Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
"Why isn't ActivEngage live automotive chat available 24/7 for dealership websites?" This is
one of our most frequently asked questions by dealers when they’re considering the use of car dealer chat to engage more website visitors.
It is a valid question that deserves a valid answer.
When the question does come up, we ask one simple question, “Are you open 24 hours per day?” Almost 99% of the time the answer is “NO.” The next question is, “What happens in the middle of the night when the phone rings at your dealership?” It goes to your voice-mail system and your receptionist gets the messages in the morning, right?
As alluring as having live chat available on your dealership website 24/7 is, the hard reality is that it is not practical for a dealership unless their physical store hours mirror 24/7. Some of the reasons for this are similar to why your dealership is not staffed and open 24/7.
1. Chat reps that work the night shift are not automotive specialists
Hiring and training staff to work the graveyard shift is one of the most difficult things on earth to accomplish. The companies that offer 24/7 chat coverage most likely outsource it to a call center. This calls into question the level of customer care and training the call center has received. Are you prepared to entrust your website shoppers to non-automotive call center reps?
2. Late night chats fail to solve shoppers’ problems or satisfy their needs
If someone goes to chat on your dealership website in the middle of the night, what can the rep actually accomplish for them? They can’t have someone call them right back with pricing or availability since it is 3:00AM. They can’t solve the shopper’s problem. Just imagine a customer who was in earlier for service and forgot something important in the vehicle. Hoping to get in touch with the dealership immediately, they go to the web and think a dealership representative is available to chat. Excited, they start a chat only to realize the chat rep is not at the dealership and probably has never even stepped foot in the dealership. So at the end of all of these chat conversations, you are left with a customer more frustrated now than when they clicked the “Chat Available Now” icon minutes earlier.
3. Not enough night owl dealership website visitors are interested shoppers
We have tested chat in the wee hours of the “Night Crawlers” and received so few chats that is wasn’t worth having highly trained automotive product specialist waiting for the morning dew. Plus the chats we did get were less than highly qualified.
4. Less than 10% of your monthly website visitors are on your site between midnight & 8AM
There is almost zero traffic on your site from midnight to 8:00AM! What are you really worried about? Below is a graph from a typical dealership for a month. You can see that less that 10% of your total traffic occurs during this time frame.
5. So few people chat in the middle of the night, 24/7 chat is not worth its cost
Maybe 10% of your total traffic sounds like a lot. Well, let’s break it down a little further. If your dealership website gets 5,000 unique visitors per month then 10% would be 500 visitors. Now remember that just 3% of website visitors engage in chat so out of those 500 visitors, you will chat with 15 people for the entire month during the time frame of midnight to 8:00AM. If you go with a 24/7 live chat provider, you are paying for a call center/chat company to watch your website and chat with less than one person per night. Not to mention, even if you have a chat conversation, you are unable to perpetuate a relationship till morning.
As you can see for yourself, the concept of offering live car chat 24/7 is great but the reality is less than practical.
Live chat for your dealership is about offering a real-time, instant communication tool for your shoppers who are on your site looking to make a purchase, or at a minimum, have their questions answered without having to pick up the phone or wait to receive an email back from the store. This is just not possible in the middle of the night.
ActivEngage’s philosophy has always been to mirror the dealership’s hours to ensure the highest level of customer care during each chat experience, and if necessary, immediately connect the shopper with the appropriate person at the dealership.
ActivEngage live chat converts more than 80% of chat conversations into leads.
Find out what the most trusted brand in automotive live chat can do for your dealership.