Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
One of J.D. Rucker’s outstanding blog postscame across my desk the other day and fueled lots of discussion in the ActivEngage offices. J.D. says that he sees way too many chat providers asking for lead info right off the bat - and we’ve found that this is one of the most destructive things you could do in a conversation. Asking for contact information almost always repulses people - no one wants to give away their phone number or email address to a stranger online. There’s too much mistrust - too many sales calls at dinnertime, too many stories about stolen identities.
It’s a little like trying to take someone to bed before you’ve even bought them a drink.
When you upset your customers in the store, you usually know it. They get angry or storm out of your dealership or leave a nasty Yelp review. But it’s almost impossible to know when you’ve upset them online, because they just leave. When 70% of your Internet trafficis completely anonymous, they won’t complain - they’ll just bounce.
Chat is a gambit that is high-risk, but high-reward. If chat on your site creates a negative experience for shoppers - frustrating conversations or slow pick-up times - you won’t see them in your physical store any time soon. But if you’re engaging your shoppers, communicating well, and serving them with the information they’re looking for, you will walk out of your conversations with the most valuable leads that your website could possibly gather: shoppers that are ready to buy.
Chat is certainly a great lead source, but leads aren’t good enough. You want the greatleads. The valuable ones that you can close. J.D.’s post suggests that chat combines the dialogue of a phone call with the information gathering of a lead form - and we couldn’t agree more. But if all you care about is the information - and not the dialogue - you’ll lose customers. Choose carefully how you handle this part of your business.
We have hired communicators, educators, and trainers that have developed a chat strategy which encourages our agents to have a normal conversation, above all. Eliminate words you wouldn’t use in everyday speech. Share stories with dealership shoppers. Listen to what the customer really wants and provide that information in as fast and as friendly a manner as humanly possible.
However you’re handling chat on your site, strive for a human connection above all things. That’s what moves metal.