'Audi is a hot brand right now and dealers must learn to keep up with the level of enquiries coming through', was the message from Audi UK’s director Andre Konsbruck at this year's Geneva Motor Show.
Konsbruck said: “Enquiry management is a key topic for the dealers and the Audi brand is so hot that honestly, for the time being, we are struggling.
“Our central marketing efforts bring in so many enquiries and customers expect a reply within 24hours – that’s where we are struggling. Firstly, dealers need to understand their capacities and build them up so they can cope with the enquiry level. The second thing is that dealers need clarity on the responsibilities of sales staff – we conducted a number of extensive surveys which showed just how little time sales staff are spending on actually selling a car – most of their time was being spent on hand-overs, administration and meetings.
“We are currently trialling ideas from dealers to improve this and improve our customer journey and dealer staff efficiency – we then pay to implement those ideas as a test, and if it works we roll it out across the rest of our network. We have supported the idea so the dealer is happy for us to share it.
“Current tests include responding to enquiries until 10pm, extending opening hours, and creating new jobs such as ‘product people’ to go through a model with a customer. We expect to get the results from our trials by the end of the year. These surveys into efficiency and best practice will further aid in dealer profitability, which is what we want – we don’t want a dealer to invest in 10 TV screens if no one is watching them.”
2014 has not only been a record year for Audi it has been an important one – after 40 years in the UK market, the brand achieved top spot in the premium segment for 2013. It successfully maintained that in 2014, increasing the gap between them and Mercedes and BMW.