Lexus dealerships are the most responsive car brand on the Internet, according to the 2008 Automotive eShopper Experience Study, a survey that looks at the online customer service of car dealerships in the USA. In fact, Lexus scored a full 10 points higher (59.5) than 2nd place Chevrolet (49.4):
When asking dealers for information on a new vehicle, consumers expect responses at Internet speed. Lexus responded to these inquiries, via e-mail, more quickly than any other manufacturer. However, with speed can sometimes come brevity. So, Lexus shoppers may need to follow up with a phone call to get more information before visiting the dealership.
Even more interesting was the overall findings of the survey, take a look at these bullet points:
- Dealers do not respond, by email or phone, to one in four shoppers submitting leads.
- Dealerships call less than half of the Internet leads they receive, responding to the remainder in email alone.
- If a shopper asks for the price of a new vehicle, they will be given this information less than twenty-five percent of the time.
- Only 13% or responding dealerships provide the shopper with information about the benefits of their particular brand or vehicle.
I can understand not wanting to negotiate the price over email, but why dealerships would be reluctant to give out starting figures makes little sense to me.
(You can download the survey results from Cobalt, if you’d like to read more.)