New Marchex Institute Study Reveals Phone Calls Can Make or Break the Automotive Customer Journey
Auto Manufacturers Investing in Call Analytics Are Capturing Share from Competitors
“In today’s hyper-competitive auto market, manufacturers are looking for
new ways to get an edge,” said
Additional key findings from the study include:
- Phone calls are driving more appointments, moving them to the top of the priority list for OEMs. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of new sales opportunities from calls increased more than 50 percent. The number of appointments rose more than 30 percent, and the number of soft commitments to visit a dealer nearly doubled.
- When OEMs optimize call handling, customers commit to services more frequently. In 2018, auto manufacturers booked appointments, sold parts or received soft commitments for service 51.6 percent of the time, a 20.6 percent improvement over 2017.
- OEMS are starting to prioritize phone calls in the sales process. Just over half of OEMs in the study have improved their overall failed call rate. Six of the 11 auto manufacturers saw a decrease in failed call rates, representing a 5.4 percent improvement over last year.
- Dealerships are quicker to pick up the phone. The average hold-time abandon rate decreased for eight of the 11 auto manufacturers analyzed, resulting in a 33.3 percent improvement between 2017 and 2018.
- Automated attendants, like Interactive Voice Response systems or voicemail services, drive customers away. In 2018, dealerships reduced the use of, or streamlined, these systems, resulting in more conversations at the dealership. Even so, caller abandons while navigating automated systems comprise more than half of all failed calls, and nearly 10 percent of calls overall to a dealership.
Calls are critical in the path to purchase. With phone shoppers
purchasing cars 28 percent of the time over shoppers who connect over
email who convert only 7 percent of the time, it’s clear that the phone
call is a prime opportunity to turn a prospect into a customer. In fact,
auto dealers who invest in the phone call as a key marketing and sales
channel are seeing an increase in new customer wins, retention of
current customers and, ultimately, revenue. According to a recent
Marchex solutions are leveraged by some of the largest and most
successful brands in the automotive industry, including the top three
largest U.S.-based manufacturers. For this study, the
This is the latest in a series of reports that identify call handling challenges in the auto industry and highlight how brands can turn callers into customers. Marchex is helping OEMs accelerate sales via phone calls through a course of industry best practices. Visit the Marchex blog to learn more and view the full series of call-handling performance reports.
Marchex understands that the best customers are those who call your company – they convert faster, buy more, and churn less. Marchex provides solutions that help companies drive more calls, understand what happens on those calls, and convert more of those callers into customers. Our actionable intelligence strengthens the connection between companies and their customers, bridging the physical and digital world, to help brands maximize their marketing investments and operating efficiencies to acquire the best customers.
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