9-5 mind-set costs dealers

Time 6:08 am, March 31, 2011

livechat0151 PER cent of dealer website hits occur when showrooms are closed, peaking between 7pm and 10pm says GForces.

The firm says that despite this, a ‘paltry’ three per cent of the UK’s top 200 dealers have any kind of out-of-hours enquiry management service – either in the form of telephone call handling or ‘Live Chat’, where potential customers can type questions on screen and view written responses in real time.

GForces commercial director, Tim Smith, explains: ‘We live in a 24/7 age.  These days you can log on to most supermarket websites and enquire about products and potential orders very late at night.  By contrast, car dealers still have a nine-to-five mindset and they’re missing out as a result.

‘Dealers are failing to manage high volumes of potential sales opportunities because they are ill-equipped to handle even the most basic enquiries outside standard opening hours.’

Smith continued: ‘We believe that conversion rates for leads registered between the hours of 7pm and 10pm are higher than at any other point during the day,’ adds Smith. ‘Many consumers with hectic work lives and higher disposable incomes do not have time to enquire about possible vehicle purchases during their working day.  Dealers need to manage these high-value sales prospects more effectively.’

GForces recently launched a new Live Chat 24-7 facility, which ensures that customer interaction can be maintained around the clock.

One early user of the service was Peter Vardy, who found that by using the Live Chat service an average of 15 qualified sales enquiries waiting for them each morning.

Another early adopter benefiting from GForces’ Live Chat 24-7 is Harwoods.  Within the first hour of the GForces service being available on their homepage, a lead was processed that led to the sale of a Range Rover.

Within the first six days of the service appearing on McCarthy Cars’ website, two deposits were taken on vehicles thanks to enquiries made out of hours.

Smith continued: ‘It’s vital that dealers create an effective, well-designed website to entice customers, but too many leave the management of the resulting hard-won sales enquiries to chance.  By providing a speedy, responsive lead management service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, dealers will be doing everything in their power to ensure that no opportunity slips through the net.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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