How dealerships in the U.S. lose car sales leads?

How dealerships in the U.S. lose car sales leads

In a study conducted over 5 days,from the 11th of February to the 15th of February 2019 by Callpage.

This study examined 501 dealerships across four U.S states namely New York,Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Massachusetts by contacting them during their working hours.

On average,car dealers made their potential clients wait from 90 minutes to 5 hours to get an answer to their message.

Imagine a customer in your dealership asks a question, then the salesperson responds “I will answer your question in approximately 1 to 3 hours”.

Regrettably that was what happened in the study,auto dealerships were contacted by submitting a request via their website contact form,email, Facebook Messenger and over the phone.
Then tracking how much time it took each company to respond to initial contact.
On average, car dealers made their potential clients wait from 90 minutes to 5 hours to get an answer to their message.
Only 6.6% of companies that received a submitted contact form were able to respond in 5 minutes or sooner.

The main criterion of the study’s interest was the Lead Response Time of American dealerships however,one thing would have to be emphasized – too many companies did not respond at all.

In addition, less than 50% of all examined businesses answered messages in one hour or faster. Only 34.65% of contact forms were handled by sales representatives in 60 minutes or faster.

Suprisingly,dealerships that used call forwarding system noted almost 2x higher Lead Response Time, keeping their prospects waiting for almost 40 seconds on average.

As data from various studies show customers expect immediate answers to their inquiries. Lead Response Time has a direct influence on sales close rate.

Currently,automotive businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on advertising.
According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)data,the average domestic dealership spent roughly $494,080 on advertising in 2017 and $537,352 in the case of luxury dealerships.

On the other hand the average light-vehicle spent $579,425 on advertising,55.4% of this was spent on internet advertising.
A breakdown of where the U.S. consumer is looking when they want to buy a vehicle is as follows:

Direct mail:7.2%

Consumers in general, expect a 24/7 real-time response. Hubspot research shows that at each stage of contact with the brand,buyers defined quick contact.

To buttress this point according to,car dealer’s prospects are the most satisfied when they get answers to their questions in 2-3 minutes or up to 10minutes. After 10 minutes of not responding chances of getting a customer drop significantly.

That 54% of consumers would buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience. While 39% of consumers want to communicate over the phone. Overall consumers to expect to communicate over 13 different channels.

53% of consumers visited car dealership websites to look for information vital to their purchase decision. Almost 50% of dealerships indicated an increasing volume of leads as their marketing priority. Yet 40% of leads are submitted when the dealership is closed.

The biggest challenge car dealerships face right now is still the long time from the first contact with a prospect to finalizing the transaction.
In conclusion, given the fact that 53% of consumers visit car dealership websites to look for information vital to their purchase decision. That would be the logical place to start any lead acquisition by using various channels to drive traffic to the website. Then improve and skyrocket the lead response rate by installing a call forwarding system like the Callpage widget on that website to attain lead response rates of just 28 seconds.

Try Callpage now for free:

In the interest of full disclosure Compumagick Associates is a Callpage partner and would be able to assist you accomplish this goal. Just reach out and we shall be more than happy to help you out.

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This post was written by Gordon Fletcher, Principal Consultant(Engineering & Mobile Technology)  at Compumagick Associates can be reached at,  @compumagick