Which CRISP Phone Handling Metric
Should My Dealership Actually Focus on
to Capture More Leads?
Take the five-minute CRISP quiz below to identify which strategic phone handling metric your dealership should focus on. The suggested metrics, based on Car Wars’ CRISP phone handling regime, aim to help dealers increase call conversions and improve customer experience!
Currently, what is your dealership's biggest challenge?
Inventory shortages
Letting high-value prospects slip through the cracks
Customer no-shows for scheduled appointments
Shortage of staff
Are your calls currently being tracked?
Yes, 100% of inbound and outbound calls are being tracked and recorded with great reporting
Yes, only our inbound calls are being tracked
Yes, our calls are being recorded but with no high-level reporting
No, none of our calls are being tracked
On average, what percent of customer calls are NOT answered by your staff?
50% - 75%
26% - 50%
0% - 25%
I'm not sure
If a customer calls into your dealership interested in a particular vehicle but has concerns about the price, what is your agents' most common response?
Informing the customer that the price of the vehicle is not going to decrease because you have other customers willing to pay full price
Requesting the customer to come in and look at that vehicle and discuss pricing once they arrive
Asking if there are any other vehicles they would like to know the price of
Requesting they come in to look at similar models that still fit their needs, but are in their desired price range
Does your team understand the difference between soft and firm appointments? If yes, how many appointments booked each week are firm appointments as opposed to soft appointments?
What is the difference between a soft and firm appointment?
Yes, 51% - 100%
Yes, 0% - 50%
Does your dealership have a set goal for outbound calls made each day or week per Sales agent?
What's the first thing your customer hears when they call into the dealership?
Phone bridge (i.e., “Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Service, Press 3 for Parts”)
Receptionist or BDC agent
Ringing until a Sales agent answers; if no answer, they are sent to voicemail
How many of your phone-ups convert to test drives?
0% - 25%
26% - 50%
51% - 75%
76% - 100%
When a phone up expresses interest in a vehicle on your lot, what is your agents' most common response?
Offer 2 different times to come in and test drive the vehicle and see which works better for them
Encourage them to come in later today because vehicles on the lot are selling fast
Let them know which days you will be at the dealership so they can come in when they are available
What type of outbound calls are currently being made at your dealership?
Service status updates
Voicemail follow-ups
Appointment reminders
Call backs for customer who hung up on hold
Follow-up calls post-purchase or post-Service appointment
Phone ups that never set a firm appointment at your dealership
Declined Service follow-up calls
Follow-up calls to appointment no-shows
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Connect is the first step toward bringing in new, valuable customers to your dealership. A connected call does NOT mean the phone was answered or the customer spoke to a receptionist who transferred them to a voicemail. A connected call is when your customer gets ear to ear with a qualified agent and hangs up with their questions answered.

Tips to improve call connection:
Don't let the phone ring more than 3 times. 52% of customers won't call back if their call wasn't answered!
Utilize phone bridges so each customer gets connected to the right department without getting transferred and left stranded on hold. The average hold time is 3 minutes!
Keep your phones staffed, especially during your largest call volume days and hours.

You aren't selling the car over the phone; you're selling the appointment! Every time a customer discusses inventory, make sure you are requesting they come in for an appointment or test drive. When dealerships ask for an appointment, 9 out of 10 customers give some form of a yes.

Tips to improve appointment requests:
Make sure you are listening to the customers' questions and concerns before requesting an appointment. Being personable over the phone will help with call conversions.
If you do not have the inventory they are looking for, request they come look at similar models or past years’ models before letting them hang up.
Provide staff with word tracks for common objections like price concerns. Request the customer come in for an appointment and you can discuss pricing once you get them into your dealership.

Set means the customer agrees to a firm time and date for an appointment. Make sure you are booking potential buyers for a firm time and date (Friday at 3 pm) instead of a soft appointment (Tuesday evening). You have a 75% show rate on firm appointments compared to a 25% show rate on soft appointments!

Tips to increase firm appointments:
Try the Whittle and Shepard technique. Start by asking the customer if the beginning or end of the week works best for their schedule. Next you can ask if mornings or evenings are usually better for them. Then offer two firm appointment times for the customer to choose from.
Ask the customer to grab a pencil and wait while they write down the date and time of the appointment.
Send a reminder via text or email after you hang up so they can add to their personal calendar.
Set expectations for their visit to ease any concerns. This could include giving them directions to your dealership, telling them where to park, explaining which door to enter, reminding them who to ask for, and letting them know that the keys will be ready, plus a variety of similar models to test drive.

Pursue is all about outbound calling and getting prospective buyers back on the phone. This is where you reach out to any opportunity that slipped through the cracks and make proactive outreach a priority. This could include customers who hung up on hold, customers left a voice message, vehicle status updates, declined service follow-ups, appointment reminders, follow-ups to no-shows, and more. You want to reach out to your most important and valuable leads first, salvaging any missed opportunities or no-shows, and holding your staff accountable for true outbound performance.

Tips to improve pursue goals:
Follow up with every customer who has an upcoming appointment before they arrive to make sure they know where the dealership is and that the time and date you set still works for them.
Follow up with every soft appointment and see if you can set a firm time and day as their soft appointment approaches.
Make sure your Service Department is giving consistent status updates so your customers are not calling first.
Follow up within the hour if a customer’s call isn't connected. These are the customers who left a message, hung up on hold, or did not receive the help they needed on their initial call to your dealership.
Demo Car Wars today!
Want to learn more about your results and improve your team's call outcomes? Schedule a demo with Car Wars to discover how your dealership can become CRISP on the phone!

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