AM Online research shows experience is key to clinching a sale

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A swift and knowledgeable dealer response is crucial for clinching a sale, according to research by

The car search network found that 96% of customers would typically contact more than one dealership when researching their purchase, exactly the same percentage as March 2013, highlighting the importance of timely responses to beat the competition.

The same number would expect a reply within 24 hours, with 27% expecting a response within one hour of the initial enquiry.

89% of consumers would expect confirmation that the vehicle is still available, while 71% would want the direct contact details of the salesperson. The same number would want to be given opening times, while 48% would expect to receive information on similar vehicles available.

Managing director of Andy Coulthurst said: “Consumer expectation is higher than ever, with many expecting a prompt reply. Dealers need to be able to respond within a short window of time. While we know dealers have the expertise, they also need to remember the basics. Direct contact details, vehicle information and dealership opening times all need to be included in responses and can be influential on a customer’s final buying decision.”

Price (79%), reputation (76%), location (76%) and vehicle choice (52%) were identified as the key factors for drivers looking to change their car and pick a dealership. According to the research, the exterior (33%), engine condition (31%) and performance stats (19%) were the main drivers in choosing the right vehicle, while having the latest technology included was also seen as crucial by a smaller number (7%).

The research also found parking sensors to be the most sought-after feature (69%), followed by Bluetooth (65%), USB charging point (63%), in-built satnav (60%), digital radio (55%), and parking cameras (33%).

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