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After more than a week of preparation, the day had finally come: I was ready for my first live chat interaction as an ActivEngage VSA. I looked over at Jake, who took off his Phillies cap and scratched his head. Like all of our VSAs, Jake knew a LOT about cars; I had watched him provide very helpful vehicle information to inquisitive customers a few days before. He was there to offer me his expertise as a VSA, and to coach me through my first customer interactions.
VSAs also have access to professionally-built information databases which contain just about every vehicle specification one could ask for. Want to know how wide the Jetta’s trunk is or what kind of rims come standard on a Honda Fit? We know the answer to that. Our VSAs have access to more information about automobiles than almost anyone else, and we implement this knowledge in our chats on a daily basis.
Using these tools, my first few chats weren’t just simple – they were fun. I forwarded eager buyers to several dealerships’ finance department, I helped a customer put in a service request, and I used the tools available to me to help customers make informed decisions. Almost all of these chatters gave me a form of contact so that the dealer could contact them with more information. Jake gave me a high-five and handed me a popsicle to celebrate. I’d made him proud.
You probably have some appreciation of how the Internet has changed the car buying process. Maybe you remember a day when your customers were more naive. Maybe when they walked onto your lot, they didn’t know exactly what they wanted. Maybe shoppers once had to ask you for vehicle specifications and price quotes. But the advent of powerful and accessible online information has swept all that away. The auto customer of today researches and browses online – and is sold on his/her vehicle long before setting foot into your dealership.
The reality is that power has shifted from the seller to the buyer. Most of the traditional “sales” process now takes place over the Internet, where buyers can find a wealth of information to answer any questions they might have. But you already know this. The reason you’re reading this – the reason you’ve joined a professional digital marketing community – is to improve your future customers’ initial moment of truth. How can you move your dealership’s signature service for a physical storefront to a website? That’s where ActivEngage Virtual Sales Assistants come in.
Despite the vast amount of information available on the Web, no buyer wants a car without looking at it first, and taking it for a spin. They may have a particular question that can’t be answered online, and requires them to see their new car for themselves. ActivEngage VSAs are the missing link between an anonymous website visit and a trip to your dealership. If you don’t believe in the power of live chat, we invite you to test it out. Have an online conversation with one of our dedicated Virtual Sales Assistants. Maybe I’ll see you there.
Stephen will be posting weekly updates about becoming an ActivEngage VSA every Monday. Learn more about what makes our chatters the best by subscribing to our blog!