Many dealerships remain slow pokes in responding to Internet leads, says a study.

But the slow goers deserve at least some credit, because the mystery-shopping study indicates 12% of sent leads received no responses at all.

Capgemini, the firm that put 1,300 dealerships to the test, was commissioned by ResponseLogix, a company that offers dealers a system that automatically sends information-rich emails in response to Internet vehicle-shopping inquiries.

The study pegs average response time, including auto-responders, at 4.7 hours.

The lack of speed and information falls short and hurts sales prospects, says ResponseLogix CEO Tom Mohr, calling the results “surprising.”

Previous studies indicate lead conversions can double when a dealership within 20 minutes responds with relevant information, particularly vehicle pricing.

Fifty-eight percent of dealers in the study failed to include pricing information in email responses. For the 30% of dealers that did include that, the median time to do so was 1.1 hours, the average time 24.8 hours.

Ideally, a dealership should take within 20 minutes to send a response that includes pricing, details on the vehicle the customer asked about, information on alternative comparable vehicles and updated incentive information, says ResponseLogix.

In reality, 1% of responses do that.

Questions or comments about this column?

Send us an e-mail at