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Big Tom LaPointe

Big Tom LaPointe Digital Marketing Consultant

Exclusive Blog Posts

My Dealership Story - Kristy Elliott

My Dealership Story - Kristy Elliott

Meet Kristy Elliott, the Dealer Operator at Sunshine Chevrolet and check out her dealership story. Learn how Kristy came from the non-profit world to …

Start With Why - David Mead at DrivingSales Presidents Club

Start With Why - David Mead at DrivingSales Presidents Club

DrivingSales was so excited to have David Mead as a keynote speaker during Presidents Club. David works at the Start With Why foundation with Simon Sinek, …

You Have a Position to Fill – Who Do You Hire?

You Have a Position to Fill – Who Do You Hire?

As much as you try to avoid employee churn, you’ll always need to hire someone. It might be to replace a staff who’s moved on in their care…

6 Tips for Better LinkedIn PPC Advertising

6 Tips for Better LinkedIn PPC Advertising

With a little over a year’s experience with LinkedIn Advertising and some insights from a connection at LinkedIn, I’ve put together a list of 6…

The 3 Laws of Extreme Ownership

The 3 Laws of Extreme Ownership

“These are all things that may help you justify your results. But is your dealer any happier because of this?” I just finished reading a…

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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