(This is an excerpt from our 2015 Mystery Shop Study which provides lots of free best practices and other great advice for dealers.)
OEMs, dealer groups and even Dealer Principals expect much more from their internet sales efforts today than they did just a few years ago – especially when it comes to generating a quick response to an e-lead.
Speed of response – critical in most cases to landing the deal – has unfortunately become the be-all, end-all for those with little time or patience to conduct a true assessment of their internet sales efforts. The honorable, though misguided, efforts by those at the top to focus so heavily on response time – instead of ensuring a quality response – has led to the phenomenon known as “Stopping The Clock” (sending an incomplete email response or falsifying a phone call to game the store’s real response time).
In fact, for many of the internet teams we observe, it has now become more important to fake a quick response (to satisfy the OEM or to make the Dealer Principal look good at his/her next 20 Group meeting) than to actually initiate a well-planned, structured phone call that might actually lead to an appointment that shows and buys.
Given the actions we detailed above and our reasoning discussed on Page 8 of the study, we chose to count only voicemail responses when judging overall lead response times. We weren’t interested in how quickly a team could Stop The Clock, only in how quickly they made a legitimate phone call to a prospect who provided a valid, working phone number. For the 237 dealers (58%) who met these requirements, their average Real Response Time was a very good 34 minutes.