Leverage Artificial Intelligence to Score and Evaluate Every Customer Call – Lawson Owen, Proactive Dealer Solutions

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At NADA 2020 in sunny Las Vegas, host Jim Fitzpatrick was joined by Lawson Owen, Managing Partner of Proactive Dealer Solutions.

Proactive Dealer SolutionsVIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Jim Fitzpatrick: The energy level’s great from all the dealers. They’re coming off of a great year, they’re heading into another great year.

Lawson Owen: Absolutely.

Jim Fitzpatrick: The economy’s doing good, but that being said, they all want to make more money, right? They all want to make more money out of every single deal. Talk to us about proactive dealer solutions. We got a lot of feedback from our audience that said, Hey, great piece that Lawson did, want to know more about it. For some of the dealers that aren’t as familiar with your company, how is it that you help dealers?

Lawson Owen: Sure. So we specialize in the setup and the implementation of business development centers, whether it be for sales or for service. And over the years we’ve really shifted our model to much more tech-enabled services, which eliminate some of the human fact that cause a struggle or difficulty within the dealer body. And a good example is the CRM and the accuracy of the data in the CRM. So, we found a way to leverage technology to give a dealer more actionable insights as to what’s going on, on both the sales and the service side of the house. And so we’ve got a pretty big footprint. We work with about 1200 dealers throughout North America.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow. 1200.

Lawson Owen: Yeah. And we’ve had a busy fourth quarter last year and the first part of this year, with the introduction of our new product called CallerCX. And then some of our big announcements that we’ve had.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. Talk to us about the technology that you’ve got. Because I know that we spoke to a couple of your clients and they said that the technology in your company is what separates you from the other guys in the space. Right?

Lawson Owen: Exactly. Especially with our CallerCX product. So what we’re able to do for a dealer is to quantify total phone volume coming into the dealership. And regrettably, the average dealer has a call failure rate of 20 to 25%, so one out of four, one out of five calls isn’t connecting.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s crazy. Here we are in 2020 and the number is still that. I mean, I know probably was that.

Lawson Owen: It’s staggering. Yeah. And especially if you start to think about the customer experience and the demands of the marketplace, to lose one out of four, one out of five. So what we do after we determine that call failure rate is we now can silo or bucket those opportunities. So what we’ve learned is that the average dealer, 40% of the time when the dealership phone rings, it’s a service call. 30% of the time it’s parts. 10 to 15% of the time it’s for sales. So we’re able to tell them not only their call failure, but failure by department, which could be the reflection of a staffing issue. And then what we do is by leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, invoice biometrics, we’re able to assign those calls to an individual. And then in pretty much real time, leveraging the artificial intelligence to score or evaluate that call. So an example would be, if my sales person handles an inbound sales call, doesn’t ask for an appointment or doesn’t receive an appointment, an alert will go out to a sales manager or a BDC manager in five minutes or less.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Where was this when I was a dealer?

Lawson Owen: Exactly.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s what used to drive us crazy.

Lawson Owen: Yeah. So what we try to do is, we try to work from a pretty simple premise that if we can increase the level of awareness, managerial awareness, and then drive the engagement of that manager, we’re going to succeed at a higher rate.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s fantastic. And it’s done 24/7, 365.

Lawson Owen: Now there’s a lot of other telephony companies that are out there that will use humans to score their calls. So you’ve got a lot of inconsistency and inaccuracy. So what makes our product and our tool better than the others is a couple of different things. One is the stability of the system. It doesn’t go down, like some of those have recently gone down.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right, yeah.

Lawson Owen: But also our accuracy level is upwards of around 90%, so we’re scoring and evaluating a call with an accuracy level of almost 90%, which…

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s incredible.

Lawson Owen: Exactly. It doesn’t go down. It doesn’t feel sick. It doesn’t not show up for work. So it’s a more consistent… And because we’re not using humans to score the calls, we’re more affordable.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow. So are you just providing the information, the data to the dealer and saying, Okay, you guys do what you want with it, or are you providing the support to say, Okay, here’s how we can fix the problem?

Lawson Owen: Right. And that’s really another differentiating factor for us. So our system is integrated with an online training university called Biz Dev U. We have over 300 training modules for every position in the dealership, all the way down to the receptionist. Also what the system does in real time is it creates coaching alerts for each of the representatives answering the phone, whether it be a salesperson, service writer, BDC staff. We create an individual learning path through coaching alerts. Because not everybody has the same issue, the same struggle, the same challenge. So most systems just acknowledge date and time and call volume. What we do is we identify the same things, but we create an alert process and then we have a training solution that goes with it.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow, that’s incredible.

Lawson Owen: So we’re aware of the reality, but we’re also trying to improve upon it.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s incredible. Did you tell me the last time we met that it even senses the voice to know whether or not that customer is upset?

Lawson Owen: Yeah, customer sentiment.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Talk to me about that.

Lawson Owen: Yeah. So the system will evaluate the call and it can tell the mood or the feeling or the interaction with the customer.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s crazy.

Lawson Owen: So we have a CSI alert, and this is big for service. And certainly where the manufacturers are monitoring that customer experience. So that’s another alert that we create.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That is fantastic. So talk to me about some of the big partnerships. I know that you put together some big partnerships recently with an announcement. Talk to us about that.

Lawson Owen: Yeah. And this is something we’re really, really excited about. We’ve partnered with CallSource and AutoID. And we’re excited about that relationship. We’d been manually scoring calls for 10 years. And so we have our speech engine, our speech analytics, we have a database of data that that no one else has.

Jim Fitzpatrick: I can imagine.

Lawson Owen: Yeah. And so we’ve partnered with CallSource to try to improve upon their scoring in the evaluation of their products. Also with AutoID, AutoID has quickly become the leader in the marketing attribution. But it really goes beyond the marketing attribution, because it’s going to get into the Google spend. Where you’re spending the money and what those campaigns are producing for you. So as we really further our relationship, we’ll be able to more accurately determine where those ad spends are creating more tangible or traction for the dealer as it relates to an increase in traffic.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s really cool.

Lawson Owen: So what we can do is we can become more targeted with that ad spend, because it’s going to convert at a higher rate for the dealer.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s incredible.

Lawson Owen: And then when you bring in the level of transparency, so our system will be able to determine not only how many calls you receive, but what the call failure rate was, and also how well did your team handle those calls. So it’s really the best of both worlds, right? We’re more effectively spending our dollars, we’re spending it where it’s going to create the most traffic, and then we’re determining how efficiently or effectively we’re converting on that traffic. With that a level of awareness, we’re now able to apply a training solution or a more focused ad spend.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s phenomenal.

Lawson Owen: We’re excited.

Jim Fitzpatrick: What do you say to the dealer that’s watching that goes, I hear what you’re saying, Lawson, but I got a BDC center. They handle all that. I don’t think I need a system like that.

Lawson Owen: Well, I would say that you can’t have a BDC and you can’t have an environment that’s really going to improve without the data. And that’s how, and this was years ago, we decided that you can’t have a training company without the data because we need to have a focused, concerted training initiative based upon the areas of opportunity or the weaknesses of the deficiency that each individual will have or each department may have. So all we’re trying to do is to give affordable insights and then a turnkey solution to improve the environment that doesn’t cost $10,000 a month.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. That’s right. So can a dealer, for the dealers that are watching, can they bring you in, can bring your company in, on a trial basis? Do you ever do that with a client?

Lawson Owen: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Let me, just so we can benchmark, let me have it for 30 days or a week or whatever you deem necessary to get the data in there. Because I’m sure the dealers wants to look at that and say, all right, what kind of value are you bringing?

Lawson Owen: Sure. So we work with a lot of OEMs, and a lot of large dealer groups. And that’s exactly what we do. Now, it may be as simple as we plug in our CallerCX product to determine call failure and the KPIs specific to that. But we also do on-site assessments and evaluations for BDCs as well. And we’re also now, with the introduction of digital retail, we’ve built out a digital retail playbook for a dealer where they can say, Hey, I mean it’s the flavor of the month, right? In digital retail, modern retail, it’s still retail and there are a lot of stores that are struggling with that model and some of the software programs that are out there.

Jim Fitzpatrick: I know.

Lawson Owen: So we’ve built out a whole solution that creates a strategy or a game plan for a deal to figure out if it’s going to be right for them. But yeah, we would love an opportunity to visit and just share where the opportunity for improvement might be. And if there’s any synergy between us and that dealer or dealer group, then we’d love to move forward.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Dealers, for those dealers that are watching us have this conversation right now, it’s 2020. It’s time to make every single opportunity on the phone count. I’m a former dealer, as you guys know, that watched the show all the time. I didn’t have this kind of technology 15 years ago. This could be a game changer for your store or for your chain, and take Lawson up on that. Just try them on for two weeks, 30 days, whatever the case might be. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So Lawson, I want to thank you so much for joining us once again on CBT news.

Lawson Owen: Thank you. Appreciate it, Jim, thank you.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Stuff like this is what dealers need to know more about and to utilize it in their store. You can actually also keep that BDC vendor on their toes, right? Because you’ve got a BDC that’ll come in who, Oh, we’re going to do the training and we’re going to do the hire and everything, but the BDC vendor that did that isn’t going to come in and throw themselves under the bus either.

Lawson Owen: No, they’re not going to bring the insights necessary.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right.

Lawson Owen: And especially when you look at a lot of the ad spend and things like that. So we’re going to bring awareness, and then we can action that and monetize that awareness once we have an understanding.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. I bet it’s a real eye opener…

Lawson Owen: It’s exciting.

Jim Fitzpatrick: When you bring that awareness for dealers to go, Oh my God, how many millions have I been losing?

Lawson Owen: We hear at all the time.

Jim Fitzpatrick: I bet. I bet. Thanks so much for joining us.

Lawson Owen: Yes, sir. Thank you.

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