One of the popular buzzwords (It's actually 2 words) in the industry when it comes to Internet Sales is "Response Time." Oftentimes dealers fall into the trap of thinking that managing their response times on Internet Leads is the Holy Grail of Digital Operations. I was chatting with a dealer recently who was frustrated because they had worked very hard to reduce their response time from an average of 5 hours 35 mins (YIKES!) to 25 minutes. While 25 minutes is certainly respectable, and a massive improvement from where they were before, it is not anywhere near a best practice benchmark. Anyway, the dealer was frustrated that the improved response time had not had a measureable effect on their conversion percentage to appointments. So he and I began to dig a little deeper into what was going on.
Over the next couple of days the dealer and I started to take a look at what was going on in his CRM. FULL DISCLOSURE: I have the dealer's authorization to publish these responses as long as I don't divulge the dealership's name or location. That disclosure gives you a pretty good idea as to the nature of the responses you are about to see. (responses are word for word including typos and grammar)
Question: What is the "out the door" price on this pre-owned 2010 Civic?
- The price isn't important unless you're paying cah which I sure you not. How much down?
Question: Do you offer financing for people with credit problems?
- We can get you bot. All I need is a 5 liner. What are yor prilems? (WHAT?)
Question: Dealership XXX has quoted me a slightly lower price on the same vehicle and I was wondering if you price match.
- Dealership XXX is giving cars away to buy market share. Go buy it there.
At this point I probably don't need to write anything more in this blog post to properly convey my message. While repsonse time is certainly an improtant and vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to having a top notch Internet process, it is only 1 piece of the puzzle. Not the only piece. This dealer was astonished and furious over what we uncovered when we just took a peek into the responses that were going out from his dealership.
The key is Quick Response in conjunction with Quality Response.
Take a look at the responses that are going out from your dealership and always inspect what you expect.
Let's move some metal!