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Original Post

What do you want in a Live Chat service?

Last week I posted this question to the Automotive Digital Marketing community, and wanted to also pose the question here in case there might be any additional or opposing views.

With so many chat providers available, and having live chat as part of a dealer website being such a necessity for most dealers, what features are most important to you in a live chat program?

Would you prefer full service where the vendor's associates chat for you 24/7? A program where your own people chat, but the vendor covers you during off hours? Or only the option to chat yourself?

Is Proactive Chat a must?

How do you want to be able to keep track of your chats? Do you expect to receive automatic copies of transcripts whether you or the vendor is doing the chatting?

What elements are you most looking for in what a chat service provides?

If you have found a chat service that meets all of your needs, I would love to hear about that too!

May 23, 2011

I am a strong proponent of chat. Right now, I am outsourcing it since I don't really trust a salesperson at the dealership to answer a chat within 10 seconds. I am also scared that when a customer asks if the 2007 Honda Accord is available, and they say no, they will lose the chat. I would rather leave it to the experts that know what they are doing.

We do monitor all of the chats and if there is any wrong info being given, I can get on the phone and change that. The chat providor I use is great. When we do have a chat that gets to a lead status, it is in our CRM. The internet team can read through the chat and talk to the customer with knowing what was said in the chat.

May 23, 2011

@Jim Bell, what service are you outsourcing to?

May 23, 2011

I use Activengage fullnservice.

May 23, 2011

Thanks, Jim! I've been hearing quite a bit about trusting an outsourced chat provider more for those reasons, mainly that they can help the customer at any time, while salespeople need to focus on who is on the lot. Thanks for sharing!

May 24, 2011

I'll chime in on this but will disclose the fact that I do work for CarChat24. There are all kinds of different opinions on Outsourced vs In-house and each dealership has their own unique process. What I can say is that you 100% should have a proactive greeting.

All of the leading chat providers offer this, and it will result in a dramatic increase in the amount of leads your website will generate.

May 25, 2011

We are in a market where very few dealers are yet to adopt chat. We have used Contact at Once for about a year. We chat only from 8am until 9pm daily using dedicated business development agents.

Agents stick to specific scripts based o the situations, and we are seeing chat gradually come close to paralleling phone traffic when it comes to generating appointments.

Jun 28, 2011

When talking about live chat, Inside always pop-up in my mind. I accidentally came across inside, and after looking through their site http://www.inside.tm/, it morphs a business website into a virtual storefront so business personnel can see and help their site visitors in real-time using chat.

February 25th

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