Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Contact At Once!

Contact At Once!

Exclusive Blog Posts

The Recruiter: Episode 4- People Use Google to Find Jobs

The Recruiter: Episode 4- People Use Google to Find Jobs

How to title your help wanted ad so it gets found on the internet. Please use Google in their job search. Use what people call themselves on their resu…

* The Recruiter* Episode 3 Law of Diminishing Return

* The Recruiter* Episode 3 Law of Diminishing Return

When do you hire and how many? what are you basing your decision on? Don't decide by how many desks you have or that's what you normally run with. …

Lenders must lend or drivers won't drive

Lenders must lend or drivers won't drive

In my opinion, sub prime customers are being considered more risky by the lenders that once targeted them. Even traditional co-signers are proving not to b…

4 Reasons to Improve CRM Utilization in 2017

4 Reasons to Improve CRM Utilization in 2017

Yes, dealers are creating a tremendous amount of data. The problem is, most of it is junk. Data is like this 1958 Tops Baseball Card complete set. You have…

Your Car Repair Shop Should Appeal To Parents Whether It is At a Dealership or Privately Owned

Your Car Repair Shop Should Appeal To Parents Whether It is At a Dealership or Privately Owned

Running an auto repair means that you have to take care of all kinds of details including scheduling, discipline, and customer service. Giving a customer t…

Can Your Dealership Increase Saturday Sales? Yes. Here's How.

More than 12% of all weekly consumer chat requests to auto dealers occur on Saturday.

dealer chat sales leads

This is new data released by the leading dealer chat provider, Contact At Once! for the month of September. The data was sourced from their dealer chat network which includes chat conversations from AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, CarsDirect.com, EveryCarListed.com and more than 9,000 auto dealers.

What Kinds of Chats Occur on Saturdays?

More important than the number of Saturday chat requests is the nature of Saturday conversations. These, quite simply, are chats that most dealers wouldn't want to miss. This is because the data reveals that Saturday chat, more than any other day of the week, are predominately pre-visit inquiries. Before walking into the dealership to buy a car that day, chat buyers want to know:

  • The availability of a specific vehicle
  • Current financing and rebates on a specific vehicle
  • The bottom line price on a specific vehicle
  • Detailed trade-in questions
  • Last minute price and payment negotiations

How Should Dealers Respond To These Buyers?

Every dealership faces opportunities and challenges that are unique to it. Hours of operation vary, as do manpower levels. But, if a dealer sees the value in having sales team members directly answer chats throughout the week, it would behoove them to task individuals to do so on Saturdays as well. Having a mobile chat app on the salespersons smartphone will allow them to multitask and answer chats throughout the day while still attending to dealership traffic. If this is not an option, then it makes sense to have Saturday chat requests outsourced to a rollover specialist or chat receptionist.

Chat Rollover is where a dealership answers its own chats, and when it is unavailable, a Chat Receptionist covers the gaps by fielding the remaining incoming chat leads. A Chat Receptionist service functions in a manner similar to a traditional receptionist commonly found in the vast majority of dealerships. The receptionist often does some basic qualification; offers information about hours of operation and current specials; then enters the lead into the dealership’s CRM for follow-up.

Marc Ray, General Sales Manager of Grogan’s Towne Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge says that “Chat is today’s phone up.” To follow that line of thought, an unanswered chat is like allowing the phone to ring without answering it. To do that is to suggest to the customer that their business just isn’t that important.

Those dealers able to answer chats directly have exhibited the strongest results from their chat conversations. This is because an in-bound chat gives the sales person the opportunity to build direct rapport (including name and face recognition) and provide the customer with real-time, relevant information - which is what Saturday buyers in particular are looking for. Still, whether a receptionist answers the chat or not, the goal must be for dealers to get that customer connected with a qualified sales person in a timely fashion.

Two Examples

What follows are three sample chats from Saturday, October 15, 2011. Notice the nature of the chats and how the salesperson directly responds to the questions and concerns of the customer:

----------------------------------

In this transcript, a customer is interested in a specific car, but has questions about the bottom-line price as well as the history of the car – in less than 10 minutes of time, the sales person has the customer’s contact number and a scheduled appointment for a test drive.

[10:30:26 AM]{Customer} Hi, I was looking for Toyota Corolla car and I came across the Used 2010 Toyota Corolla LE.
[10:31:45 AM]{Paul} Hello, and thank you again for contacting XXXXXX BMW. Yes, it is still available. [10:32:15 AM]{Paul} I took it in from the original owner who bought a new BMW X3 from me.
[10:33:05 AM]{Customer} Ok, what is the final price of this car?
[10:33:13 AM]{Customer} Also, are there any accidents reported or recalls on this vehicle?
[10:33:29 AM]{Paul} We are a best price shop. Our advertised price is our best price, there's no dealer handling. [10:33:36 AM]{Paul} No accident, no recall.
[10:34:02 AM]{Customer} Ok, can I come and see this car today?
[10:34:23 AM]{Paul} Sure, what time would you like to come in? And your name?
[10:34:31 AM]{Customer} My name is Tulasi. I will come around 1PM today.
[10:35:23 AM]{Paul} 1PM would be great Tulasi. My name is Paul. You'll be very happy with the condition of the Corolla.
[10:35:41 AM]{Paul} Can I have your phone # for the reference?
[10:36:01 AM]{Customer} My phone number is XXX XXX XXXX
[10:36:30 AM]{Customer} Are there any other Toyota Corollas around $12,000 - $13,000? [10:37:05 AM]{Paul} Yes, we also have a Yaris for $12,000.
[10:37:06 AM]{Customer} Actually my limit is $13,000.
[10:37:24 AM]{Paul} Are you financing or paying cash?
[10:37:31 AM]{Customer} Paying cash.
[10:37:48 AM]{Paul} Great. Look at them both, see which one you like.
[10:38:42 AM]{Customer} I will come to your shop and see this car today.
[10:38:58 AM]{Paul} I look forward to seeing you at 1PM Tulasi
[10:39:02 AM]{Customer}Thanks Paul, see you at 1PM

----------------------------------

In this transcript, the customer needs a larger car due to the arrival of a baby. She doesn’t seem to have a specific model in mind – just “No minivans!” Even so, the salesperson was able to establish rapport and trust with the customer. The end result? A promise to visit that afternoon, and the sales person has a strong understanding of both the customer’s needs, desires and financial situation.

[9:46:29 AM]{Mike} Hello, How may I help you?
[9:47:57 AM]{Customer} Hi. I am looking for a good used car. I just had a baby and need something bigger than what I have. I currently drive a Nissan Sentra. I also need it to have good gas mileage. Can you suggest? Please No minivans!
[9:48:49 AM]{Mike} We have a great selection of cars. I have the HHR, Accords, Chevy's
[9:49:20 AM]{Mike} Are you looking to pay cash or finance something?
[9:49:29 AM]{Customer} Finance.
[9:49:38 AM]{Customer} I've heard very little about the HHR's. Are they reliable and how long can they be expected to last?
[9:50:15 AM]{Mike} They are good cars. It's a Chevy product and just like any car it can last 200K miles if you take care of them. It gives you room kind of like a SUV but still great gas milage.
[9:51:17 AM]{Customer} What does it get on the highway? I have a 45 minute commute to work each day and it is all interstate driving.
[9:52:05 AM]{Mike} In the upper 20's or 30, depends on how you drive.
[9:52:16 AM]{Mike} What is your payment goal?
[9:52:38 AM]{Customer} Between $200 and $250 per month.
[9:53:38 AM]{Mike} Well, you would need to stay in the price range of the HHR it's only $12,000. Is your car paid for and are you looking to put money down?
[9:54:17 AM]{Customer} Yes, it is paid for. I can put between $2500 and $3000 down.
[9:55:03 AM]{Mike} Do you have pretty good credit?
[9:55:37 AM]{Customer} Not perfect, but not awful either. Last check was 711.
[9:55:52 AM]{Mike} Ok, we can work with that for sure.
[9:56:20 AM]{Mike} My name is Big Mike and you are?
[9:56:43 AM]{Customer} Carrie Dunaway. Nice to meet you.
[9:57:33 AM]{Mike} Thank you Carrie. Could you come down today? [9:58:19 AM]{Customer}We should be able to be there this afternoon around 3PM. Would that work for you? [9:58:42 AM]{Mike} 3PM would be fine. How old is your baby?
[9:59:06 AM]{Customer} 3 1/2 months and wearing 9 month clothes! [10:00:11 AM]{Mike} Wow, my little girl just turned 1! Can I have your phone number?
[10:02:28 AM]{Customer} Thanks for your time, my number is XXX XXX XXXX. See you this afternoon.

Bottom Line

Whether your dealership prefers to have its salespeople answer live chats directly, outsources chat answering to a third party receptionist, or combines the two using a rollover service, Saturday chats are an important lead source that dealers should not ignore. Contact At Once! offers dealers all of these options, allowing dealers full control over how they answer their chats. For more information about Contact At Once auto dealer chat, please visit: www.autodealerchat.com.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now