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What if your receptionist answered the phone and just put people on hold, never to return and handle their call? That is exactly what is happening if you have live chat on your website and the chat operator is unable to respond to the invite. An OFFLINE message on your dealership website may not be ideal, but at least you are telling them you can’t respond right now and offering them a chance to leave a message without hunting down the contact form. But inviting them to chat and then leaving them in limbo is potentially a deal killer before it starts.
One statistic tracked a few years back showed dealerships missed as many as 50 percent of chats during business hours. In fact, we tell the story about the origins of CarChat24 due to just such situations.
Chat is supposed to add a key component to your ability to communicate with your buyers in a comfortable, non-confrontational manner. Like greeting your buyers on the lot, it encourages them to start the communication process without going out of their way to fill in a contact form. From getting basic lead information to actually setting an appointment, you can leverage dealer chat substantially increase your website lead count in many cases.
That all goes down the drain if your operator or provider isn’t there to answer the call. If you are handling your own chats, be sure you have the staff trained and available when the chats come through or have them take their consoles offline so the shopper doesn’t click the ‘Chat Now’ button, only to be ignored.
Just like answering your phones, responding to chat requests is critical. To remedy this dilemma, you can add staff to handle the conversations, arrange a backup option with a top-notch live chat provider, or opt for a fully managed chat option and use your people to handle the leads when they come in.
www.carchat24.com/ 24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions Hosted or In-House Options – FREE web chat software 727-638-0195
Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with more than 15 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He began working with the internet 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 web development and viral marketing.