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Resilient car retailers continue customer support through Covid-19 crisis

Martin Hill, chief executive, Dealerweb

Car retailers are continuing to respond to customer enquiries despite the coronavirus-prompted closure of showroom across the UK, data published by Dealerweb has revealed.

Analysis carried out by the lead management specialist examined leads from all sources except manufacturers during March and found that, while leads have fallen by 52% between the first and last week of the month, the number of leads ‘actioned’ through its REACT online response tool only fell 51%.

Dealerweb chief executive, Martin Hill, said: “Any dealer who keeps its digital presence going through the lockdown period and follows up on enquiries will be well placed on the other side of this crisis.

“While customer demand has taken a hit, there are still thousands of buyers making enquiries about their next vehicle.”

Last week heycar chief commercial officer, Karen Hilton, highlighted the need to continue nurturing customer leads and responding to enquiries online during the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Hilton said: “This situation will change and when it does dealers must be ready to build again.”

Marketing Delivery, meanwhile, said that car retailers should embrace social media to engage with car buyers who are taking to the Facebook during the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown – sparking an 80% rise in online posts.

One large dealer group had seen the number of impressions on its Facebook posts grow by 80% since the government advised people to stay at home – from 656,070 (March 6 to 15, 2020) to 1,179,615 (March 16 to 25, 2020) – it said.

The random sample of dealers used for Dealerweb’s analysis included independent and franchised operations and showed that the number of dealers not responding to online enquiries only fell by 9% during March.

The Dealerweb REACT system helps dealers capture leads from almost any digital source. It notifies relevant sales staff of a new enquiry via desktop and an app, allowing them to respond immediately.

Hill said: “With sales teams currently based at home, we are glad that we can do our bit to keep things moving and help dealers recover quickly.”


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