Dealers urged to extend summer opening hours to answer rising evening calls

Time 10:14 am, July 6, 2017

CAR dealers are being urged to extend their opening hours during the summer to take advantage of increased evening phone inquiries.

The car search website said it had found a 22 per cent increase in the proportion of phone inquiries made by consumers to dealers between 6pm and 8pm from April to June this year – the second quarter – compared with the first quarter of between January and March.

It also discovered that 23 per cent of phone inquiries made to dealers between 6pm and 8pm since the start of 2017 weren’t answered by a person or a voicemail system, leaving potential customers to either submit an online inquiry or call again in the morning.

Phill Jones

Phill Jones

Phill Jones, managing director of, which is part of Cox Automotive, said: ‘With the share of evening telephone inquiries increasing by nearly a quarter in summer months, consumers have shown they are prepared to search for and purchase vehicles as daylight hours improve.

‘Our response-tracking platform The Eye shows dealers when consumers interact with their stock on the network and try to contact them. By using this tracking, dealers can understand how they need to manage their resources and business hours to effectively respond to inquiries.

‘While it is understandable that some dealers may not be able to keep the office open long after 6pm, it could be very worthwhile redirecting calls from the office to a mobile until 8pm.

‘At the very least, we highly recommend investing in a reliable voicemail system to reassure consumers that they will receive a call back the next day.’

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