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Jared Hamilton
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More and more dealers are beginning to understand the value of including live chat on their dealership website. Consumers’ instant gratification demands have helped changed how dealerships interact with their shoppers online, and smart dealers know that it is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase qualified first-party leads. The question then becomes: how do you select the right live chat service for your dealership? Although the basic underlying technology behind live chat is similar, the individual chat software products vary greatly. For example, here are 5 specific things your automotive chat should be able to do to make you more competitive and successful with your online chat. 1. Ability to view visitors on your website in real-time and watch as they shop around your website. Chat intelligence offers you the same power of watching an up on your lot look at three Nissan Maximas, before coming into your dealership. 2. The referring URL and Keywords shoppers used to find your website. This gives you valuable insight about what the shopper is thinking and looking for as they start to shop on your dealership website. 3. First time visitor or returning visitor, with current and previous click paths available for review to identify exactly which vehicles the site visitor is interested in. This is like having a print out of every webpage a consumer visited to prepared your sales pitch, before they visit the dealership. Understanding your shoppers’ needs and desires allows you to craft a very powerful sales presentation. That is what Chat intelligence can offer you. 4. GEO‐IP targeting to identity if the shopper is local, or even a competitor checking out your website. Location gives you insight into your online approach, especially if you are a dealership that will give more aggressive pricing to a shopper outside your local market. Chat intelligence, not IM software, gives you that information and more. 5. “Shop with me technology.” This is a term you will be reading more and more about in the coming months as chat technology has improved. Sending a link to a shopper on chat is one thing, but redirecting their browser is much more powerful. “Shop with me” lets you lead shoppers around your website, explain things as you go, and lets you give you a powerful online presentation, with you in complete control. Ask any vendor if you will have access to this information because it is incredibly valuable to help understand consumers and their needs. Also ask if you can monitor your sales reps during a chat. Do they have ”Whisper” technology that allows managers to coach representatives while they are chatting with the visitor, in the same chat screen? This lets you continuously improve chat agents’ skills and increase the service you provide your site visitors. Very advanced chat intelligence will also let you include the keywords originally used in the online search that brought the visitor to your site. So imagine instead of a pop up inviting them to chat, imagine a pop up that said, “I see you recently did a search on Google for ‘Cheap Cars in Newark.’ Can I assist you with your search?” This gives you a truly personalized experience with each shopper, giving them the right message at just the right time. Chat business intelligence is what can help you significantly increase lead generation; merely adding a “click to chat” button will not increase your website leads. Make sure you ask these questions before you sign any agreement and ask to see it in action. I am not from Missouri but I do believe in the show me state . Your dealership needs more than technology to increase leads and sales for all dealership profit centers; you need a comprehensive service that lets you understand consumer behavior and engage at just the right moment. Thoughts? Experience with chat business intelligence? Please share!

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