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Managed Live Chat

This group was created to discuss the benefits of adding live chat to your dealership's website. 

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Members: 51
Latest ADM Activity: Aug 7, 2015

Automotive Marketing Discussion Forum

Enhance your Business Prospects with Live Chat Software

Started by Jeniffer Maben Nov 29, 2012. 0 Replies

If you are interested in having the largest base of customers, then you must take use of Live Chat Software. Once you start using this…Continue

Questions about Managed Live Chat

Started by Ketty Colom Oct 9, 2012. 0 Replies

Feel free to ask any questions regarding managed live chat here! Continue Featured News Feed

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Comment by Anthony Monteiro on October 10, 2012 at 2:11pm

This forum has turned into a sales blog for AE :-)

Comment by Anthony Monteiro on October 10, 2012 at 1:31pm

over the past 2 weeks

Comment by Kelly Holloway on October 10, 2012 at 12:26pm

Hi Aaron - 

Thanks for joining the group! It would seem to make sense to provide dealers with answer options however, over the 5 years we have been offering chat solutions for car dealers, we have found that a majority of dealers don't answer the chats in a timely manner or at all because they have too much on their plates. For those that do manage their own chat and do it well (and there are a few out there like Rusty Eck Ford!) - we salute you! We love seeing dealers adapt live chat into their internal processes and succeed! But for the majority - this is not the case.

ActivEngage also used to offer a solution that had ActivEngage answering the chats if the dealer did not answer them after 30 seconds of wait time. But, this process completely goes against all customer service principles. Why would we make the customer wait 30 seconds to have their chat answered? You dont wait 30 seconds to say hi to a showup so why do that online? Our data shows that after 6 seconds of wait time, the likelihood a customer will drop from the conversation greatly increases as time goes on. Chat is an instant communication technology - not a "wait 30 seconds and then be responded to" technology. And for that reason, we no longer offer this option. 

For those dealers that would like to manage chat on their own - more power to you! ActivEngage offers an in-house solution as well. We leave the decision up to the dealer as to what type of chat solution works best for them but will provide our insight, if asked. We recently published an ebook called InHouse vs Managed Chat - Which is right for your dealership? to help dealers decide what it will take for them to manage chat in-house or use a full-service provider like ActivEngage.

No matter which type of solution a dealer is looking for, ActivEngage supports them in their decision. Yes, we specialize in managed chat but we know dealers can see an ROI on either type of chat solution. Their ROI just might be a bit higher if they choose to have ActivEngage's knowledgeable, highly trained chat experts answer the chats on their behalf :)



Comment by Aaron Hassen on October 10, 2012 at 10:49am

I know it goes against ActivEngage marketing, but doesn't it make sense to give dealerships answer options? To answer themselves if they want to or answer some of the time and get help the rest of the time or to have help all of the time if it suits them.

If it's true what editor, Brian Chee said in his post 'Shoppers Catch on to the Showrooming Dance':

"You think you see a customer on the lot looking over a white sedan, checking the price and sizing up the car. Think again.
Chances are good that they're actually using a smartphone to compare your white sedan with a blue one across town. The act of “showrooming” -- when consumers use their smartphone or tablet to check prices and compare competitive products at a retail location -- has grown from 15 percent of mobile shoppers in 2009 to 59 percent in 2012."

...than mobile shoppers are making buying decisions on the fly.  Some dealers may not be comfortable with routing these kind of opportunities somewhere else.

Just sayin'.

Comment by Ketty Colom on October 10, 2012 at 10:43am


When did you do these mystery shops? 

Comment by Anthony Monteiro on October 10, 2012 at 10:12am

Not picking on AE - we found this scenario fairly standard with all the services - some did offer availability and pricing info. Isn't a chat up the same as a phone up? Looking for availability and basic info, as a shopper if that information is not available, then from their perspective what is the point of the chat tool? If they wanted to call the store or email the internet department wouldn't they have done that vs using chat? I can see the benefit to the dealer - get a name and contact info for someone at the store to reach out to via email or phone but is that what the customer was wanting the experience to be?

Comment by Anthony Monteiro on October 10, 2012 at 10:06am

Hi Steven - 1 of the stores that we had the worst experience with was Planet Honda NJ. The shopper asked for basic information numerous times and received nothing back except requests for email and phone with disclaimers that they are not authorized to give any information and that they had to deal with the Internet department. I am pretty sure this an AE client - the chat window says it is

Comment by Stephen Jackson on October 10, 2012 at 8:33am

Hey Anthony,

This is actually a very common live chat misconception - thanks for bringing it up! I imagine you tested many different chat vendors during your blind sample, but this is an issue that the entire live chat industry needs to address. How can an online representative (who has never been to your dealership) answer specific questions that website visitors have? What are the best ways to maintain a positive relationship between dealer and shopper?

In our years of chat experience, we’ve found that many of your web shoppers are looking for information that is right under their nose. They’ll request things like driving directions or store hours. They’ll also ask for vehicle-specific information, such as interior color or transmission type. They might also chat in because they simply can’t navigate a web page. Our Virtual Sales Assistants use their web knowledge and vehicle expertise to field those questions easily.

Our VSAs also never ask for lead information without giving something back first. We aren’t just mining your shoppers for data; we want to help them find what they’re looking for - which forms a positive experience with our dealership clients. Asking for contact information before offering assistance is the equivalent of “closing too early” - and it will backfire most of the time. There is a fine line to walk between capturing lead data and providing customer service through chat. Most managed chat providers don’t know how to walk that line. They know dealers want leads  - so they are focused on capturing leads, not helping the web shopper.

Of course, chat has its limitations - we refuse to pigeonhole our dealer partners by making definitive answers about pricing or availability. However, we also don’t lie about what we are - we inform the shopper that the dealership staff are sometimes most qualified to answer their question about pricing, and we put them in contact with the right people.

I can’t speak for all live chat vendors, but ActivEngage is about a lot more than just providing leads - we’re in the business of bettering the consumer experience. Ketty wrote this blog a few months ago about other live chat misconceptions - I would recommend it for further reading.

Anthony, I highly recommend you try testing some aE dealerships, and let us know if you can spot the difference in quality!

Comment by Anthony Monteiro on October 10, 2012 at 7:31am

I think I figured it out. I mystery shopped about 9 stores with managed chat. They ask for a name before the chat begins and will not give out any information at all until the customer gives the email address or phone. Questions about availability, pricing, options, trade and most standard questions are avoided by replying - "I will need to get my Internet Department to answer those questions what is the best email address to have them send it to?" At the end of the chat they system asks for an email address to the email the transcript to. So essentially the whole concept is to just collect the name and email or phone but not provide any assistance to the shopper during the chat. 

Comment by Shereef on October 9, 2012 at 10:48pm

Glad to see the 80% Question on conversion still being discussed, but the number is fictitious (Not Even Close). Let me ask the AE guys this simple question. When we have come behind your company, which we have, and produce more leads (30 to 35% on average). How can you be doing 80% conversion when we do less, but produce more leads??? Hmm tough question, O ya, I forgot the 80% is BS LOL....P.S. I don't want to promote our company on this thread, but I have to out the BS numbers being displayed. Perhaps there is some kind of AE scale that excludes chats that they don't consider workable? All I can say is with my years doing this and competing against many chat providers (I know the real numbers). I am amazed that they are holding to there guns here, as they could have fessed up early on....Hope some AE clients come on and post some real numbers so we can put the 80% BS to rest...If it were even close it would be one thing, but they are at least 30% off the mark!


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