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The number of car dealers with live chat software on their websites has jumped dramatically in the past couple of years.
According to dealermarketshare.com, about 37% of the 34k dealer websites had code from a chat provider, up more than 75% over 24 months. This increase can be attributed to many factors, including greater consumer acceptance, word of mouth at dealer meetings and conferences, more aggressive marketing by chat providers, and a growing number of providers joining the market. (see full graphic at http://www.carchat24.com/blog/automotive-business-news/live-chat-auto-dealer-websites-skyrockets-sold-units-still-primary-measure/ )
Quality of service provided through chat is critical, but dealers also want to choose a vendor based on how well the chat product helps close car deals – and there is a significant difference in performance. So how do dealers know which provider to choose?
There are several ways to perform due diligence. These include:
Regardless of the reasons for the growth of chat, as more Millennials and Gen Y buyers shop for cars, the number of website visitors who prefer to chat over a phone call or filling out a form is sure to rise.
The biggest question dealers have to ask is whether they want chat to have a cool way to communicate with shoppers and land an occasional deal, or use it as a valid lead channel that helps sell more cars. The decision can make an annual profit difference in the tens of thousands of dollars.
But one thing for sure is that dealers that don’t have chat yet are soon to be in the minority.