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The internet has changed our world. The concept of "business hours" has been turned on its head. People are buying things online at 2 in the morning. They're researching vehicles after the kids are in bed. They're planning out how to drop off their vehicle in your service department and still get to work on time at 4am.
When they have questions, are you there for them? Chances are that you do not have a receptionist there to answer questions by phone overnight. A contact form or email simply won't fulfill all of their needs in the timely manner they expect. This is where 24-hour chat comes into play.
In the example above, we described the person who wants to know about your service department and how she'll get to work. This isn't a hypothetical. It actually happens. We see chats all the time inquiring about hours and transportation. If you're not there to answer their questions, you're missing out on potential business. She can't wait until 7am to decide where to drop off her car if she has to be at work at 8am. Answering her questions at 4am when she's inquiring is the key to getting that business secured.
Many people like to do the majority of their web surfing at night when there are no distractions or responsibilities. Those who do not have 24-hour chat miss those opportunities when people are surfing their website late at night or early in the morning and they have questions that they need answered.
There's a reason that many companies do not offer 24-hour chat. It's not easy to maintain a properly trained chat operator staff that can be there at all hours of the day or night, so they talk about how "real" buyers only inquire during business hours. We've seen that the exact opposite is true, that people who are researching during off hours are often easier to convert into a lead than someone who is researching during the day.
When your customers come knocking at your virtual door, are you making your dealership available to answer their questions?