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Thankfully higher population areas of Florida and the rest of the south were spared a powerful direct hit from Hurricane Hermine last week. But days of precipitation and rainfall totals more than two feet in many areas caused massive closures up and down the Florida coast. Not only did dealers have to scramble to prep their stores for a potential direct hit, but staff was either busy moving inventory or distracted by the storm. And that’s if they were actually at work.
When schools, daycare centers, and activities were cancelled for days, some employees had miss work, while others couldn’t get to the dealership or were busy struggling to protect their homes from rising waters. But dealers with a quality managed chat – or text – option in place had backup. The same was true during the massive snowfalls in the north a couple of winters ago…some dealers were closed for days.
No matter how well a dealership is staffed, it’s impossible to be able to grab 100 percent of chat requests, especially after hours. Add in the added demands on your team during that last few days of the month, and the odds of missing these opportunities rises even more. Besides, smart money is the stores with their BDC and sales team MAKING calls, not waiting for a chat request – they SHOULD be busy on the phone.
Natural disasters aren’t the only reason to have backup or full-time vendor chat support. Think about power outages, internet hiccups, holiday lunches, and other in-dealership demands that tie up staff. How many times have you seen a BDC team member or even salesperson have to help the team with an emergency CSI loaner car drop off at a customer’s house? I’ve seen it a bunch.
Chat is like any other vendor service – you get what you pay for, and it can be more critical to make a quality choice because it’s one of the only vendors that interacts directly with your customers on a regular basis.