For many shoppers, having a call go through to voicemail might mean moving on to the next dealer.

And according to a new industry study, when shoppers search for cars, parts or auto services on their mobile phones and call a dealership, one in six times their calls don't get answered.

Mobile advertising technology company Marchex discussed the contents of a white paper titled, “Mobile Consumers Are Calling: How Inbound Phone Calls Help Auto Dealers Win Customers, Influence Brand Loyalty,” on Tuesday at the 17th Digital Dealer Conference.

The new study is part of the Institute’s Industry Trends series, which spotlights data in a particular business vertical.

The white paper stated that the perceived failure to consistently answer the phone at dealerships is causing stores to miss out on potentially high-margin leads.

Marchex used call analytics technology to take a look at data based on 1,000 randomly sampled mobile phone calls from consumers to dealerships across the U.S.

The findings were dramatic, with 16 percent of customers’ calls to dealerships going unanswered.

And if customers’ calls do get answered, the study found that 63 percent of the time, there is no attempt to get the customers to make an appointment. And 66 percent of the time, dealership reps didn’t 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.”

This data may be particularly important for the service department. According to the study, 74 percent of callers inquire about parts and services.

This is compared to the 14 percent of shoppers who are calling about new or used cars.