Adding Live Chat software or a hosted chat option to your website doesn’t mean you have to think outside of the box - in fact it is another way to get more buyers INTO THE BOX! I’m sure in the 1930s having a phone was ‘new’ thinking, just like adding a website or dealership email address in the late 1990s was a revolutionary idea.
The debate about whether or not to have chat on your website is pretty much over. You really just have to focus on which chat software or service vendor you would like to use. Here are a few keys to success:
- 24/7 Coverage: Avoid the 'sorry, we're offlin' message: Often as many as 20 to 30 percent of opportunities occur after business hours. Business people travel and military personnel may not have phone access but still appreciate a two-way conversation - you know, high-quality prospects. Tuesday and Thursday mornings can be slower on the lot, but you still have salespeople scheduled, right?
- Fully Hosted / Managed Option: If you are completely happy with the way all your phone ups are handled AND have someone with the available time to handle the chats and savvy enough to master the software, you have a shot at successful self-hosting. Otherwise be sure to look at either a backup option or fully hosted service.
- Automotive Exclusive: A one-size-fits-all chat option is like a website or CRM solution from a company that serves all kinds of businesses. What stores really need is internet technology that is developed from the ground up to mesh with both automotive shoppers, as well as processes within the dealership environment. What's more, you want automotive professionals with experience in a variety of dealer roles and settings on the development team.
- Proactive Invite: This is the popup that greets your dealership website visitors and gives them a chance to chat. It should be on page one, and timing is critical - how long before it pops up and the duration it is on the screen are important.
There are dozens of other details that are important when you are choosing a chat software or managed / hosted chat option, but these major factors will help guide your choice.
Tom LaPointe CarChat24 CHAT EXPERT
Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with more than 15 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He began working with the internet building websites at Johns Hopkins University in the 90's, and has been a performance leader in nearly every dealer role, from sales and service, to web development and viral marketing.