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My dealer was thinking about using some sort of LiveChat to set up Internet customers to come in. Do people think this helps or hurts the BDC and is it worth the money?

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Chat is not a "bad" tool. Have you considered live video chat? If not - ask us. We can help.
We use Active Engage at our dealership. It is a wonderful chat tool that I can't say enough good things about. The reason we went to live chat was a horrible website conversion ratio. If people aren't finding their way to contact you on your website or from your website to a phone call or coming into the store from your website then you need to really consider live chat. It gives you about the same amount (a little less) of website visitor analytics as google analytics (we have both) except the analytics from the chat service are in real time. This allows you to "fish" for chats. If you see someone looking at a particular used car and have something great to say about it, drop a little box on them that says "hey, this car is great because...." and maybe they'll want to chat with you and know more. When people chat with you they come unarmed. Believe me, its a different conversation than that of a customer who is farther down "the funnel" but its a good thing because you come into the chat armed knowing exactly what they were looking at, where they are from, what website they came to your website from and even what browser they are using. You can use the chat client to send them videos or links or whatever you need to to get your point across and get them farther along in the buying process. Most of my chats result in appointments. We have 3500 visitors a month to our website. We were getting about 20 leads when I started here. Chat was one of the first things we tried. BELIEVE ME those 55 chats a month were a welcome improvement. I have met with Contactatonce also many times and they don't believe in the "fishing" for chats ideal. I like their product because you can answer from a mobile phone ANYWHERE! For now we are staying with our real time analytics and increased conversion ratio. At a couple hundred a month its easily one of our best "bang for our buck" programs. I'll warn you it gets a bit time consuming and addicting but for someone with a BDC I don't see why you couldn't do it. If you have any questions email my Android at drobertsonintman@gmail.com or reply here. My rep is Jim Borkowski and I got my five dealership group signed up with ActivEngage.
check out https://www.dealershipsearch.com/GetPreferred.php your customers can create a user account and follow your updates as well as send private messages.
@David - Great response to what chat has done to improve conversion. Our company has done man case studies and we will see increase of AT LEAST 50% website leads. Most dealers are worried that these are visitors that would have submitted a form regardless.

This video will prove that theory wrong -- > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dmcYx9u1xk

Activengage and Contact at Once are both very well liked companies in the industry. Car Chat 24 offers a 30 day no charge trial.

If you would like to connect feel free to drop me a line
ryan@carchat24.ca
We use Client Connexion...they are reasonably priced, their customer service is second to none, and they even helps us with some chats when we are busy. Tim, Elaine and the rest of the gang do a wonderful job. We have seen about 500-600 per copy increase on chat sales. We sell an average of 5-10 extra per month with them. We could probably sell more, but trying to keep on top of every little thing is too complicated, and we cant see spending the huge amount of manoey it would take to use active engage. They are a great company, but very pricey.
DBeck, It looks like you have your inventory up on Cars.com. They offer free chat from their website via Contact At Once. That is an excellent way to get started. They have about 8,000 dealers using this now. Just talk to your rep. When you are ready for more volume, you can add chat to your website.

In New Jersey, chat is a no-brainer; it is just a question of which system to use. Be sure you have coverage in the afternoons Mon-Fri. This is the peak time for chat from auto customers.
I agree with Dennis, it's the best way to get your feet wet with Chat for free!
I'm doing a pilot with Outsell with 50 of our dealers. We are going on the second month, very interesting, great results and Outsell has been AWESOME to work with.

Hi, I know this is an old thread but hoping to reignite it. I'm in South Africa and just considering using Live Chat on our website. My dealer principal has asked for video chat rather than text chat (finds text too impersonal). Problem is our bandwidth is quite low here so worried video will fail (skype video often does). Does anybody have experience with video / skype chat getting results on their website. What's the latest on how well text char is working versus other methods?

 Thanks!

Nicola

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