Relationship between Automotive Dealership’s Initial Quality of Response to Online Customer Inquiries and Likelihood of a Sale
The majority of car shoppers spend significant time researching their next vehicle purchase online, prior to any dealership interaction. During their pursuit, a customer may submit inquiries directly to dealers creating a virtual walk-in to the dealership. This is where many automotive dealers and sales consultants struggle, as they view these customers as less serious shoppers than an actual dealership walk-in. Sales consultants who have adopted this mindset are missing out on a high percentage of shoppers who prefer to make first contact through online inquiries. Like many business problems, there is a need for statistical or factual evidence to change current practices.
The results of the research showed that there is a strong, positive, relationship between the quality of a response and the likelihood of a sale. When observing the low end of the response quality spectrum, a response with a score of -20 to -10 resulted in a 3.23% chance of a sale. On the high end, a score of 90 to 100 resulted in a 16.95% chance of a sale; over five times more likely to convert to a sale than the poorest responses. Additionally, the research identified that given any initial response score, a unique probability of a sale can be estimated to show the increased value of adding key content to the initial response.
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