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It’s complicated’ – How much chat is too much?

"One of the most important – and most controversial – elements is the proactive" 

As half or more of all car dealers have live chat of some form or another on their websites, the debate continues to get louder regarding the count, look, placement and action of icons and invites. How many is too many? How many is too few? How many is just right. And as this title suggests, ‘It’s Complicated’. There are three ways a chat provider can decide what is the appropriate number of invite icons:

  1. Guess and throw a bunch on there and hope to catch some auto shoppers.
  2. Scientifically test all facets of the setup to use real world data to establish the ideal number without having a negative impact on the shopper experience.
  3. Copy one of the first two and hope to get it correct.

If you decide to ask your chat provider about their logic and (more importantly) data about icon placement and action, here are a few questions for you to consider:

  • Have they tested two icons vs. three; three vs four, four vs five? What were the results?
  • Has the PLACEMENT of each icon been tested and heat mapped to ensure highest interaction value?
  • The verbiage on the icons is key; has that been split tested for best performance?

One of the most important – and most controversial – elements is the proactive, or pop-up, invite box. This CAN BE the most important element for clients to engage, if it’s implemented properly. It can also be the bane of dealers and customers if it becomes obnoxious or overbearing. Be sure your chat provider can provide empirical data to justify their popup. If not, move on. You DEFINITELY need the popup, but it had better be well-thought-out to maximize leads and still provide shoppers a quality experience.

Live chat on a dealer website is pretty much a necessity these days, but great care has to be taken to ensure the configuration and processes behind the scenes are extremely thought out to help generate more quality leads and sell more cars.


Tom LaPointe CarChat24 CHAT GURU 24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions Hosted or In-House Options – FREE web chat software 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.

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