Website Chat

Derrick Woolfson

How many website chats do you average a month? Do you get more service appt chats vs. sales? I ask this because as texting becomes more and more prevalent, are we seeing a decline in web chat? 

John Goll

We just launched a new project to give options away from chat. We launched a "voicemail" (Alpha VMail) recording button on our dealership pages (homepages and VDPs).

My prediction, with the rise in voice-enabled technologies and searches, is that more and more customers will opt for just leaving a direct voice message and send it over rather than using the chats as often. 

I find this more true as we look into web traffic sources and we've been finding over 2/3rds of traffic comes from mobile devices. I don't know how many of you have tried to hold chat conversations on a mobile phone, while looking at VDPs. It can get cumbersome, especially for older shoppers so I think this is logical channel for customers. On the dealership side it helps to weed out low-intender giving you better quality leads.

If you'd like, I can keep you posted with results.


Chris Travis

Pretty good results through. I handle them all and the dealership turned off the off hours because they were horrible with the company they were using. Lately I have been noticing a trend in customers shopping for other customers or at least saying so and not wanting to give their contact info or the other persons even for a referral. 

Someone else handles service so I can't comment on those. I may get 1-2 a week that clicked the chat off a page for a vehicle we are selling.

My old dealership used a third party who had great results and I've brought it up to our current BDC manager who has been trying to see about making changes.

Derrick Woolfson

@John, that is very intriguing, and I would love to see the results as they come if you do not mind sharing! You also bring up a valid point, chatting on mobile is quite the process, and very frustrating if you have to switch website pages while on the chat session. That and more often than not, the person answering the chat does not answer the customers questions other than saying "do you want to come in for a test drive" 

Derrick Woolfson

@Chris, that is very interesting? Is this a service the customer is paying for? I cannot say I have seen that before? I am with you when it comes to "managed chat." The service is either great or terrible - we used managed chat in my last auto group for after hours but did not often see any results. It was a hit or miss. I also imagine, (like it was for me), a lot of the customers chatting were booking a service appointment. 

Mark Rask

We do real well with chat,,,,,we get quite a few more chat requests for sales....the service ones do convert wellthough 

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