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Dealer chat isn't rocket science. It's not brain surgery. It's pretty straight forward. However, there's more that goes into the development and improvement of chat than most dealers know.

It's not a static concept. In other words, one does not simply build the perfect chat solution. There are too many things that change inside and outside of the technology that makes it imperative that chat companies stay diligent with their development and advancements.

For example, the mentality of the consumers' style of interaction is constantly changing. As we've discussed in the recent past, chat is very much like texting. This is the case today and chat companies need to keep this in mind when developing, but they must also take into account that texting might not be as popular in the future. For the near future, we don't anticipate that this will do anything other than grow (people love texting) but you can't focus on that alone. There are other factors.

The technology that drives dealer websites is also changing very quickly. It wasn't very long ago when dealers weren't very focused on mobile traffic. Today, website providers are designing their platforms to accommodate mobile first and desktop second. The implications on chat technology are strong.

Perhaps the most important research that a chat company can do is to test the interface visuals and the response scripts. One cannot rely on the preference of the designer any more than they can rely on the intuition of the chat operator. There are certain responses to most questions that yield better results than others, which means that the need to always be testing will never die.

Dealers can apply this to their own self-managed chat. If you look closely, you'll notice that within a BDC or internet sales team there will normally be some who perform well on chat and others who do not. Some keep chats open for a short time, others for too long, and some will (hopefully) stay on chat for the right amount of time with each interaction. The way you can tell is to look at the numbers and read the chat transcripts. It may not sound very scientific, but at its purest form, science is what's guiding it all.

The dealers who are finding the most success selling cars as a result of strong chat already know the importance of constant improvement. If you're not one of those, it's time to take a closer look.

Views: 301

Tags: Chat, Science

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Comment by Jeffery Sterns on March 26, 2015 at 11:25am

"... if you jazzed up the title"

Brian, great point!

I love seeing Paul Potratz emails. The subject is just too darn irresistible. I'll take the suggestions! Thanks!

Comment by Jeffery Sterns on March 26, 2015 at 10:56am

 "link to my mobile website?"

Sylvain, 

of course we have chat for mobile! As a matter of fact, chat from mobile devices for us is up 26% in the past 30 days to to a tweak we tested (now permanent ;) ).

Further, we are in Quebec stores operating successfully. 

Thanks for asking!

Comment by Tim J. Pyle on March 22, 2015 at 10:06pm

Hi Jeff:

Great Info especially regarding mobile...The world of instant gratification of car shoppers..

T ;)

Comment by Brian Bennington on March 22, 2015 at 9:37pm

Evening Jeffery, Did you read my response to Big Tom's and your last post?  I think you could move the views far beyond the 41 listed for this one if you jazzed up the title.  Maybe something like, "Don't let bad chat catch you with your pants down" or "If your chat isn't 'nailing it,' maybe you need a bigger hammer."  Just a quick suggestion.  If you want a more thought-out title, email me before your next post.  I like you and Big Tom, so it wouldn't be too much of an inconvenience.   

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