Almost one in four car dealers responded to an online car enquiry within an hour in an exclusive response test conducted by Motors.co.uk for AM.
Across three consecutive days in March, 100 franchised and independent dealers chosen at random were contacted via email or online contact forms regarding stock advertised online.
A total of 60 responses were received within 24 hours and one after 24 hours, however 39 car dealers never responded. Of the dealers who did respond, 23 replied within just one hour.
Two franchised dealers replied within four minutes.
“There has been a marked improvement in the number of responses to email enquiries. In 2012, less than half (47%) responded to email leads, whereas in 2015 the response rate was much higher at 61%,” said Dermot Kelleher, Motors.co.uk director of marketing and business intelligence.
However he said there is still scope for further improvement in the quantity and quality of digital communications between car dealers and potential customers.
Of the dealers which replied, 30% were poor responses.
70% were good or excellent responses in that the dealers typically identified themselves, specified which vehicle the email related to, and answered the consumer’s initial questions by confirming whether the car was still available and providing details of when the consumer could view or test drive it, or offered an alternative car if the one subject to the enquiry had already sold.
One franchised dealership responded in eight minutes with an email, followed by a personalised video within the hour addressing the consumer by name and showing interior and exterior features, and a further follow-up email the next day.