Two-thirds of car buyers won’t give dealers a second chance

Weekly poll: Car buyers face longer wait times

Rachael Prasher, Managing Director of What Car? and Haymarket Automotive, analyses our weekly poll of more than 7000 prospective car buyers.

Customer service levels are under greater scrutiny than ever post-lockdown, with two-thirds of car buyers surveyed by What Car? revealing that they would not chase a dealer if it does not respond to an initial enquiry.

In this week’s poll of 7258 in-market buyers, 67% said they would not make a second attempt to engage a dealer after making a first enquiry about a new vehicle.

Just one in four will make the effort to chase, and then, will do so only once.

This attitude is compounded by a heightened level of expectation. What Car?’s data shows that 41% of buyers rate dealer response time as “very important”, with 33% defining it as “important.”

The rising demands of prospective buyers are also highlighted by a heightened impatience to take delivery of the car that they want. Stock availability remains the priority for most, with 30% stating they wouldn’t want to wait more than four weeks for a new vehicle.

If a vehicle can’t be found in the appropriate time frame, nearly a fifth will switch to a brand that has stock available.  

There has been a wave of reports revealing similar trends across all industries, underlining the importance of the need to meet customer expectations. Earlier this month consultancy McKinsey & Company found that 71% of UK consumers have changed their purchase priorities during lockdown, placing the highest importance on value and availability.

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