Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Auto Live Chat Emoticon Etiquette: When can you use =) ?

By Stephen Jackson on Mar 15, 2012

 

It is a well-known fact that abbreviations and emoticons are often used in every day conversations. From texting to emailing, this lingo has become popular across all generations and forms of media – dating all the way back to 1862. So, when is it appropriate to use emoticons in an automotive live chat conversation?

There is one golden rule that you must always keep in mind: do not use emoticons or abbreviations unless the chatter uses them first. However, this rule can be applied loosely depending on the vibe each live chat participant gives off during the conversation. If you are having a great conversation and acquire all the contact information effortlessly, an emoticon or abbreviation here and there could help, not hinder, your chat. This fresh way of communicating can give off positive feelings in the chat conversation and can be a great way to build a relationship with the web shopper.

Scenarios when to use Emoticons after the chatter uses them first:

Inappropriate:

Customer: You look very good in the picture online. Will I be working with you? ;-)

Sales Person: I do not work in sales, but a member of my Sales Team will be following up with you! ;-D

Live chat interactions are the first impression a customer has of your dealership. If the chatter is being flirtatious in a chat, do not reward their flirtation with an emoticon.  Focus their attention on the vehicle, not the emotion. Keep the conversation on a professional note.

 

Appropriate:

Customer: I want a SUV with leather, sunroof, and navigation for 35k. I know that is a lot to ask. =)

Sales Person: We’ll see what we can do for you John. =)

When a customer is excited about a vehicle, match that excitement with an emoticon. Not only does it make the chatter feel good, but the emoticon confirms you are on the right track to acquiring contact information.

 

Scenarios when to use Emoticons first:

Inappropriate:

Customer:  I have very bad credit and I want to know if you guys can work with that.  I filed for bankruptcy as well.

Sales Person:  =(  I’m sorry to hear that John!

Never focus on a negative statement made by the chatter and never use a frowning emoticon. You want the live chat participant’s experience to always be positive which will reflect on the dealership itself.

 

Appropriate:

Customer: When I come in, I would like to work with you, where do I go to ask for you?

Sales Person: I’m sorry, I don’t work in sales. I leave that to the pros ;-) .

Sometimes when a live chat goes well the customer asks to work with the chat representative when they visit the dealership. In this chat, an emoticon is appropriate because it reflects back a positive feeling on the sales staff and the dealership.

 

When to use an abbreviation back:

Inappropriate:

Customer: My credit is horrible, I bet the bum down the street has a better score than me.

Sales Person: LOL. We’ll see what we can do for you John.

When you oversimplify live chat with abbreviations, a lot of communication errors can occur. Don’t focus on the negatives in chat and don’t “laugh out loud” to any chatter’s reference to bad credit. Focus on positives and keep the conversation focused on the vehicle!

 

Appropriate:

Customer: I’m being a good husband and getting all the features my wife wants on this car. I’m a keeper, aren’t I? LOL

Sales Person: LOL. Yes, we wouldn’t want your wife to be angry because you didn’t listen! I’ve made sure to make note of those features for you.

When a chatter feels comfortable enough to joke around with you, then that feeling of comfort will pass onto the dealership. First impressions are important and to return a given LOL is golden.

 

When to use emoticons and abbreviations simultaneously:

Inappropriate:

Customer: I’m looking for a vehicle that I can get hot chicks in, you know what I mean? LOL :-)

Sales Person: LOL. I’m sure you can get lots of beautiful girls in this vehicle John. ;-D

We have identified the behavior of serious buyers in previous blogs, but generally when a chatter comes in asking for a vehicle to get hot chicks in, they aren’t a serious buyer. Don’t entertain their dialogue by returning emoticons or abbreviations.

 

Appropriate:

Customer: Do you take trade-ins? My wife is a really good cook, but she has a lot of miles on her. LOL. Can we work something out? ;-)

Sales Person: LOL. Let me see what we can do John, but I’m sure your wife will be valued priceless. =)

In this chat, it looks like we have gotten the full lead and are winding down the conversation. Again, when the chatter is comfortable enough to joke around with you, it is a good sign and you have liberty to return the emoticons and abbreviations given. When the shopper leaves the conversation after having a great experience, you can bet that they are looking forward to the same type of experience at the dealership location.

_

Hopefully these scenarios have given you insight on when to properly use emoticons and abbreviations in live chat. While chatting you always want the chatter to feel good and positive about the car buying experience. Never emphasize the negative. Always return good positive feelings back! =)

Make sure to subscribe to our blog for more updates on live chat best practices!

 

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Stephen Jackson's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • How quickly can you say "YES?"

    At Autosoft we pride ourselves on customer service and have done so for over 25 years. So when a current customer’s service manager walked out without notice, the general manager was at a loss for what he was going to do. The parts manager just joined the team, the old advisor quit and the new advisor wasn’t due to start for another week. That left him with a brand new crew with no experience and a service department without the ability to wait on customers!!! Out went the phone call to the local business development manager… “can you help?” Read post

  • Auto/Mate Announces the Successful Completion of First Annual User Summit for Auto Dealers

    ALBANY, N.Y. – October 27th, 2014 –Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced the successful completion of its first annual User Summit for auto dealers. Dealers and managers from around the country attended the summit on September 19th in Albany, NY. The User Summit was designed for Auto/Mate's dealer clients to learn the newest features of Auto/Mate's dealership management system (DMS), as well as best practices for implementing new technologies into dealership processes. Additionally, attendees enjoyed networking with peers and fellow Auto/Mate users.   "It was really nice to have so many of our customers in one place and to get their feedback and input on various aspects of our software," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems. "The Town Hall meeting that we hosted was very informative and we came away with a greater understanding of our clients' needs than we could get in any other way."   The two most popular sessions...Read post

  • 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit Recap

    For the sixth year in a row, DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES) sold out to an enthusiastic and progressive-minded audience. With the Bellagio Hotel as our venue, we were all treated to an impressive main stage, plenty of space, and exquisite food catering—and, of course, the most advanced content in the industry!   Day One We began the conference earlier than ever before, kicking off at 1:30pm on Sunday, October 12th—and that's not considering our Canadian breakout session sponsored by e-Dealer, Glovebox, and SCI Marketview that started at 8:30am or the Cox Automotive brunch and panel presentation that commenced at 10:30am. DSES indeed had a packed schedule! And then, the audience was shown the 2014 DSES Kickoff Video: Introduced by event emcee, Charlie Volgleheim, the founder and CEO of DrivingSales, Jared Hamilton, provided a high-level overview of Executive Summit, what the attendees could expect from the conference, and a brief look at the auto industry as a whole....Read post

  • DSES: Can You Feel Me Or Is It The Customer Experience?

    DrivingSales Executive Summit 2014 is officially in the books. It was a sold out event once again that enveloped the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas for the better part of three days. Planned was a (digital) star-studded keynote speaker list plus some of the finest breakout speakers, many dealers, for those in attendance. Here's some highlights form the event from IM@CS' perspective: Day One Just as last year, there was a Canadian Breakout Session housing some of the top companies from our neighbors to the north along with some powerful presenters including Grant Gooley and Jeremy Wyant. Jay Radke and Brent Wees definitely brought the "eh" for a second time. Rumor is that next year will be bigger and better (and DSES will NOT be during Canadian Thanksgiving!). After Emcee Charlie Vogelheim’s grandiose welcome of the attendees, DrivingSales' founder Jared Hamilton managed a uniquely powerful opening recognizing a few members of the car dealer community from stage for thie personal tr...Read post

  • Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer – Blevins Brothers

    Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer - Blevins Brothers Blevins Brothers Launch Their First Native Mobile App  Saratoga Springs, NY: Dealerbaby (www.dealerbaby.com), a custom mobile app platform for auto dealerships, is proud to announce that Blevins Brothers, an auto group in Ogdensburg, NY has launched their first native mobile app via the Dealerbaby mobile platform.  “Dealerbaby allows us to connect with our customers like never before.  It puts our store literally in the palm of their hands, anywhere, anytime,” said Marc Blevins, Sales Manager at Blevins Bros. Blevins Brothers, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership, serving Gouverneur, Canton, Watertown, Potsdam and Fort Drum, NY, has been a family run business since 1983. Last year, Blevins Brothers, began looking for a new way to reach current and potential customers. After a thorough review of options, Blevins Brothers, choose to invest in mobile for the following reasons: reach, loyalty, and the future of car bu...Read post

  • DrivingSales Announces Innovation Cup and Dealer Best Idea Award Winners for 2014

     New Car IQ from Pearl Technology wins 2014 Innovation Cup Award and “YouTube Postal Service” from Robert Karbaum E-Commerce Manager, Weins Canada Inc./Don Valley North Lexus, wins the 2014 Dealer Best Idea Award; presented at 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit     Salt Lake City, Utah – October 20, 2014 – DrivingSales today announced the winners of the 2014 DrivingSales Innovation Cup and Dealer Best Idea Awards. “New Car IQ” from Pearl Technology won The Innovation Cup Award for the most innovative dealership solution of the year. Robert Karbaum, E-Commerce Manager, Weins Canada Inc./Don Valley North Lexus took the Dealer Best Idea Award for “YouTube Postal Service.” This is the second year in a row Karbaum has won the award. The awards were presented in Las Vegas on October 14th at the sold-out DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES). Over 1,000 dealers and industry professionals attended the three-day event, which concluded on Tuesday.   “It always gives me g...Read post

  • Auto/Mate Integrates DMS with etfile Document Management System, Streamlining Auto Dealer Workflow

    ALBANY, N.Y. – October 20th, 2014 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) announced today the integration of its dealership management system (DMS) with etfile's electronic document management solution. Auto dealerships using the etfile document imaging, filing & retrieval system can now receive deals from F&I and Repair Orders (RO's) from service, via real-time delivery from Auto/Mate's DMS. The integration also allows dealers to identify all documents that were not scanned on a given day.   "Auto dealers can create hundreds of documents on a daily basis, and if they're using an electronic filing system the ability to retrieve documents out of their DMS in a timely manner is critical to increasing efficiencies," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems.   "Partnering with Auto/Mate will allow hundreds of dealerships to take advantage of the benefits associated with our document management system, which include saving tho...Read post

  • The Importance of DrivingSales' Exclusive and Community Blog Sections

    If there's one thing that gets me riled up, it's the types and degrees of education in the automotive industry. The car business has always taken care of me, so I try to always take care of the car business. On many of the blogs and networks in our industry, there are sections for exclusive content and separate sections for "community posts" or syndicated content. Both serve an important role and I publish profusely in both. Here's why: Community Content is General There was a time when I didn't agree with posting the same article to multiple places. It seemed obtuse from a search perspective and annoying from a dealer perspective to see the same content republished over and over again on a wide variety of sites. A friend and someone who manages one of the sites changed my opinion on this. He pointed out that content of general interest to the majority of dealers are better served when a post is published in multiple places. While the vendors seem to be on all of the networks, he p...Read post