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Big Tom LaPointe

Big Tom LaPointe National Sales Executive with Dealer Teamwork

Exclusive Blog Posts

Click-to-Call [Infographic]

Click-to-Call [Infographic]

  Most dealers understand the importance of making it easy for customers and prospects to find contact information. Websites often have prominent &…

Quick Tips for Improving Dealership Culture

Quick Tips for Improving Dealership Culture

Car dealers have a terrible reputation. It's such a negative experience for so many that people are electing to make a major purchase like a vehicle fr…

The Biggest Mistake Dealers Make When It Comes to Customer Retention

The Biggest Mistake Dealers Make When It Comes to Customer Retention

Jim Roche is the Divisional VP of Marketing & Managed Services at Xtime. We asked him to tell us the biggest mistake he sees dealers making today when …

Is 2018 the Year of Customer Convenience?

Is 2018 the Year of Customer Convenience?

It seems that every year has a theme attached to it in terms of where dealerships’ focus will be. Which themes or buzzwords will dominate 2018? We…

Upcoming Webinar: Show with Your Showroom, Sell with Your Website

Upcoming Webinar: Show with Your Showroom, Sell with Your Website

Today's customers walk into your showroom better-informed than ever before. Because they've done their research ahead of time, 89% walk into t…

Not OUTSIDE THE BOX: Live Chat

1153fbfb075da3bb5653b7a542523781.jpg?t=1Adding 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.

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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.

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