Data from the Marchex Institute finds poor call handling pervasive in the industry; brands that create better customer experiences can seize on multi-million-dollar opportunity.
Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX), a leading conversational analytics company that connects the voice of the customer to your business, today released a new report analyzing 8.7 million inbound calls to aftermarket auto services centers across the U.S. The study found that customer service representatives, especially those at tire-focused retailers, fail to book appointments or sell products one out of three times – even after callers expressed intent to buy or book an appointment.
This equates to a multi-million-dollar opportunity for brands that can create better customer experiences over the phone, according to the report.
Analysts at the Marchex Institute examined conversation data across 11 major aftermarket brands and found that 54% of all calls to auto services stores are from consumers specifically looking to make an appointment or buy a product. Understanding how stores handle these calls from prospective customers is critical in generating revenue and improving the customer experience, according to the study.
The data showed:
- Customer service representatives fail to book an appointment or sell a product 32% of the time to customers who have expressed clear intent. Nearly one third of the time when callers want to book an appointment or buy a product, service center representatives fail to capture the business.
- 13% of all calls to stores result in no connection at all. This is due to hold time or voicemail abandons – or simply because the business did not answer the phone.
- 68% of callers who don't reach a business on first attempt don't call back. Competition in the industry is fierce, and prospective customers are quick to move on if they don’t get what they want on their first try.
- In more than 30 percent of calls that ended in negative outcomes, customers were calling about tires, one of the highest value opportunities in the aftermarket industry. In these calls, customers often heard the word ‘no’ when appointment times weren’t available or inventory was out of stock.
“The data shines a spotlight on how auto services stores, particularly those that offer tires, can boost sales just by understanding how to speak to customers at each touchpoint in the journey,” said Matt Muilenburg, head of automotive at Marchex. “Not picking up the phone or saying ‘no’ too often is simply bad for business.”
The opportunity for auto services stores to grow market share is emerging because of significant shifts in consumer behavior, according to the report. For the first time in five years, more people are either keeping their cars longer or turning to the used market rather than buying new cars.
“The data shows there is potentially millions of dollars up for grabs in a growing industry by optimizing phone calls,” said Muilenburg. “Calls are a critical step in the path to purchase for the consumer. Yet stores miss out every month on opportunities to generate revenue and capture new customers because of their poor call handling processes.”
For more information, including tips on how to create a successful sales call during each point of the conversation, go to Marchex Institute Auto Services Industry Report 2019.
Marchex understands that the best customers are those who call your company – they convert faster, buy more, and churn less. Marchex provides solutions that help companies drive more calls, understand what happens on those calls, and convert more of those callers into customers. Our actionable intelligence strengthens the connection between companies and their customers, bridging the physical and digital world, to help brands maximize their marketing investments and operating efficiencies to acquire the best customers.
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