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Frank Felten

Frank Felten Chat Evangelist

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Effective Live Chat Strategy - Part one

Automotive live chat is not new but its usage has been slowly evolving, none the less we still have a long way to go. Live chat today, is only used as means for simplistic lead generation without providing much information, which usually triggers irritation in visitors that get no additional information or all their questions are directed towards the sales call.

Technology is steadily improving every day. It's becomming easier to provide much more detailed information to  visitors even if your chat agents are not present at the dealership. The key is to create a better and more detailed process outlining the practices your dealership has as its business model and then training agents to handle situations in a more appropriate manner. The traditional approach is out dated and has to be improved.

Consider a visitor, who is interested in one of your vehicles gets all the detail on the website but is not sure if the cost listed on the website is the final cost. He might be willing to  drive a few states to get that vehicle if the price can be reduced slightly or feels confident that its a good buy. Commonly agents are not consented to negotiate prices with the visitors and they don't have any strategy to handle such cases, all they do is leave this part on the sales call. Infact any query they can't talk about is left for the sales call. This kind of defeats the purpose of having a live chat agent in the first place, because your not using the true potential. There are a couple of ways to address these, I'll point them out one by one.

 

  1. You could privilge the chat agents to slightly negotiate the price on the website. Make the visitor feel happy about his buy. You could set a cap on how much they would allow to negotiate for.
  2. A sales manager could jump in on the chat and negotiate directly. Depends on the availability of the sales manager.
  3. Directly be able to connect with the visitor.

 

Bottom line is, an oppertunity to sell should not be blown away so easily. Especially when you make so much effort to get the visitor in the first place, then to get him engaged with an agent is further work that is of no benefit if you let go opportunities so easily. Since the eventual goal of live chat is to produce sales not just leads, it is important to think innovatively and address problems which can be addressed in a reasonable manner. I realize its not always easy to consent an outsourced chat agent to make any offers, but if done correctly it adds unparallel benefits for you as well as your client base.

Generally the level of support, that is eventually provided by outsourced agents or inhouse agents is dictated by dealers not vendors. You control what you get from live chat, as it is a tool to help you convert better if you let it.

We here at PRO Live Chat address issues in a much more detailed manner, so as to get you to get the most out of your online presence. The collaboration team makes a sincere effort in addressing common problems which we have learned over the years from our experience of the automotive industry.

Ketty Colom
This a misconception. You cannot "sell" a vehicle through the chat. Read about it here http://www.activengage.com/blog/bid/140351/Misconceptions-of-Automotive-Live-Chat
Frank Felten
I would have to disagree Ketty Colom, visitors don't like to drive a couple of states just to sit in a car and know that its not for them. They usually are pretty confident from the photos they see, the carFAX information they get and they generally are looking for particular details, which if found and given in a timely manner can make all the difference. I don't agree with anything ActivEngage says because they even say 24/7 is no gain.
Ketty Colom
That's fine if you don't agree with ActivEngage Frank. I didn't comment to sway you. I commented so that others may read about live chat misconceptions. And yes, 24/7 isn't cost efficient. ActivEngage started at 24/7 and this is what we noticed: Less than 10% of your monthly website visitors are on your site between midnight & 8AM! So few people chat in the middle of the night, 24/7 chat is not worth its cost Maybe 10% of your total traffic sounds like a lot. Well, let’s break it down a little further. If your dealership website gets 5,000 unique visitors per month then 10% would be 500 visitors. Now remember that just 3% of website visitors engage in chat so out of those 500 visitors, you will chat with 15 people for the entire month during the time frame of midnight to 8:00AM. If you go with a 24/7 live chat provider, you are paying for a call center/chat company to watch your website and chat with less than one person per night. Not to mention, even if you have a chat conversation, you are unable to perpetuate a relationship till morning. Anyone can read more about this here: http://www.activengage.com/blog/bid/148864/Why-24-7-Live-Auto-Chat-Doesn-t-Work
Frank Felten
Ketty Colom, not trying to offend you, but your answer to 24/7 chat doesn't make sense. First of regarding cost effectiveness. This is not something that concerns a dealership and is controlled by the chat vendor. Secondly the stats that you are providing are just blatantly wrong from what we have experienced over a year now. The stats you keep so dearest of only 3% converting doesn't hold in all cases except a few. We have seen more then 60% visitors being engaged in chat. The concern you raised for the lead to not mature until morning also holds no value because if you're locking down a lead its still for a gain, even if you're not able to entertain it right at that time. Remember the point of live chat is not to generate sales but to generate leads, and it works for that. Nothing more needed.
Ketty Colom
I'll just let this video speak for itself: http://youtu.be/eH8Lm1AyaNI

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