Motors.co.uk is urging car dealers to extend their opening hours after data revealed a 22% increase in telephone enquiries between the hours of 6pm and 8pm.
The trend, identified by the online marketing tool, saw the year-on-year rise for the period between April and June this year (Q2), compared to January to March 2017 (Q1).
Worryingly, Motors.co.uk also discovered that 23% of telephone enquiries made to dealers between 6pm and 8pm since the start of 2017 have not been answered by a person or a voicemail system, leaving potential customers to either submit an online enquiry or call again the following morning.
Phill Jones, managing director of Motors.co.uk, said: “With the share of evening telephone enquiries increasing by nearly a quarter in summer months, consumers have shown they are prepared to search for and purchase vehicles as daylight hours improve.
“Our response-tracking platform, The Eye, shows dealers when consumers interact with their stock on the Motors.co.uk network and try to contact them.
“By using this tracking, dealers can understand how they need to manage their resources and business hours to effectively respond to enquiries."
Jones said that, while it is understandable that some dealers may not be able to keep the office open long after 6pm, it could be "very worthwhile at redirecting calls from the office to a mobile until 8pm".
He added: “At the very least, we highly recommend investing in a reliable voicemail system to reassure consumers that they will receive a call back the next day.”
Motors.co.uk recently relaunched The Eye – its vehicle response tracking platform – where dealers can monitor Lead Assists, listen to telephone calls and read emails generated by their advertising.
Motors.co.uk will be exhibiting at Automotive Management Live. To find out more visit the event page.