Dealers Should Respond Quicker To Online Enquiries

Online Enquiries

Published: September 2021

Two-thirds of consumers say dealers impacted by social distancing measures should respond more quickly to online enquiries.

Consumers unable or unwilling to visit car showrooms because of social distancing measures are now expecting dealers to respond more quickly to their online sales enquiries. That’s one of the findings of our latest nationwide research study.

Almost two thirds (65%) of would-be UK car buyers say dealers should respond more quickly to emailed sales enquiries specifically because of the restrictions, and 44% expect a speedier response to enquiries made via social media channels. 62% of customers now expect car dealers to respond more rapidly to sales enquiries originally made by phone.

Our research also highlights the increased risks that dealers now face by not responding to customers in a timely manner. If a dealer doesn’t respond quickly enough to an enquiry, over half of consumers (51%) now say they would visit another dealer with their enquiry. Just 10% say they would retry the same dealership via the same contact method.

It’s never been more important for dealers to optimise their enquiry management – delivering personalised and relevant communications in a timely manner.

Having to process customer enquiries from a wide range of different channels, while facing the unpredictability of local lockdown measures, represents a daunting challenge for many retailers.

Automation can help shoulder the burden. For example, programmatic, automated email campaigns are a powerful solution for engaging with significant volumes of prospective sales and aftersales customers.

“Automated communications can help dealers respond immediately to enquiries, or proactively send tailored communications to individuals. With minimal effort, and despite changing lockdown measures, dealers can easily maintain contact with customers looking for a specific used vehicle or those who have ‘gone quiet’ after an initial enquiry.

For aftersales teams, automated communications are highly effective for reminding customers if their car’s service or MOT is due soon, or for following up on any ‘amber’ repair work.” 

Jeremy Evans, Managing Director, Marketing Delivery

Car Alerts with ‘Real-time Click Alert’

Our ‘Real-time Click Alert’ technology immediately notifies a dealer when a potential customer views a specific vehicle advert – and enables them to proactively contact customers. The software is offered as a free add-on to car retailers using our Car Alerts system.

Car Alerts automatically generates and distributes tailored emails to potential customers that enquire about a vehicle, updating them with details of new stock and any price changes on existing stock. The Real-time Click Alert system detects when customers open these emails and view a vehicle online. It instantly sends an automatic alert to the dealer with the customer’s pre-qualified contact details and the specific model that has been viewed.

The Car Alerts system keeps would-be buyers engaged with a dealership while they still look for their perfect car, rather than being marked as a ‘lost lead’ by sales staff. Our earlier research found that 36% of customer prospects who had been registered as ‘lost’ leads – thus requiring no further action – by sales staff at franchised dealerships across the UK were still looking to buy a vehicle.

Of those still looking to buy, vehicle availability is cited by 39% of all ‘lost lead’ customers as the primary reason for them not progressing to a sale with the dealer. Had they been updated about relevant new stock arriving at the dealership, they would have re-engaged.


For more information or a free, no-obligation guide to eCRM services, get in touch today.

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