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Big Tom LaPointe

Big Tom LaPointe National Sales Executive with Dealer Teamwork

Exclusive Blog Posts

How SEO Impacts the Service Department

How SEO Impacts the Service Department

Digital marketing in the dealership often is viewed and conducted solely from a sales perspective. But the service department, often called the "backb…

What 89% of salespeople are failing to do...

What 89% of salespeople are failing to do...

  According to Dale Carnegie only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. We all know how valuable referrals are but when it comes time to ask for a …

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

You think you’re dangling an enticing lure in front of your customers’ eyes. You plan to set the hook and reel them in. But what you don&rs…

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…

One of a dozen ways chat can kill your deal – and 3 tips to prevent it

answer live chat on time to sell more carsI once had a general manager tell us that Disney had a vice president of parking to ensure the first and last experience guests have at their parks are not tainted by stress. I don’t know about the VP part, but they certainly have it down to a science, as evidenced by nearly two dozen personal visits and this Wall Street Journal article.

What does that have to do with live chat on dealer websites? Only everything. Just like a crappy parking experience can ruin an amusement park visit, OFFERING auto shoppers a chance to chat on your dealer website, then not answering the call when they click the CHAT NOW button is a sure way to kill a car deal.

For all the things that can go wrong in an auto shopping experience, and even just during a live chat experience, killing it from moment one by not answering the virtual phone is surely the biggest.

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Check out my stop watch on this live chat inquiry. This dealer is taking their own chats – or is deluding themselves in to THINKING they are. What they are doing is completely blowing out a customer. Not only did the chat invite say they were available to chat, but after more than 40 seconds, a message popped up offering me a chance to leave a message.

The CHAT ICON is a promise that a live person is waiting on the other end to have a conversation. Here are three keys to avoid blowing the chat conversation before it starts:

  1. Be sure that your website shows OFFLINE if nobody is able to respond to chat requests.
  2. Answer chat requests within 10 seconds (under 6 is best).
  3. Contract a quality managed chat provider to provide backup support when operators are offline or can’t respond to live chat requests.

Disney sets the bar for commitment to customer service, and with some attention to the processes for handling chat interactions, dealers can have a shot at increasing leads and sales. But more importantly, they can avoid blowing customers out with a dreadful chat experience – or attempt at one.

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Tom LaPointe CarChat24 CHAT GURU
 

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with nearly 20 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He has been involved with the internet from the beginning, 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 BDC / internet sales and viral marketing.

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