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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Bryant Gibby

Bryant Gibby Used car manager

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Chat leads

     We are a little bit behind the times with regard to chat leads at our dealership. We have known for a while that chat leads are a very viable source to get more deals, but for some reason we have dragged our feet a little on getting it set up. We are now in the process of getting everything set up.

 

     We have decided to make it to where our sales guys aren't doing the actual chatting with the customers. Instead, we hired a company that will handle the leads for us 24/7 and try to set appointments for the sales guys. We decided to go that route for 2 reasons. 1- Our sales guys aren't here during nights & weekends. 2- We were worried about some our guys' computer skills and their ability to chat effectively with our customers. The company sounds pretty legit and don't charge too much so we figured it would be a good route to go.

 

     The reason for my post is I was wondering if most dealers handle chat leads the same way we are going to. Or do most have their sales guys do it? Let me know what you guys recommend based off your past experience.

Randy Taylor
I worked at a Honda store that was using a 3rd party to handle their chat. So was another dealer. Using the same 3rd party. Sure enough, a potential customer picked up on it right away. Our 3rd part source was too generic and basically worked to gather information for a later contact. Success? No.
Randy Taylor
I also meant to mention that anyone handling Chat should be able to spell and have a working knowledge of the English language, or whatever language might be needed for the chat. Basic grammar is also important.
John Hanger
Hi Bryant, I just did a presentation at Digital Dealer, along with Wayne Ussery, Internet Marketing Director for Jim Ellis Automotive, on this topic. You can see the slides here http://www.slideshare.net/ContactAtOnce/digital-dealer-10-your-fingers-are-not-too-fat-to-use-dealer-chat-to-sell-more-cars. Wayne's point of view is that he doesn't outsource phone leads so he's not outsourcing chat leads. In my personal experience, there are are some dealers like Wayne on the "nobody else touches my leads" side, and some on the "100% outsourced is the only way to go" side, but the right answer for the vast majority of dealers is a hybrid approach where dealership personnel get the first shot at answering chat leads but are backed up by a professional chat center during after-hours and those times when it is too busy in the dealership.
Bryant Gibby
@ Amanda. I like the idea of letting our sales staff do the chat leads when the store is open and having the 3rd party co do them when we are closed. Good thinking!
Ken Potter
I applaud you for implementing any chat strategy. I find so many dealers who simply aren't using it. The bottom line is anyone chasing price will submit a lead or call your store but there are many customers who would like to interact with dealers while maintaining privacy and chat is the only way to do that. As for outsourcing or not, you should look at chat like you do a fresh up. Your trained staff should be talking to your customers when possible at all times I work with a dealer group that sells many cars off chat. They never outright ask for an appointment, but always end up setting them. The goal is to answer all the customers questions, show the unique value the dealer offers, and most importantly be "human" There are no scripts or canned answers, they employ caring people who actually talk to their customers as if one of their friends said, hey can you help me out, I have some questions People sell cars, not technology, but this technology allows your people to talk to customers they probably wouldnt have gotten a chance otherwise Good Luck!!!

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