Lee Coomber
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A RECENT survey showed that dealers ranked improving conversion rates as their highest priority, above increasing volume and or lead revenue.
With the growing necessity for an online presence and a rise in the variety and functionality of digital classifieds, the cost to list vehicles has risen, increasing the cost per lead. It leaves dealers with an even greater need to try and best convert every lead.
Dealers can optimise conversions can at every stage of the buying journey. Lee Coomber,  business development director for Acceler8, a lead management platform designed for independent dealers, tells us how:

Nurture the lead.

In a recent car dealer study, 53% of potential customers who were previously flagged as ‘lost sale’ still opened a follow-up email. What’s more, 45% of those that opened said they were ‘still looking to purchase’.
Sadly, not all customers buy a car on their first visit, so it is vital to follow-up on their enquiry at regular intervals (e.g. 24 hours, one week, two weeks). It can include any offers you have on the vehicle, responses to any questions that may have had at the time, details of any similar stock etc.
The key is ensuring that the customer is still engaged in both the process and your dealership, thus nurturing the lead until they are ready to purchase.

Tailor customer communication experience

Customers like to be contacted in different ways, which can differ from age group to time of day. Make sure that you’re not inconveniencing the customer by failing to get in touch in a way that they won’t appreciate.
Just because a customer calls with an enquiry, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’d prefer the same method of follow-up response. Always try to ensure that you are capturing and recording a customer’s communication preference, including the method and time of day.
These simple measures ensure that not only are you being considerate of the customer’s preferences but will mean that your message is sent at a time and channel optimal to the customer, which means a higher chance of a conversion.

Monitor your inquiry funnel

An oft-reported quote in businesses that ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it’. With the cost of generating leads from advertising mounting, dealers need to be able to track which of their enquiry channels and stock are converting the most sales and which are underperforming.
Not only is this crucial for calculating which online classified are the most successful in drawing leads, and thus which one to divert more investment,  but it’s also essential to monitor enquiries coming through your website/ email, which can tell you if any local advertising or promotions are being productive at driving enquiries.
When it comes to enquiry source, understanding not just where to cut costs, but where to invest more is crucial to overall profits, and without a robust reporting system in place, many dealers can be left in the dark.

Swift Response to inquiries

In the age of rapid online commerce, customers are increasingly expecting a quick response to their enquiry. Not only will the speed and professionalism of response reflect strongly on your dealership, but swift replies are crucial for sales conversions.
A lead response management study found that the odds of making a successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when a contact attempt occurs within five minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.
To help ensure you’re responding as soon as possible to queries, ensure that all leads coming into your dealership from classifieds and your site are visible and funnelled into one source, so you can easily see what has come in and what has been responded to. Collating this data will also be beneficial when it comes to follow-ups and lead nurturing.


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