Better Car People is all about 360 Customer Engagement. Our focus is to make the customer experience seamless across any channel and helping dealers improve on this and sell more cars. That is why I dove into the findings of the 2023 Automotive Dealer Benchmarks Report by Foureyes, which provides crucial insights into the current state of the automotive industry, particularly in the realm of lead management and customer engagement.
And with over 700 million dealership website visits, and 21,000 dealer websites reviewed, the data set is strong., reliable, and hard to ignore.
One element that stood out is that 37% of qualified leads were mishandled, meaning leads with genuine buying intent weren't logged into CRMs, had their calls missed, or experienced delayed (or no) follow-up. These are customers who have taken the time to reach out, but are left unresponded and wondering if the dealership wants to sell them a car.
Another alarming trend noted in the report is that 12.4% of qualified leads were never logged into the dealer’s CRM, with a majority of these missed opportunities coming from website calls. This is an increase from previous years and suggests a need for better lead management processes, particularly in response to online inquiries. If the lead isn’t logged, the dealership has no way to follow-up, market to, or even know that the customer is in the market for a vehicle.
In terms of closing sales, the report reveals that over 56.9% of qualified leads that result in purchases do so within three days of initiating contact through a form, chat, or website call. And of all the qualified leads, forms are still showing to be the highest converting at 61.3%. While we have multiple ways to engage with customers, the majority of true buyers are still filling out forms to submit a lead. This underscores the importance of quick response and efficient follow-up in converting leads into sales. A First Quality Response is necessary for the customer to know you are responding.
66.2% of qualified leads did not hear back from the dealership within 24 hours. If the information above is correct, that lead has moved on to another store. If you are not the first to respond, you will likely lose this opportunity to another dealership.
For the automotive industry, particularly dealerships, these findings highlight the critical need for efficient lead management, rapid response to inquiries, and a tailored approach to customer engagement. Consumers are letting you know that it is imperative that we integrate these insights into our strategies and solutions to enhance dealership performance, improve customer experience, and ultimately drive sales growth.
If you don’t have an effective, fast, knowledgeable, and consistent BDC addressing these factors, you can be sure you are missing market share and valuable customers.