CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
Responsive website design is all the rage, and for good reason. With over a third of online car shoppers researching on multiple devices, we need sites that adapt to the screen and are easy to navigate from computer to smartphone and tablet. Just don’t forget to consider how customers will actually contact you from your site, across all those devices.
“I like to make it as easy as possible for customers to contact us about a vehicle,” says Chad Sabatka, Anderson Auto Group’s web developer and digital marketing director. To do this, he uses numerous communication methods—like Contact At Once!’s dealer text and chat—with a keen eye to what works best on the various devices customers use.
Test Your Sites
Here’s an “easy” test you can do: Pull up your dealership site on a desktop or laptop, then on a tablet or smartphone. Even if you have a mobile site or a responsive design (and you should), is it obvious how to ask a question? Are your contact options easy and convenient, no matter the device used to view the site?
Offer Easy, Clickable Options
Chad suggests having dealer text, chat, phone and email options, letting the customer use what they prefer and are most comfortable with. Put these options where questions tend to arise: on the VDP, for example.
Easy access to such info is even more important on tablets and smartphones, where 1 in 3 shoppers are looking specifically for it. Chad prefers one-click methods on mobile sites (text buttons, clickable phone numbers), anchoring those buttons to the screen so they are always visible in portrait or landscape mode.
Real-time chat and text options can grab shoppers’ attention in other ways, too. For example, you can make those buttons stand out with a contrasting color. On a desktop site, you can add in real photos of your team and drop in a personalized chat invitation that settles to the lower right side. “Judging by our site’s heat map, this method gets a lot of clicks and action,” says Chad.
Respect (Don’t Annoy) the Shopper
Though you want to encourage interaction, don’t annoy consumers with too much “help.” Consider placing buttons, icons or drop-ins in the margin or gutters of a site—in a noticeable location, but out of the main content, as Chad suggests. Sending a personalized chat invite? Make sure someone’s there to answer the shopper if they take you up on it. And respect shoppers’ wishes: If they close a chat invite, don’t send it again a few minutes later!
Cash in on the Convenience
“I truly believe texting and instant chat ups will overtake phone ups in the near future,” Chad adds. He’s already seen a major switch toward chat and text in two of Anderson Auto Group’s markets. A big part of it is the convenience these methods provide across devices—the easier you make it, the more likely customers are to connect. And if you can answer their questions and help them out a bit earlier, you might encourage a few more ups in the door.