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Car dealerships adding auto dealer chat to their websites will find a number of companies promising results and offering a variety of enticing features. But which ones are truly important and have a direct impact on the bottom line and which ones are simply “shiny objects”. Here is a list of the most important features dealers should look for when selecting a chat provider:
#1: Automatic Login/Logout
Live chat only works when users are logged in and available to receive chat leads. For dealership salespeople, remembering to log in and out of a chat client each day can be one more step they're likely to forget. The ability for a chat tool to auto-detect when salespeople are present and ready to answer chat inquiries saves managers from having to remind users to log in so that they don’t miss out on potential leads.
#2: The Option For Dealerships To Answer Their Own Chats
How many car dealerships outsource their phone calls? Those that do may need to consider outsourcing their chat conversations, but otherwise dealerships should insist on answering their own. Live chat is simply another form of communication between consumers and dealers. Like phone leads, responding to interested buyers and building rapport is an important step in driving customers into the dealership. Trained salespeople are a dealership’s best resource for responding to chat questions regarding vehicle inventory, features and affordability. In times when the dealership needs support (peak traffic times, after-hours or when there are not enough salespeople available to answer the chats) sending inquiries to a professionally staffed chat center makes sense. Chat providers offering dealerships first preference in answering themselves and providing the option for reinforcement when necessary, offer the best solution.
#3: Use Of Photos Of Actual Salespeople, Not Models
Customers want to chat with real people. Statistics show that using the true name and photo of the dealership salesperson responding to the chat can double the number of inquiries dealers receive. Real names and photos also help salespeople build trust and rapport with buyers who want to know that the person they are chatting with is also the person they are likely to meet and recognize when they visit the dealership.
#4: Ability To Answer Chat Leads While On The Go, Anytime, Anywhere
Consumers want to chat with dealerships when it’s convenient for them and dealership salespeople are more effective when they have the freedom to move about the dealership. Answering chat leads while on the go using Android devices, Blackberrys, iPads, iPod touches and iPhones becomes a great advantage for dealers. With mobile chat, salespeople are likely to field a higher number of requests and capitalize on more sales opportunities.
#5: One Chat Tool That Can Receive Leads From Sites Across the Web
On average, online car shoppers are known to visit a number of other websites including manufacturer sites, third-party sites, Craigslist, etc. prior to visiting the dealership’s website. Enabling live chat at each of these touch points is essential to maximizing a dealership’s online lead and revenue potential. Selecting an auto dealer chat provider that accepts inquiries from outside sources in addition to the dealership’s website increases leads for dealers and reduces the number of chat tools and processes their employees must learn.
#6: All-In-One Reporting And Tracking Of Chat Leads
Dealers don't have time to log into different systems. For efficiency sake, one reporting system to track chats across each of the websites the dealer's chat icons appear on is essential. Which sites produce the greatest return on investment and which ones require further optimization to improve results? With centralized reporting dealers can know. Additionally, some chat providers also enable dealerships to benchmark themselves against other dealerships within the same brand, region or dealer group - talk about improving results!
#7: Dealer Group-Level Management
Managing chats for multi-store groups is challenging, especially with chat products designed for single-store implementations. Group-level management and tracking allows group administrators, managers and Business Development Centers (BDCs) the ability to configure, manage, and track group performance across all stores from a single sign-on.
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