Fast response times to consumer enquiries results in sales - and any contact at all with a dealer means customers are three times more likely to buy.
These are the finding of a survey of enquiries to Ford dealers carried out by Motoring.co.uk.
It asked a sample of nearly 300 of its website users who had requested a Ford test drive or a brochure. Of those that had some contact with a dealer, 21% bought a car compared to 7% who did not receive response to their enquiry from a dealer.
And 33% of users contacted within 48 hours of their request bought a car. Furthermore, 56% were conquest sales, demonstrating the pulling power of the brand.
Chris Green, Motoring.co.uk's sales director, said: "There is a large missed opportunity evident here. Users contacted by a Ford retailer are three times more likely to buy than those not spoken to. If all the consumers making test drive and brochure requests had been contacted there could have been a 10% uplift in conversion and a further 25 units sold."
He also noted that 30% of respondents were still in the market to buy. "Is there a contact strategy at the dealers to exploit this opportunity?"
Contacting users is critical, but speed is the key to conversion
> Motoring.co.uk called a sample of 542 users who had requested a test drive or a brochure between February 24 and March 31. Two attempts were made to contact each user. 291 provided answers to the survey.