By Tony Willard
Dealers may have no more than 15 minutes to act on digital enquiries before risking a lost sales chance, according to software provider Codeweavers.
Shaun Harris, sales director at Codeweavers, said: “Even partially completed finance applications represent a great sales opportunity. Online dealer finance tools can enhance this essential consumer requirement, but there remains a key role for human contact delivered in an appropriate time.”
Harris said a customer enquiring online about finance online, or making a credit check, could be a clear indication they have a genuine interest in a car – and the dealer.
“Instant notification they are completing an online finance application form should be an automatic green light to the sales team to be ready to act,” he said.
“This enables them to follow up a very hot lead.” Codeweavers recommends a digital response to enquiries made out of normal business hours to demonstrate a desire to provide support and help.
“To help dealers when customers don’t complete their application in full, we provide line-by-line data, informing them that a prospective customer is perhaps warm rather than hot,” said Harris.
“Early action may then be even more important.”
Codeweavers’ latest research revealed a wide spectrum of response by dealers to online enquiries, from rapid to none.
“All dealers should prioritise online finance enquiries because the opportunity of turning one into a sale is such a compelling one,” said Harris.
“The demand for online finance is accelerating. Retailers, manufacturers, fleets and financial service providers are all working to support increasing digitisation because customers want the convenience, transparency and control it offers.”