Panel Discussion: Voice Technology is Transforming Today's Service Drives Panel Discussion: Voice Technology is Transforming Today's Service Drives

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welcome back to the fixed ops round table and uh we've heard so much at previous events about voice technology uh google has been here and we've we've discussed that with a number of retailers we're really honored today to have the folks from brook with us here today talking a little bit about how voice technology is transforming that customer service experience today uh and also lowering operational costs so i want to go ahead and welcome our panelists uh they are lawson owen who is the ceo of brooke as well as jason beckett the chief operating officer also of brook i want to welcome greg storrow who is the chief financial officer of mckenna cars and also alex the bdc director at mckenna cars welcome everybody to the fixed ops round table thanks for having us ted thank you ted uh lawson this is a conversation that's really uh i think long overdue because you know to get into depth on how voice technology is really transforming the industry and how it's transformed so many other industries uh where the automobile retail automobile industry is really following right now yeah you know we um we deal with it every day in our life you know our own personal life as well as our our business life and so what we tried to do here at was to leverage a lot of the historical speech data that we had to really bring a unique offering to the automotive industry and service uh specifically interacting with a digital voice assistant again is commonplace whether it be siri alexa or even google you had mentioned google the reality is is that we moved through the next year or two by 2024 there's actually going to be 8.4 billion um interactions or units that are out there in the marketplace by consumers and businesses that leverage a digital voice assistant and we see it in commonplace with airlines and credit card companies and things of that nature so we thought it was a great time to bring it to automotive uh and certainly with the onset of the pandemic and kobit we found a great place in the market for yeah and it's really not just automotive it's it's all sectors that are really diving into digital voice assistance one interesting thing we've seen is purchase transactions over the years how that's increasing and consumers are becoming more um interested in purchasing through voice technology in 2020 uh two billion dollars was um was sold through voice technology where consumers actually purchase through through a digital voice assistant by 2025 it's supposed to be 164 billion that's a 630 percent increase in just a few years and why is that interesting because me giving someone my money or something my money is the highest form of trust um and so this is a great indicator that consumers are really becoming more interested and and open to using this type of technology i think that's the big thing is the biggest challenge with different or new technology is the rate of adoption and from a dealer's perspective we know that the rate of adoption is there from the consumer's perspective we just have to help the dealer get comfortable leveraging that technology which has all sorts of customer experience csi benefits uh in addition to uh saving a lot of money wow you know when you mentioned the trust that really hits home and uh i i would totally agree with you as consumers which we all are uh we're all seeing and we're interacting now with digital assistants whether we realize it or not um jason tell us a little bit more about that data again that you're seeing because i really think that the audience needs to know a little bit more about that yeah so we have a a call monitoring tool called caller cx that's been in the marketplace for many years we use ai to track and record calls into the dealership so we see a lot of data around what happens with those calls 65 percent of um ros are from inbound calls it's the largest lead source for uh for a fixed ops drive and so what we see in addition to that though is 20 to 30 percent of those calls fail they're lost dropped or abandoned and with the you know great resignation right now that's actually even higher so the largest lead source for a service drive they're losing about a third of those just from not answering the phones the ones that do get answered we're seeing a high hold time anywhere from seven to ten minutes for for many dealers so that's really where a digital voice assistant can help is to eliminate that problem where all calls are being answered and they're being answered quickly and effectively with no hold time to be providing a better customer experience i also think it's important to understand the the negative or adverse effects it has on the dealer's brand right the dealership name but also obviously the brand you know whether it be ford or toyota or whatever it is they might be selling so so those struggles of challenges that the consumer has in connecting with it with an organization adversely affects the brand um the customer experience your csi scores obviously your revenue potential and so that's a real problem that exists in every dealership in north america yeah lawson you're so right from a consumer's perspective there's probably nothing more frustrating than trying to connect with the dealership you know over over the phone and all the things jason that you're mentioning now with the great resignation you know these are a lot of challenges that dealers have greg talk to us from the retail perspective what are you seeing now you know going back even you know pre pandemic to all the things that have happened in the last 24 months well we've uh we've already seen that things have come back in terms of fixed stops uh we've got more folks on the drive we have people that are you know anxious to get their car serviced uh i think that the um you know the business as a whole is you know kind of at a place it's in a turnaround mode more than anything before we had seen some months starting some weaker and now we're seeing some pretty steady uh volume um our bdc department was down to four people at the beginning of the pandemic and then through the pandemic and we're up to an average of probably six people in there on a given month and uh you know we're we're very very busy and um you know we're doing a lot more campaigns now uh we find that it's valuable to do those things because we've got the interest of the consumer probably our challenges really are are actually nothing to do with anything we're talking about here today but they directly do have some impact which is loaner cars are very difficult to obtain uh every dealer has that problem it's not just us and um and so that's that's impacting service and i'll let alex describe that a little bit because she's front line with that and then also uh just in general just you know finding technicians and having enough people to service the um the consumer and we find that we've had challenges there too but we're breaking through those but alex can talk to you a little bit more about some of the other pains that she's seen on the front lines and if i may alex before i come to you greg just to follow up did you know you were missing calls in service in the bdc you know pre-pandemic going back a little ways yes yes we did and we knew that because uh we used proactive for our our call center management system and we knew we were missing somewhere neighborhood of like 14 to 20 and most of those calls were on the front and back of the day so it wasn't necessarily during the day but mostly front and back we were missing calls primarily okay yeah and and i i would agree with you i think most dealers you know in their heart of hearts and general managers know that they're missing missing a volume of calls alex talk to us uh from your perspective what's happening in the bbc you know as greg mentioned we had a smaller staff when i first joined the company um and so one of the first directives for me was to bring in a staff that could properly handle all of our calls and actually focus on making outbound attempts as well um as you mentioned a high volume of the calls are inbound and so a high volume of the ros are inbound that's given right and so the focus of a business development center should always be to develop business um and so with having something like brook we're actually able to do outbound campaigns increase the number of touches on clients that aren't reaching out to us and we know that the calls that are coming into the store are handled no matter what whether it be outside of the hours of the bdc operation or during the day when my staff is making outbound attempts to clients that just haven't thought about servicing their cars recently and alex talk to us about the the people because with all the things that we're hearing and seeing now with the great resignation uh has this helped you you know in terms of the the staffing and the people and being able to address those inbound calls coming in yeah absolutely i mean stopping is really difficult in general it's even more difficult right now when you find good staff you know then you run into issues of people calling out sick or having personal things going on uh nothing is perfect right as greg mentioned we have an average of six um but on a given day we might have four people here we might have six people here it's just kind of dependent on um what's going on in everyone's life and so being able to know that even if i have someone call out sick or if i have to let someone go the calls that are coming in are still handled is really really important and it means that our store does not suffer um because of you know humans which are unpredictable that's right that's right it's a people business uh jason talk to us a little bit for our audience how does brook help with a lot of the challenges that we're hearing about you know right now between uh greg and alex yeah so um within the service drive about 75 of the calls coming into a service drive are are routine requests so their hours of operation you know when can i bring my vehicle in pricing and that's really what a digital voice system helps to do is take on those inbound calls handle those routine requests right so 75 of those calls can be handled by a digital voice assistant and that allows then the bdc like alex was mentioning and then focused on the outbound revenue generating calls it also helps them focus on specific campaigns so they're not getting distracted by you know the fragmented inbound calls that are coming in um on in within the service drive it also helps with the service advisors now they're not being distracted by the inbound calls that they can actually focus on the customers in the drive and providing you know a great customer experience whether that be walk around or just you know helping the customer lawson talk to us and by the way this makes a whole lot of sense for dealers watching lawson how does this help in delivering a consistent experience for the consumer as well um you know that's a great question and i think everyone you know we've touched on a couple times here and certainly alex alex did too you know the whole purpose or intent of a business development center is to develop business and the reality is is every outbound call is a retention call regrettably though those campaign calls those outbound calls those proactive calls are probably some of the most neglected calls within the service department or within the dealership and so what we need to focus in on is not only the reactionary side which brook obviously helps greatly but also how do we free up our staff especially if we have a limited staff or a a green staff you know i think what we've seen through the great resignation and certainly pandemic is a lot of our talent has left and we're starting over so you have different you have different employees at different maturation rates different skill sets uh so brook actually allows you to free up those people so they can focus on those retention calls those campaign calls if we don't retain or maintain the relationship with our service customers they're not going to come back to us there's a lot of options out there in the marketplace whether it be other dealers or some of the independents from a service perspective we have to focus on those retention calls i like it uh alex and then greg anything you like to like to add to that no i think that was pretty well put you know my staff some of the people that i have are new to the auto industry um and i've been able to work with them on focusing only on outbound campaigns um so they answer you know maybe a handful of inbound calls every day um but they're averaging you know between 40 and 60 outbound attempts a day to clients that we have not reached out to um so you know that's really important to us to grow our business yeah i would say greg yeah i think that's true i mean alex is right the um what brook allows us to do is really to have more flexibility whether it be the staffing issue which we've had or for example something she didn't mention the other day we had um the the store where we have the bdc was being the whole uh parking lots being resurfaced and she had to she had to send everybody home around one o'clock in the afternoon because it was just the the fumes were too rough for uh for them to continue to work and you know um you know i guess i don't know alex you might be able to tell i don't even i didn't ask you yet because it only happened last week and we haven't met on this but how many calls we actually were able to cover with brooke for that afternoon because i'm sure we were fortunate to have brooke that day she sent 52 appointments wow wow i love it and yeah greg nothing more real world than that right because that's happening every day in our lives it was crazy i mean it was the only thing we could do and that that 52 appointments would never have happened had we not had brook right now um greg and alex i know a lot of our people in our audience work uh in dealership and we even have a lot of bdc managers who are watching today and i can imagine some of them greg are thinking right now okay uh this makes sense but is the intent of brook to replace the staff at the dealership and that's got to be a question they're thinking greg is you know talk to us about that uh yes and in fact we had a little pushback from the one veteran in our group uh she's one of our best and she was freaking out we pulled put brook in and you know we kind of held the line and said look this is what we're going to do and really our response for brook was to cover the bookends of the business the before hours and after hours and we expect that our team does their best job in the middle of the day i believe that you probably could given even our example of the the other afternoon where we took 52 calls appointments i should say we can we could replace somebody but we're not intending to do that because we still want that touch we want that high touch feeling and i think that um you know we're going to you know we're gonna have those people dedicated more to outbound than inbound they get paid more for out outbound than inbound and so really as it comes out it's a win for everybody because the pressure of handling the inbound calls isn't as great so when we've got four or five agents all making outbound calls they don't they can do that with some level of uh intention and not worry about the uh the four or five calls that are ringing while they're in the background while they're actually taking the time to make some outbound calls so no we haven't had i think everyone's calmed down now in that regard and uh you know i guess alex you work with them every day but i i don't sense there's any issue with it and they thought they thought their job was you know not as much losses they were going to lose money that was the bigger thing i think they're losing their job well being able to to adjust the pay plan to really uh focus on outbounds and to reward outbound attempts was one of the first things that greg and i worked on when i joined the staff because with the introduction of brook you know the focus was always to get those clients that weren't calling in replacing staff has never been our intent simply because you know jason mentioned 25 of the calls that come in are not simple right um those calls need the human touch those calls end up transferred to a human because of additional concerns or questions and so if there was no bdc staff and only brooke those people that were calling in with more complex issues would be completely frustrated so it's a stop gap for the simple things so that our staff can focus on outbounds and campaigns and and retention um but it's not a replacement in any way and you know calming our staff by you know rewarding them for their efforts for the outbounds was really one of the first ways that we were able to kind of get everyone on board and now you know when i had to send them home because our office was just filled with asphalt fumes no one was like no one was stressed out that they were going to miss out on money right um because they knew that brooke was there to answer the phones and so the next day we all said oh can we guess how many calls she took you know can we guess how many appointments she set and they're they're into it now they're a part of their they're a fan of brook as much as the rest of the companies you know i'm becoming familiar now with this persona of brook brook because we're referring to her as she now so um by the way alexander i love that story about the paving talk to me about you know things like holidays and closures i would imagine that brooke helps you with calls about that hilariously thanksgiving day we had something like 25 calls and five set appointments and i i was you know i was laughing because i was like what what car dealership has ever been open on thanksgiving i can't think of a single one and here here we are getting service calls with people actually setting appointments on thanksgiving day and so you know without brooke there would be those five appointments that were missed out on and that sounds like a really small number but that's five people who would be frustrated and probably never call us again if they hadn't been able to just quickly set their appointment when they wanted to so yeah i love it a great great point alex jason this is really amazing okay some of the things that we're hearing here for those of us who aren't familiar with exactly what a digital voice assistant can do for service i'm learning some of the things right now but tell us more yeah i think what we talked about earlier like digital voice assistant is is perfect for handling those routine requests right so we talked about 75 percent of calls coming in our our routine faqs um overall 62 percent what we're seeing are customers calling in to to book an appointment and that's where digital voices does really well um so jiggle voices sister in a brook is is meant to answer handle and appoint your inbound service calls uh what's great about a digital voice assistant is that it's your best service coordinator at scale whereas you know a human can only handle one call at a time the digital voice assistant can handle thousands of calls simultaneously so as your dealership inbound calls fluctuate throughout the day you don't have to worry about staffing right that overflow can just go to brook and you can keep your staffing pretty steady you know you pair that with also integrating a digital voice assistant with your scheduling tool or dms now you can provide a very consistent experience where the digital voice assistant is booking the appointments the way you want them to be booked right what vehicles do you want to service what services do you want to offer you know thinking about transportation options service advisor capacity shop capacity you know the digital voice system takes all that into account and so they really become your best service coordinator because they're always following your policies uh we actually have a clip to play for you it's a real clip of a customer um just how they've set up brook to handle transportation options so i'm hoping we can play that now for you i have options for transportation i can offer you while your vehicle is being serviced note that if you choose just to drop your vehicle off i can get you in up to three days sooner so would you like to drop off your vehicle wait for it or hear the transportation options i have wait for it so greg take us take us through that call and some of the areas were some of the challenges that you mentioned earlier as well well we we mentioned before that we've had issues with folks not being able to get a loaner car and so what we were having happen was folks would go through the brook process and then they would call back and they and they you know they mine the system to get to a real person and then they say do you really not have a car for me i don't understand this i don't understand why you don't have a car for me and so we started have this and what was happening is brook actually became more of a problem than a solution for a short period of time because we were literally taking those calls twice once when they logged in and the second time when they called back and so what happened is we put some we we asked if uh brook could be set up so that we answered the issue and addressed the issue of the rental car or loaner car at the beginning of the call so there was complete understanding that was set before they went all the way through the entire process and saved a tremendous amount of time doing that and so i think that's just one of those things where everything needs tweaking a little bit that would probably be the one single area that we've had a challenge with i mean we can't control the technicians or things like that and you know fortunately we're linked with the dms so our appointments that are available through brooke are only the appointments we can provide so there's never really an overbooking going on but the rental car thing was something they literally invest two or three minutes four minutes and then process and then they're like shoot man i'll keep my appointment i'm going to call back and that's just you know we had to find a way to deal with that okay uh jason are customers really ready to schedule their service appointments using this type of technology yeah so there's two there's two factors that we track or two kpis we track to really understand um you know the customer experience and well whether customers are willing to work with this technology the first is containment so how well does a digital voice assistant do to contain the call within the digital voice assistant without having to transfer out and you know we mentioned earlier that's about 75 so 75 percent of the time digital voice assistant or brooke is able to handle that call from beginning to end um you know there's there's certain calls that do have to be transferred either more complex conversations that need to be have with a service advisor or they're you know transfers to a different department that kind of thing the second is the appointment rate so how often does uh brooke or digital voice assistant actually you know complete the task of you know the main task of booking an appointment um and there we're seeing about 65 plus with our top performers so and that's all driven by the scheduling tool and how you're configured and how you wanna how you want those uh appointments to be handled so yeah we're very happy with the results and um and the progress uh digital voices are making in the market jason great points and uh you know if i'm a i'm a dealer or a general manager or fixed ops director or service manager watching right now uh greg let me come back to you um you've mentioned and alex has mentioned also some of the things you know as you went through and you know implementing brooke at your locations at your nine rooftops uh anything else we need to know um about uh you know when you first introduce brooke uh that we need to be aware of you know in going forward i you know i honestly got it was the easiest implementation we've ever had when i think about uh cdk contracts and other things we've done in this place uh we've done implement you know in intelligent accounts payable solutions e-payment systems for cashiering this thing was like it was not even on the radar to be honest and i mean literally we did it almost immediately when uh alex arrived and i mean i think it was like the first thing she did and she didn't have a staff yet it was amazing how easy it was in my opinion i mean i i it and again along the way now the tweaks haven't been that hard either and learning how to use it i mean you don't need a lot of training to use this tool and i think that's the hallmark of it is it's it's kind of a no-brainer in fact i can tell you that when i introduced this at the time i was off i was i was i was really heading up fixed ops for a while but we didn't have someone in that seat and i had one of the service managers check it out and then he brought his findings to the meeting and the literally there wasn't any pushback in this place there's always pushback not one person not one person said no to brooke well it's uh it's almost bulletproof uh from what i'm hearing alex talk to me from the bdc from the bdc manager perspective you talked about things earlier you know uh such as pay plans um you know how was uh how was you know how are the bdc managers going to be uh you know receiving this when they think about the technology and like you said how some of their folks are and how they are compensated as well well first of all it's funny greg mentioned it was the first thing i did i think i i started on a monday i think we set this up on a wednesday of the same week um so i hadn't even had a demo on it nothing and it was incredibly easy to set up um you know speaking of the great resignation and you know the challenges that we've had during the pandemic um you can't have a seven day a week bdc anymore you can't have the the boiler room you know 8 a.m to 8 p.m

um seven days a week covering the phones it's just not possible um with what's going on in the world and so you know bdc directors should look at this as something that kind of takes some of the weight off of their shoulders in terms of handling calls at all hours of the day um helping customers at all hours of the day and it lets them manage their staff you know i can pull my staff off the phone and have meetings with them about what we need to accomplish and no one is stressed out about answering a call if it comes in right because brooke is there to answer the phone um we can do growth training uh constantly and it actually lets me work with my team and improve my team on a daily basis rather than letting things snowball because we're so worried about the immediate of answering the phone so bdc directors should look at this as a tool to free them up to actually manage a staff instead of be so focused on you know ticky tack like one call here one call there um it's it's that's not the way to grow a department and it's not a way to manage a staff so we have to move forward and embrace this technology so that we can be better as managers so alex let me come to you with my last question uh any other insights you can offer into how my dealership if i'm watching this right now and i want to think about it how am i going to prepare my people at the dealership level for a new digital voice assistant any insight that you can provide to our audience there yeah brooke is an assistant brooke is an extension of your department she's she is another employee for the the dealership who to jason's point can answer many calls simultaneously all dealerships have to do is be ready to embrace the technology and say yes um you know if you're ready all you have to do is let brooke know they're super communicative and helpful and you can look at this as an extension of your team so you know how they're ready to to do it is just say yes embrace the technology move forward i love it i love it um lawson and jason great job all right so if i'm uh if i'm watching this right now and i want to take the next step and learn more about um what do i need to do how do we get ahold of it yeah i'd say just visit the website you know uh reach out to us we'd be more than happy to share with you um how brook works what the power and the potential and the and the opportunity savings uh would be for your organization you know and i think the first thing we'd ask you to do is to just open up your mind ignore it acknowledge the reality of the struggle or challenges of getting your service calls answered acknowledge the reality of the staff struggles that we face in today's market and then give brooke a chance you know trust is hard for most dealers or organizations so have brooke handle after hours and overflow and see how she performs for you the reality is we schedule almost 10 000 appointments a month just in after hours and overflow calls for stores so just go to and check it out and it's going to continue to grow lost and i could see it right now it's it's happening all around us so you know if if i wait you know my competitors may not be waiting as well so um you know great job everybody uh uh both greg and alex from mckenna cars thank you so much for being with us today on the fixed ops round table and uh lawson and jason uh thank you so much for all that you and and brooke and that she is doing for the industry so really enjoyed hearing about uh this solution and i want to invite you to come back and tell us more about it at the next round table thanks ted appreciate it all right the panel from brook here today at the fixed ops round table

2022-04-13 04:22

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