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Polk: Online Response Affects Sales, Brand Loyalty

March 17, 2008

Southfield, Mich. – A forthcoming study by R.L. Polk & Co. will demonstrate that the manner in which automotive dealers respond to online prospects significantly impacts vehicle purchase decisions. The study, due to be released next month, surveyed more than 570 new car purchasers regarding their online shopping experience.

According to Polk, the study found that initiating a response is not enough to build customer loyalty. Rather, dealers must respond as consumers request, factoring in content, speed and method of response, in order to increase the chance of selling a vehicle.

“Dealers can improve make loyalty significantly by improving satisfaction with response time and pricing information,” said Lonnie Miller, director of Industry Analysis, R. L. Polk & Co. “If a dealer is not already including price information in their response, they should begin doing so immediately. That, coupled with speed, can yield an average increase in make loyalty of 3.4 percentage points.”

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