Feeding the automotive Easter Bunnies

Easter is wonderful time because it means that we get a well deserved rest and hopefully as Easter is later this will involve great weather as well. However, if you are working in the car retail environment; then there will sadly be no rest.

In this blog I will look at the effect of telephone enquiries over Easter and suggest some strategies to ensure that you do not keep the Easter bunnies unhappy by not being there for them.

We have reviewed the phone data across over 500 car dealerships to look at how call volumes change over the Easter weekend and compared these to a “typical week” to understand the effect in volumes and also the answer rates. At the end we make some recommendations to ensure you are phone fit over Easter.

Analysis of call volumes

During a typical week the percentage of calls into a car dealer and missed call rate can be summarised as follows:

Percentage of calls Percentage of Missed Calls
Monday 19% 8%
Tuesday 19% 8%
Wednesday 18% 7%
Thursday 17% 7%
Friday 16% 8%
Saturday 8% 9%
Sunday 2% 12%

As it can be seen Monday and Tuesday are the busiest days for calls and then it tapers off over the rest of the week. Sunday has the lowest call volume but the highest missed call rate. The weekend calls combined represent only 10% of all the calls – significantly lower than a weekday.

When this is compared to the Easter Weekend, due to the public holidays, the call volumes drop dramatically compared to an average Friday – Monday period.

The interesting point to note is that calls rise on Easter Saturday and significantly – by over 25% – on the Tuesday following Easter Monday. Wednesday after Easter has higher than usual calls and then they go back to average by Thursday.

Easter Period Change in Call Volume
Good Friday -53%
Easter Saturday 6%
Easter Sunday -51%
easter Monday -73%
Tuesday 28%
Wednesday 6%
Thursday 0%

Although it is the school holidays in the run upto Easter we do not see a significant difference in call volumes compared to an average week during the Monday – Thursday of Easter week.

Analysis of missed call rates

As one would expect the call rates reduce over the Easter period. However, due to retailers running ion skinny staff levels then we see a significant uplift in missed call rates:-

Normal day Avg missed call rates Easter Period Easter missed call rates Difference
Friday 8% Good Friday 15% 7%
Saturday 9% Easter Saturday 9% 0%
Sunday 12% Easter Sunday 38% 26%
Monday 8% Easter Monday 17% 9%
Tuesday 8% Tuesday 9%1 %
Wednesday 7% Wednesday 7%0 %
Thursday 7% Thursday 8%0 %

As it can be seen, despite the reduced call volumes, the missed call rate rises dramatically over the days that are designated as holidays. On Easter Sunday despite a drop in typical call volumes by 51% dealers miss nearly 40% of those calls.

Recommendations

The title of this blog is “Feeding the Easter bunnies” and our objective has been to look at how retailers react to the call volumes that come into their business during Easter. From the analysis we have done, it can be seen that the Easter Bunnies go hungry, despite them making fewer phone enquiries. To combat this we would make the following recommendations

  1. Review your staff rostering over the Easter weekend and emphasise the importance of answering the phone.
  2. If using call tracking, make sure you have set up missed call alerts so that you can ring people back when they do not get through
  3. If you are part of a large retail group, review how you can centralise all your Easter calls to ensure you answer them properly
  4. Look at whether you implement a mailbox that is being properly monitored and there is a process in place to call back messages.

Makes sure you are fully staffed on the Tuesday and Wednesday following Easter and all staff are fully briefed and prepared for the 25% uplift in call volumes.

About the author - Natalia Selby

Marketing Executive at Mediahawk, with 20 years experience in analytics, content management and eCommerce.