Our latest research has identified how and when consumers prefer to make their initial enquiry to dealers.

In a survey of 1,200 motorists, of those who selected phone or email as their preferred means of communication, around half (53%) preferred a phone call during the traditional ‘9-to-5’ working day, while 47% preferred email. However, outside of these traditional working hours, the balance between the two shifts dramatically towards email, with almost two thirds (65%) preferring email communication.

The findings highlight the need for a nuanced approach to how dealers manage enquiries, recognising changing consumer buying habits and expectations.

Dealerweb enquiry data reveals that the number of customer enquiries from all sources, across new and used cars, has declined by 5.4% (January to August 2018 vs. 2017), mirroring the dip in new car registrations reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). However, the number of digital enquiries placed with UK dealers has grown by 4.2% over the same period, with used cars seeing a major increase in online interest from consumers (+19.1% year-on-year).

Martin Hill, Managing Director at Dealerweb, said:

As customers make increasing numbers of enquiries online, the onus is on dealers to respond in a timely manner – through the preferred communication channel and with relevant information. Ideally, dealers will capture communications preferences at the point of enquiry so they can respond accordingly, smoothing the lead management process and optimising chances of successful conversion. By adopting greater flexibility in how they respond to customer enquiries, dealers will ensure they make the most of every sales opportunity.

Previous Dealerweb research has indicated that 49% of buyers are more likely to complete a vehicle purchase if they receive a response to an online enquiry within one hour; 25% of buyers said they expected a dealer to respond in under 30 minutes.

This is why we developed our latest lead capture and response system, Dealerweb React, which enables sales staff to react instantly to web leads with professional responses tailored to the prospect’s enquiry, either from their desk or via a smartphone app (iOS and Android compatible).

React is available as a standalone software solution, while existing Dealerweb customers can synchronise React seamlessly with their existing enquiry management system. To find out more on how React can help optimise your sales enquiry leads, email info@8technology.com or call +44 (0)1392 247477.

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