the auto industry for personalization, and marrying that journey up?

Paul Daly  13:41  
What do you think, you know, there, I feel like phones are just a great opportunity to surprise people because I think largely speaking my expectation when I make a phone call is that it's gonna be a challenge. It's gonna be rough. Absolutely. Like I head into it knowing like, Man, I hope I can understand the person I hope that I don't get stuck in, you know, Elevator Music limbo. Um, so what how would you summarize like expectations customers have calling into auto businesses and like some of the ways that those expectations are really exceeded surprise? You know,

Zach Hendrix  14:16  
a good question. Yeah, I think the expectation of the consumer, you'll simply put is to be met exactly where they're at in their process, I'll be at sales or service. And when those expectations increase increased the time it takes to purchase a vehicle or increase the the knowledge that the end consumer has versus what the dealer is saying. There are gaps to be solved for. And some of those gaps I would like him to you're the consumer is on one side of a river and we are on the other side of the river. And historically, we have thrown line across to that consumer and said, Just come in. We'll figure it all out when you come in the dealership. Yes, and And most consumers don't want that, right, they want a better, faster and more convenient experience. And they want to optimize the entire showroom process prior to coming into a dealership. And so just like you mentioned, Paul, your consumers today are calling based on either urgency. They're calling based on status or confirmation, or in sometimes escalation. Then you mentioned that you dread picking up the phone to call, it's generally an escalation point in the journey, where you're saying, I couldn't find what I was looking for online, or I wasn't convinced enough by your marketing to just show up that I was forced to call. And so the call is a moment of truth that we can take data points from not only conversationally, but what point on our webpages or digital properties that that consumer decide to call? And do we need to make updates to that, for that customer to either self serve better? Or do we want more phone calls? And do we want to drive interactions and better outcomes over the phone by limiting the self service options that consumers have? Why that's

Kyle Mountsier  16:06  
Go ahead. I love that. Because historically, it's kind of been the marketer that is responsible for the call tracking system, right? And then they kind of hand it off to operations. It's like here, we got all the phone numbers to the the routes that you wanted, and operations, don't go screw it up, right. But what you're saying is, there's an enablement side, for the marketing side of the business that says, hey, these phone calls might actually have an indicator on shopping behavior, right? Not just the behavior that happens while someone's on the phone, but the intent or desire or a change in shopping flow that happened as a result, or created the result of a phone call. I think that's a super dynamic way, have you seen real examples of change or lift in a business when they start to make decisions based off that data?

Zach Hendrix  17:05  
Of course, digital retailing is an easy one to pick on. You know, I think two years ago, three years ago, everyone said, Hey, we need to migrate to digital retailing tools so that we can sell cars online because no one can come in our dealerships, because the COVID and so digital retailing now, there's these points of inflection where the consumer is going through the 10 step process to retail their car completely online. And there are points in that process. Trade in is a massive one, where consumers abandon the DVR, or digital retailing tool and end up calling the dealership. And then guess what they have to do when they call, you have to explain the entire process that they just went through again, to the sales agent who's going to transfer them to a used car manager to get their trade valued. So we can bridge those gaps and route the call directly to where it needs to go and provide the answering agent with all of the valuable data what that consumer achieved prior to calling our dealership. Those points of inflection are easy once for us to make adjustments or recommend adjustments on things like where should you put the trade in application and your DR tool? Or should you lead gate it? You know? So there's there's a bunch of valuable insights in the reality that when we're when someone calls the dealership, we're either forcing them to call, or they're calling based on urgency, confirmation or status.

Paul Daly  18:30  
You know, there's like, I think there's this perception that the more digital we get in the process, the less need there are. There is for phone calls. What is your experience, like? Even though like a lot of retailers and maybe even some like big name retailers are moving, like saying like, hey, we have a fully digital process, you can buy your car online and all that, in your experience. Like, what's the what's the pace of phone calls still needed to like, get the thing across the line?

Zach Hendrix  19:00  
Right now the average dealer and a buying or service experience for the consumer, about 70% of the time that consumer is still calling a dealership. And those numbers are up about 3% year over year. And so you know more

Paul Daly  19:15  
phone calls, not less,

Zach Hendrix  19:17  
more phone calls right now. Wow.

Paul Daly  19:19  
Why do you think that is like why do you think the more is? Why are we calling more now?

Zach Hendrix  19:24  
Well, that's a golden question. I wish I had the the ultimate single silver platter that I could answer it on for you. But there's a variety of reasons right? We've been through a ton of change in the last two, three years. You've got manufacturers converting from manufacturing disciplines to software engineering disciplines. You've got dealers on the opposite side of that trying to deal with new buyers in education of Evie. Education of the ACES market of autonomous connected electric and shared vehicles. also dealing with inventory concerns and service advisors shortages. So, your phone calls are predominantly that communication type again, where if the consumer can't solve what they're looking to achieve online, they're calling the dealership at an increase of 3% year over year.

Paul Daly  20:14  
That's not a silver platter. It was pretty good, though.

Kyle Mountsier  20:16  
I'd Yeah, that was pretty good. I'm not gonna lie. Okay, so So then, like, let's say someone, what's the change management necessary to do something like this? Because it seems like this, this is kind of a radical shift in the way that you think about doing businesses? Is it a massive change management? Or are you seeing that, that dealers that kind of have, you know, processes in place can start to adapt this new learning, especially, you know, surfacing data to users or routing to the right place? What's, what's the change management to get to this? Well,

Zach Hendrix  20:54  
your dealers like to change vendors, it is common to see every single 30 days someone switch to a different provider and chase a shiny object. That's definitely not our goal here. The goal is to do more without doing more work. And so we can do that with adapting the processes that exist in the industry already. to the earlier point that you made about sales trainers or efficiencies of call handling. There are more sales trainers in automotive than there are tick tock cryptocurrency influencers. So we can. That's it. Yeah, we can very easily adopt the training behaviors that are so well ingrained into our in dealerships. The entire goal is to tune those processes up and make them more efficient, based on the real time data versus random call sampling.

Paul Daly  21:49  
So here, we actually have a comment, we're gonna go to a comment a little bit early than saving it to the end, because I'd love to also after this, we want to hear some, you know, real world interactions, or maybe some stories and how people are leveraging the technology to solve some of the problems here's a comment. says

Okay, here it is, do what you want with it, I've learned that no one knows how to properly configure their digital retail systems car guys are car guys not tech support. That's where nerds like me come in. So that's kind of an I don't know, if we're reading names on questions. What was your response to that comment?

Zach Hendrix  22:32  
Configuration of digital retailing? Yes,

Kyle Mountsier  22:34  
yeah. Like, okay, so So the idea is, is, you know, we've got all this data, and but it's like, hey, we want we want, how do we start to make decisions on where to place users on, on, on, on where to take them on a journey? Is there a way that we can look at call records to go? This was really a misstep? Like, is AI to the point of like surfacing the issue? That was a hand that created the call? Definitely,

Zach Hendrix  23:06  
yeah. You know, when we look at our breakdowns, and dealership processes and call handling, again, much of the industry is indexed around better sales process improvement through coaching, training, and sales process efficiencies with with coaching, essentially, or we call that QA, or invoca for BDCs and Volker for automotive ability to take AI to conversationally listened to every single phone call. And not only provide the sentiment around that, and not sentiment, a level of good bad or neutral sentiment and a level of of was empathy expressed to the customer potentially smile on the call was the agent, what was the progression of the call over time. So outside of the sales functions of it that are very common and will migrate seamlessly with the Invoker partners. The marketing side is where we see a ton of pickup in preventing those calls from even happening in the first place. Ensure that those calls get to the right person the first time. And so if we take the digital retailing example, if a consumer is calling a dealership, on steps, seven out of 10 of their digital retailing process, because they lack their VIN number from their trade, and they need to get their trade valued, why not transfer that call to the used car manager who can help that customer faster than straight to a receptionist who will route the call page and park it? Maybe get answered? Maybe not. And then the consumer just goes straight back into self servicing or deflects from our dealership altogether.

Paul Daly  24:42  
So it really is it really is a way to bridge the gap between what happened online and now what's happening offline. And we'll put those two together in a way that it feels seamless and natural. And I mean, maybe maybe it doesn't exceed expectations. Maybe it just is what they expect. You meet expectations instead of disappointing because you got them in the right place for the right thing at the right time.

Kyle Mountsier  25:08  
One of the questions that's being asked right now, by a lot of people is is is is a CDP right for me? If I do have a CDP? What can I actually do with it? And then on the end of that, if, if that's correct, if I'm if I'm able to do something with it, how is that saving money in money from a dollars perspective, so, because that conversation around CDP and marketing efficiency is so ripe right now, in our industry, how does like phone call management fit into that conversation?

Zach Hendrix  25:41  
was a great point. I think CDP's like aI have become quite the buzzword in the space. And the good news is a lot of the marketing automation activities that are taking place with inside of CDP's. Your phone call management within that only provides it with an extra layer of gasoline for more personalization. So with phone calls, most consumers today prior to engaging with their dealership prefer to be anonymous, when they decide to pick up the phone and call. Now we've got a unique identifier. And phone numbers are ultimately becoming your social security number in a way. And when you call a dealership, what invoca or your existing solutions today, like us can do is query the CDP and say, hey, does this customer data exist? If not, we should update it. In addition to that, around customer profiling, you can update things like events that have happened on the phone or prior to that customer calling that can aid in audience management, attribution, customer profiling, etc. So it is it's incredible to see some of these dealers who are advanced with this to see them look at their customer bases in a recurring fashion rather than just transactionally. So you're lighting up CDP's with more datasets and events that can just be used for better automation and better personalization.

Kyle Mountsier  27:05  
Yeah, I mean, you think about that if someone calls the dealership five times a year, it's probably not because they're buying five cars a year. They're asking service questions, or they're asking title questions, or they're asking f&i questions. And so building that all into the customer profile starts to make a whole lot more sense. Not just that, and you said this, but I think that this is so key, and a lot of people in auto don't realize it. When the phone is your social, you know, that pretty much everything that you log into today is relevant is regulated by Telecom, right, so your to FA, it's a text message, your to FA is an app on your phone. And so it's just home base for so much. And so if the data that comes in from that is, is the most rich data because like emails change, people have multiple emails, all that type of stuff. But more often than not, people are probably calling on their mobile phones, which is that central source of truth. It's almost like it's like a VIN number is to a car is a mobile phone is to a person at this point. Yeah,

Zach Hendrix  28:08  
I mean, I'll give you a good example of how we see dealers use phone call data, or pre called data with inside of CDP's to personalize the journey for each individual customer. Perfect. Today is Thursday, chances are there's lots of consumers calling to set up service appointments or sales appointments for the weekend. Between now and this weekend, there's two to three days of gap that might exist for an opportunity for us to serve up a message that's irrelevant based on the phone conversation that someone has had with a dealership. And so if phone call data is sent into the CDP, now we can change what that message is, or suppress the customer from getting adverts that they have already converted on. Or adverts that might be a lower price than the car that they converted on, or adverts that are irrelevant to that customer. So it is your phone call data layer is so much larger than just transactional data that we've historically relied on for things like audience inclusion or suppression.

Kyle Mountsier  29:10  
It's like I Paul, I just love these webinars because we're, we're over here just like well, that's, that's new. That's, you know, like, that's every single one that we have. I absolutely love that. If if if you're encouraging a dealer today, like maybe they don't have the capacity to totally overhaul their phone system and this next week or even in this next month, you know they're locked into a contract. I don't know what it is. What's a step that any dealer right now can take to to lean in to the newer capacities of managing phone call and and connecting connecting that that online to offline interaction. What's What's one thing that everybody can look at or step into today.

Zach Hendrix  29:59  
The ease See a solution to implement by doing nothing with and do more with it is looking at the marketing solutions. So replacing your phone numbers with invoca numbers, you know, on paid search or paid media types, getting a better, cleaner format for attribution, your daresay, along with AI and CDP is becoming one of the most overused words in our space, but being able to look at things like okay, I'm running branded keyword search today, what percentage of those calls are sales versus service? Now, we're the vast majority of dealers today who run branded keyword search, which is another debate. But you know, you're attributing those phone calls to sales queries, right? So if we if we flip that script now and allows you not only a better picture, but a opportunity to invest differently,

Paul Daly  30:52  
got a question in the chat is invoca integrated with all automotive? CRMs? Yes. That was a great answer. That's easy.

Kyle Mountsier  31:01  
He's like, absolutely.

Paul Daly  31:05  
I don't know why I was expecting like a little explanation. Yes.

Zach Hendrix  31:09  
I guess a longer tail explanation is we don't look at integrations as a yes or no, it's generally based on a use case. Gotcha. So whatever the use case is, we built that. Yeah.

Kyle Mountsier  31:20  
Yeah. And the reality is, is that from a CRM perspective, and auto, all of the CRMs are fighting to stay ahead of integrating anything phone. And so even if it wasn't the perfect integration like it, you know, like you said, your site is building for the use case, and not just the plug and play. So kudos to that. Well, Zach, it's it's been a pleasure. We got a couple great questions, got some real insights. You stumped Paul and I just a couple of times, which is always a kudos to you. Thanks to you, and invoca for joining us on this webinar.

Zach Hendrix  31:55  
Hey, thanks again for having me.

Kyle Mountsier  31:57  
Awesome. We'll toss it to Anne Marie to close us out.

Ann-Marie Johnson  32:04  
All right, everyone. I hope you enjoyed that. I sure did. Definitely had a couple of chuckles and learned a lot. So we'll be back for another webinar next month. In the meantime, if you missed it today, we will be pushing out the recording to everyone who was registered. And we'll push that out in the LinkedIn event as well. So thanks again for being here. And have a wonderful day.

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