When the coronavirus pandemic swept into the U.S. this spring, virtually the only people who called Shults Auto Group were ready to buy a vehicle.
The retailer's stores, in New York and Pennsylvania, were required to close early on under statewide restrictions to limit transmission of the virus. As business picked up, so did the number of callers who weren't so ready to transact, said Matthew Kahm, general manager and managing partner of two of the group's eight franchised rooftops.
Kahm said agents in the business development centers adapted to quickly moving serious prospects through the pipeline, but that process didn't work as well for customers who wanted to negotiate or needed more information. Calls were blindly transferred to sales reps without verifying whether they were available, or callers' names and contact information weren't taken down.