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Chat is huge player in auto industry transformation

One only has to follow the grocery aisle tabloid covers to be reminded that change is constant – after all, who would have thought that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would ever split? Change can be good, but sometimes it’s hard to tell in the moment which changes are for the better, or worse. Often, it’s a bit of both, just like the internet makes it easier to stay connected with auto shoppers, but it is insanely easy to get lost in the information overload.

There is no shortage of auto industry trainers, consultants, gurus, and analysts who preach different schools of thought for everyone from manufacturers to lot porters to meet the demands of the changing market. But one consistent nugget through it all is that the m

arket IS changing, and dealers do need an evolution in their processes, though not necessarily a revolution. Of all the new ideas to permeate the industry, live chat is the most dramatic technology leap since posting inventory photos, because it creates a win-win for both the dealership AND the shopper.

The mind-boggling growth of the internet has given shoppers access to more information and communication media than ever before. That’s no secret. What is still a secret for many is the lead-generating potential and CSI protection of a quality live chat implementation on auto dealer websites. Well-executed, live chat taps into two key desires of modern-day car shoppers:

  • Start the selling process with anonymity
  • Shop with a familiar technology they use for their most personal communication

The AutoTrader Car Buyer of the Future study released earlier this year hammers home the fact that nearly three-fourths of consumers “say they would visit dealerships more often if the buying process were improved”.  Now, my personal history has demonstrated that what consumers say on a survey or in a focus group and what they do in real life are often at odds, like New Coke, the Pontiac Aztec, and the first-generation Microsoft Lumia phone.

Even Ernst and Young, the international powerhouse accounting and services firm is using their reams of data to recommend change to the industry. Some of these “Key Considerations” for the sales process include:

  • More proactive and better managed customer contact from automakers and dealers (inbound and outbound)
  • Sales processes, technologies and channels to be adjusted to new customer behavior patterns
  • Need to balance global standardization and local adaptation of sales processes
  • Sales performance management and sales process improvements due to a more “customer-driven approach” at the dealer and the automaker
  • Proper use of sales performance KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to achieve targets
  • Transparency in pricing

Live chat can be plugged in as part of the solution for each of these points. In fact, if as you look at all the expert recommendations bouncing around for change in the industry, chat can play a part in nearly every one, because it is an easy and affordable technology to meet the customers on their terms. As with all the elements in the dealership digital marketing tool belt, managed chat or software can end up a positive or negative experience for the shopper, so dealers need to make sure they partner with a quality vendor that mirrors their commitment to improve the auto shopper experience.


Tom LaPointe CarChat24 Marketing Consultant 24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions Managed Chat, Backup Chat Support, and chat software options 727-638-0195

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with nearly 20 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He has been involved with the internet from the beginning, building websites at Johns Hopkins University in the 90's, and has been a performance leader in nearly every dealer role, from sales and service, to BDC / internet sales and viral marketing.

Tom LaPointe CarChat24 Marketing Consultant 24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions Managed Chat, Backup Chat Support, and chat software options 727-638-0195

Views: 160

Tags: angelina jolie, auto industry, autotrader, brad pitt, chat, chat software, dealer website, ernst and young, live chat, website chat


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