Audi UK is hoping to pilot new structures and sales roles within the dealer network with an aim of creating more time for staff to provide an excellent customer experience.
Audi UK head of marketing Nick Ratcliffe said in an interview published in the latest issue of AM magazine that too often the sales person is still expected to act as a contact centre person handling enquiries, do a huge amount of administration and order-chasing, and yet is also meant to welcome customers to the showroom, present cars, negotiate and close sales.
“That’s an awful lot to ask of an individual, so we’re discussing various pilot opportunities with our network partners as to how that role can be better divided, and I think a dedicated enquiry management resource is part of the future.”
Such resources and structure are more prevalent in the US, where leads are paid for.
The simple element of putting a price on customer data changes the culture.
Some retailers in the US have systems where if a lead not followed up within an hour, it’s escalated to the dealer principal, and if not within three hours it’s passed on to another retailer.
That could be seen as fairly draconian, but it’s demonstrating to everyone in the business that there’s real value in that lead, Ratcliffe said.
“The customer expectation is that if they go online and say they’re interested in X, Y and Z they’re expecting to be followed up, and followed up in minutes, not days.”