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MARCHEX STUDY: Intro to the Auto Industry
The data highlights the need for dealerships and standalone service shops to better optimize call processes in order to convert sales. Specifically, managing inbound calls is a weakness for many auto providers, as dealerships place callers on hold or transfer them 68 percent of the time, and standalone shops place callers on hold or transfer them 20 percent of the time. As a result, of these callers, 12 percent abandon the call before a sales rep returns to the phone, leading to significant missed sales opportunities, as ten percent of all callers show intent to purchase.
“While many consumers have an idea of the type of car they’d like to
purchase, the experience with the auto dealer over the phone can play a
critical role in the buying process. If a salesperson delivers a poor
customer experience during the early stages of the path to purchase,
they hurt not only the specific provider, but the entire brand,” said
Marchex Senior Vice President
Additional findings from the research include:
- Consumers’ likelihood to purchase rises 19 percent when the dealer knows whether or not they have a car in stock versus having to check and get back to the caller at a later time.
- Consumers’ likelihood to purchase increases 22 percent when the dealership offers alternative relevant options to the caller when the requested car is not available.
- When a caller attempts to set up a service appointment with a dealership over the phone, 23 percent of the time an appointment does not get scheduled. Standalone shops are even worse at 30 percent.
The study clearly shows the importance of properly handling sales calls. The good news for auto providers is that when they invest in better customer experiences it can lead to considerably higher revenues. Tips for salespeople in the auto industry based on the findings from the report include:
- Find ways to decrease the need for transferring the call or putting the caller on hold.
- Train your sales reps to attempt to schedule the appointment for the caller.
- When a caller is seeking a set time to bring their car in for service or repair, ensure it is scheduled.
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Trevor Caldwell, 206-331-3600