The Marchex Blog

How Answering the Phone Drives More Sales for Dealers

Most dealership incoming sales (and service) opportunities arrive by phone, and what happens next is not complex – the call is either answered and a conversation takes place, or they hang up without talking to anyone.

The challenge, and the opportunity, is how you reduce ‘failed calls’ to deliver a better customer experience and maximize your revenue.


1 in 5 phone calls fail before having a conversation

43% of failed calls never call back

40% of calls want to schedule service

48% of calls to service, schedule an appointment

15% of calls are interested in a vehicle

28% of calls to sales, purchase from that dealership


Before we can jump in to start fixing things, it’s important to understand the different ways a call fails. We bucket failed calls into four categories:


  • Calls that were not answered by the destination phone number

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)/Voicemail Abandon:

  • Caller reached IVR or voicemail and hung up without leaving a message or speaking to an agent

Ring Transfer Abandon:

  • The call was answered and transferred by an IVR or agent, but the caller hung up before speaking to an agent

Hold Time Abandon:

  • Caller was put on hold by IVR or agent but hung up before agent came back online


Now that we understand failed calls, The Marchex Lost Opportunity Dashboard is a great place to start. It provides an at-a-glance view of call volume and, more importantly, the reason calls were not completed.

Phone Analytics Dashboard

Lost Opportunity Dashboard


With deeper insights like this, you can troubleshoot common call handling problem areas such as seeing a day/time where your unanswered calls spike. Are you staffing correctly during high-call volume times?  Maybe you are seeing high IVR abandon rates – are there technical issues with your phone number or system?  Or, are you transferring customers only to have them hang up in the process – should you adjust your operations to better handle calls? The list goes on, and many are not hard to address, you just need to know where to look.

Contact us today to learn more