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Autobytel's Rapid Response Provides Dealers with Dramatic Increase in Closing Ratios

February 08, 2008

Autobytel Inc. has announced today that dealers using its pioneering Rapid Response program have seen a dramatic increase in closing ratios and contact rates.

In September, Autobytel announced that 1,300 program dealers were using its value-added Rapid Response program, an automated phone response program. Just six months later that number has grown to 2,200 – and counting.

While this growth proves to be impressive, even more so are the results that the solution is generating for dealers. The majority of surveyed dealers who utilize Rapid Response report significant improvements in contact rates, closing ratios and sales. 

"Whether it's walk-ins or Internet customers, sales are all about interaction, listening and developing relationships," said Steven Davids, a salesperson at Frankel Acura in Cockeysville, MD, in a Friday statement.
In a new dealership case study on Rapid Response, Davids said his closing ratios on showroom appointments have climbed from 75 percent to 85 percent since starting the program. "Bottom line, with Rapid Response I'm talking to live customers and my competitors are talking to voice mails."

According to a recent survey of dealers utilizing the program, 65 percent report that Rapid Response has improved their contact rates. In addition, the majority of dealers surveyed reported that the solution provided an average of four additional sales per month and increased closing ratios an average of 21 percent.

"Our message of Real Innovation is translating into real sales for our member dealers," said Autobytel Inc. Senior Vice President of Dealer Operations and Strategy Mark Garms, in Friday’s statement.

"The success of Rapid Response is another example of why dealers continue to choose Autobytel. We understand the importance of delivering more than just qualified leads: our innovative products and services make it easier for dealers to sell more cars efficiently."

Today, more than 90 percent of automotive consumers use the Internet during their shopping process. As such, it is more critical than ever that dealers utilize products and services that capitalize on these in-market care buyers.

Research continues to show that the faster dealers respond to an online lead, the more likely the customer is to buy. Rapid Response is designed to streamline follow-up by phony the dealership when a local lead comes in through any Autobytel marketing site.

At that point, the dealer is provided with the customer’s contact and vehicle information and an option to click on a button to attempt to contact the customer, ideally while he or she is still sitting in front of the computer.

According to Garms, "Rapid Response puts the control back into the dealers' hands by offering them the ability to interact with more customers, earlier in the process, with less phone work and no additional cost whatsoever. We're pleased that so many dealers are taking advantage of it and that it's helping them succeed in a tough sales period."

Automotive dealers are operating in a heavily saturated, highly competitive industry and as a result, they must rely on tools that help them to differentiate themselves in the market. Rapid Response from Autobytel enables these dealers to take an even more proactive approach to customer selling, ensuring that more ‘lookers’ become ‘buyers’.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
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