Car Dealer Live

How to use technology to understand why customers walk away from cars and don’t transact

Marketing Delivery is helping dealers learn more about their customers and to make them a buyer for life – sponsored post

Time 9:21 am, April 23, 2024

With customers often being bombarded by choice when it comes to buying their next car, keeping potential purchasers engaged and getting them over the line is a challenge for dealers.

Most car dealers have plenty of clever tools at their fingertips, but the most astute know how to leverage the data and technology they have, engage the customer through the whole sales process, and get them back for another purchase in the future.

Being up to speed with your stockist, creating targeted marketing strategies, and personalising communication with customers are the keys to winning the customer’s business believes Marketing Delivery, one of the UK’s leaders in automotive marketing software.

The firm’s CEO Jeremy Evans appeared on Car Dealer Live recently, and was joined by Ancaster’s group marketing manager, Carly Keeler, to discuss how to engage customers for effectively.

‘The main reasons we see for customers not completing a transaction are stock availability – the customer sees the car online, makes a booking to see it, but it’s sold before they come in – affordability – perhaps the part exchange isn’t what the customer thought it would be – and thirdly, the sales team doesn’t get back to the customer’s queries,’ said Evans.’On the third point, quite often it’s because the sales team know the vehicle has been sold so they don’t reply and follow up.’

Marketing Delivery speaks to customers directly and uses that information about why they may not have transacted and their interactions with dealers, and understand how dealers can use the technology they have in a better way.

‘With the kind of consolidation that is going on in the motor trade at the moment, asking a sales executive at one location to keep an eye on changing stock at multiple locations up and down the country is a kind of impossible task,’ says Evans. ‘We advocate using technology to know which cars customers are looking at and what they’re looking for, and then map that against the vehicles that are in stock.

‘If you know your top-selling cars are getting four or five enquiries on them, what are you doing with the other three or four people that don’t buy that car? We are all about advocating the use of tech to keep across changing stock and changing prices, and then keeping the customers informed of that. So you are bringing the customers back to the sales them when they are warmed up and triaged, you could say.’

With 14 sales locations and over 380 staff, Ancaster is a prime example of a dealer group experiencing the challenges outlined by Evans.

‘Trying to get sales executives to record where customers have come from, what the conversation was and where they have gone is really, really difficult,’ says Ancaster’s Carly Keeler. ‘Having a way of getting back in touch with those customers as stock updates and prices change is really key.’

Customer communication is another key area, too.

‘We’re using tech to identify a contact point that should be relevant for that customer,’ says Evans. ‘If that communication is relevant and it’s from a source that they’re expecting to hear from, the customer shouldn’t be surprised to receive an email from a dealer. We’re working hard to make emails relevant to the customer, and we’re seeing open rates regularly in the 70% region.’

Elsewhere in the wide-ranging conversation, the pair chat:

  • How social media can be used for retailing cars effectively
  • How to target customers
  • The challenges of ageing stock

Click the video at the top of this story to watch the full interview

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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