Motor trade industry needs better out-of-office hours communication

25 March 2014


The motor trade industry needs to do more to cater to customers outside of traditional working hours, new research has suggested.
A study jointly carried out by Mediahawk and Auto Trader examined the way customers are communicating with motor traders the results were published in a white paper entitled Mind the Gap. It found that while 98 per cent of telephone calls made to car dealers took place between 8am and 6pm; the majority of online searches (67 per cent) take place after businesses have usually shut between 7pm and 11pm.
The desire to use online services to interact with sellers is not just common in people wishing to buy a car but also among those searching for insurance. Companies can now obtain a motor trade insurance quote 24 hours of the day via the ChoiceQuote website, although it is still advised that once you have received an initial quote you should properly consult with the insurance broker to ensure you get the best cover, at the best price, that meets your business\’ particular needs.
In its survey of nearly 2,000 car buyers last month, Auto Trader found that 74 per cent would be happy to make an out of hours enquiry to a dealer. Furthermore, 14 per cent said that they would prefer to use a Live Chat service; this is often seen as a less pressurised environment in which customers can contact a business via channels they are now au fait with.
Nick King, market research director at Auto Trader, said: In the modern interconnected world, consumers expect a swift and professional response to queries and questions, even out of hours, and retailers must make sure they are available to engage at any time.
This requires a different kind of mindset to what has gone on in the past.”