Phone Up Game Part 1: The real cost of unanswered calls to your dealership

How’s your Dealership Phone Up Game?

For people in the automotive industry, it’s no secret dealerships are facing unprecedented staffing shortages right now. Do you know who doesn’t know that? Average car shoppers. This means when shoppers are placed on hold for long periods of time, bounced around from person to person, or even worse, get a generic voicemail without speaking to anyone, your chance of winning their business becomes much harder.

Part 1: The real cost of unanswered calls

I know what you’re thinking: “My dealership answers every incoming call.” I challenge you to pull your phone stats report to see how many inbound shoppers actually drop to prove me wrong. I recently read a study that cited 23% of inbound phone calls never get answered.*

Let’s think about where these shoppers likely came from: Marketing efforts. Marketing = Money Spent. 

In June 2023, the average Facebook Cost per Click (CPC) in the automotive industry was $2.24. Google was slightly higher at $2.46. One dealership I spoke with recently receives around 550 monthly click-to-calls from Facebook ads. 

Let’s do some marketing budget math:

  • 550 Click to Calls x $2.24 = $1,232
  • 23% unanswered click to calls = 126
  • 126 unanswered click-to-calls cost the dealership $282.24/month; $3,386.88 per year in marketing budget wasted.

Now, let’s do some sales math on the numbers above. Using NADA’s most recent stats, let’s assume an average profit of $2,000 per vehicle sold.

  • 126 unanswered sales calls x an assumed 54% appointment set rate = 68 appointment sets lost
  • 68 appointments lost x a 42% Show Rate = 28 in-person opportunities lost
  • 28 in-person opportunities lost x 50% sold rate = 14 deals lost
  • 14 deals lost x $2,000 profit = $28,000 lost per month; $336,000 per year lost to a competitor.

But wait, things get even worse….  Part 2 will cover Leads that never make it into the CRM.

Written on September 5, 2023

Written by Cassie Crampton

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