Driving sales with service calls

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How The Car Girls helps dealers make more money

Janis Showers was in the middle of a service-call training session when one of the managers at the dealership had a better idea. “Can’t you just make the calls? Can’t you make this all go away?”

Showers picked up the phone that day to ask her friend if she wanted a job, and The Car Girls was born.

The Car Girls is much more than a call centre that connects dealers to their service customers. Her staff cultivate relationships and foster trust by helping car owners understand how recommended maintenance saves them money.

“I’d rather tell someone I’m calling to tell them they need to replace their timing belt than sell them a flush or something that they don’t need,” she said.

Showers knows that dealerships often lack the bandwidth to make those revenue-driving calls happen. “We’re trying to help them on the front lines where they’re spread so thin,” Showers said. As a car sales veteran, she understands those demands first-hand. “I feel their pain,” she said.

That’s why Showers trains her staff using “deep phone skills.” Her staff are trained on what to say, and how to use the dealership’s CRM to call the right person at the right time, and according to CRTC rules.

The bottom line for Showers is helping dealers make more money. “If the work order count’s been averaging 20 work orders a day, and after three months we’re averaging 25 work orders a day, we know we’ve done our job,” she said. The company also uses Customer Pay numbers to measure its success.

She recently told a room full of dealers at DealerTalkX in Toronto that marketing success comes from loving your data. But she understands that keeping customer information up-to-date and “scrubbed” in the complex world of automotive maintenance is not an easy job.

“It’s a mountain, and you climb a couple of steps every day,” Showers said.

Right now, the core business of The Car Girls is to get the calls done “however the dealerships wants to work with us,” as well as train in-house dealership marketing staff to field the call backs.

“We host people here who make calls, and they sit with us to see how we do it,” Showers said. “We can pump out 500 calls, but [they] can’t do that,” However they can take the “30 people who call back.”

Showers already has her eye on the next frontier: providing dealerships with full-service BDC, and equipping the recently acquired Car Girls garage to train dealership staff on critical skills, like the art of the vehicle walk-around.

But it’s the company name that reveals her greatest passion. Showers chose ‘The Car Girls” deliberately to fuel her mission to bring women into the automotive industry.

“You have to go to major league baseball team owners to find a category less represented by women,” she said, even though “companies make more money when there are women in management.”

“If you have any diversity then you can better serve your clients,” said Showers.

To learn more about the Car Girls, visit http://thecargirls.ca/#automotive-call-centre.

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Canadian auto dealer