The results of a recent Marchex study show that way too many incoming dealership phone calls in the US are unanswered or abandoned by the customer.

Marchex Automotive Call Handling Study

office phone callMarchex, a digital advertising analytics company, recently released their 2017 Automotive Manufacturer Best-in-Class Call Handling Index. The study measures how dealerships of 16 major car brands handled incoming phone calls. In all, Marchex analyzed over eight million dealership phone calls that took place during the first six months of this year.

Brand performance was indexed across various key performance indicators pertaining to failed communication, such as unanswered phone calls and abandoned rates. Here are some of the biggest takeaways:

  • A staggering 19.4 percent of all calls to dealerships failed. Marchex defines a failed call as one that went unanswered or was abandoned by the customer. Marchex linked failed calls to reduced customer satisfaction and lost sales opportunities.
  • Among the failed calls, 3.5 percent were answered, 10.4 percent resulted in the consumer abandoning during the automated routing process before leaving a voicemail, 4.4 percent of calls were abandoned during the transfer process, and 1.1 percent of consumers hung up while on hold.
  • Of all calls to dealers, 10.6 percent were for new sales opportunities. A May survey from Forrester Consulting found that inbound calls contribute to over a quarter of all sales. In fact, Forrester concludes that customers who call your store spend more, are quicker to buy, and are more loyal, making them your highest value customers.

With all of the focus on digital advertising these days, offline channels may not be getting the attention they deserve. Marchex recommends these solutions for dealerships to better handle their incoming phone traffic:

  • Make sure phones are properly staffed to reduce unanswered calls. Track call times to know when to expect peak traffic and get additional staff on the job at those times.
  • Have any automated prompts or call routing processes streamlined, clear, and concise.
  • Don't place callers on hold, or you should establish a maximum hold time. Utilize a system that bumps a caller back to a designated call catcher if they reach the max hold time.

The Bottom Line

The study shows that dealerships are letting too many incoming calls fail, leading to lost opportunities and lower customer satisfaction.

If your store is looking to perform better when it comes to call handling, Auto Credit Express' automotive BDC has been a leader in call center services for subprime internet leads since 2007. Our dedicated team of specialists will handle and cultivate subprime leads, getting them to take action and visit your store.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about our call center services and other great dealer products and services. Call us at 888-535-2277 today, or fill out our contact form online and we'll get back to you.