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Auto Dealerships Failing to Capture Customers Over the Phone, New Marchex Data Shows

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 23, 2014-- When consumers search for cars, parts or auto services on their mobile phones and call up a dealership, one in six times their call doesn’t get answered, meaning dealerships lose out on scores of potentially high-margin leads just by failing to answer the phone, according to new data released today from Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHX), a mobile advertising technology company.

The finding was one of many in an in-depth study released today by the Marchex Institute, the data and insights team at Marchex. The white paper, entitled “Mobile Consumers Are Calling: How Inbound Phone Calls Help Auto Dealers Win Customers, Influence Brand Loyalty,” is the latest in the Institute’s Industry Trends series, which spotlights data in a particular business vertical.

Using Call Analytics technology to analyze anonymous data based on 1,000 randomly sampled mobile phone calls from consumers to dealerships across the U.S., the Institute found that:

  • 16% of customer calls to dealerships go unanswered.
  • When customers do connect with a dealer representative, 63% of the time there is no attempt to get the customers to make an appointment.
  • 66% of the time, representatives do not ask for the customer’s contact information.

“What we’ve learned is critical for the auto industry, especially given that cars, parts and services are what we consider high-margin sales,” said Chen Zhao, Director of Analytics at the Institute, and author of the study. “There’s no question that becoming more effective at capturing these leads over the phone can have a direct impact on dealers’ profitability.”

The study also found:

  • 77% of phone calls to dealerships are from new customers.
  • 74% of callers inquire about parts and services.
  • The percentage of customers calling about new or used cars, which are considered the most valuable type of leads, was 14% – substantially smaller than inbound phone calls for parts and services.

John Busby, Senior Vice President of the Marchex Institute, will be talking about these findings and more at the 17thDigital Dealer Conference today in Las Vegas.

To download the white paper, please visit

About Marchex

Marchex is a mobile advertising technology company. The company provides a suite of products and services for businesses that depend on consumer phone calls to drive sales. Marchex’s mobile advertising platform delivers new customer phone calls to businesses, while its technology analyzes the data in these calls to help maximize ad campaign results. Marchex disrupts traditional advertising models by giving businesses full transparency into their ad campaign performance and charging them based on new customer acquisition.

Please visit or @marchex on Twitter (, where Marchex discloses material information from time to time about the company, its financial information, and its business.

Source: Marchex, Inc.

Marchex Corporate Communications
Sonia Krishnan, 206-331-3434
Email: skrishnan(at)