SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Marchex Institute, the data and insights center of mobile advertising analytics company, Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX), today released new research, titled “Intro into the Auto Industry,” to shed light on how auto dealers, OEMs, and independent repair shops can capitalize on inbound calls to their business. The data, which comes from more than one million aggregated and anonymized inbound phone calls placed by consumers to auto providers in the United States last year, revealed that the auto industry is missing significant opportunities to improve sales by improving current call-handling practices.
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 Matt Muilenburg. “With call volumes increasing, dealerships need to focus on better engagement with each phone lead in order to drive a profound impact on customer experience, conversions and overall ROI for their business and brand.”
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.
Marchex is a mobile advertising analytics company that connects online behavior to real-world, offline actions. By linking critical touchpoints in the customer journey, Marchex’s products enable a 360-degree view of marketing effectiveness. Brands and agencies utilize Marchex’s products to transform business performance.
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