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Your standards should be exactly the same for your live chatting team. But how are their conversations even remotely similar?
As the saying goes, you only have ONE chance to make a good first impression. You have to make it count! Your sales floor associates are trained to greet the customers as soon as they walk through your doors. You would probably fire an employee if they gave shoppers the cold shoulder or ignored them when they walked onto your lot. If you only have 5 seconds to make a good first impression, your dealership’s team needs to be friendly, attentive, and helpful from the get-go.
So why wouldn’t your managed chat provider do the same with YOUR online shoppers that click to chat? They should be mirroring your dealership’s associates by greeting the customer within 5 seconds of them requesting to chat, - none of this "wait 30 seconds and then we will answer" junk.
Let’s be honest. When chat representatives greet your shoppers in broken English or oddly structured sentences, this sends some red flags. What do you think the customer’s first impression will be of your dealership if a chat starts out this way?
When your shoppers talk to one of your sales floor associates and explain the purpose of their visit, they expect that your associates:
are listening to their concerns
understand what they want
can help solve the customers needs
And your associates can demonstrate they are listening by asking clarifying questions, providing knowledgeable answers, and guiding customers in the right direction when they need further assistance. This is Good Customer Service 101, right?
So when someone clicks to chat on your website, your chat team should be exhibiting good customer service skills as well. They should be answering shoppers questions when they can. “What is the towing capacity of this truck?” is not rocket science. Look it up!! Also, your sales associates don’t ask for contact information within a minute of meeting a shopper so your chat team shouldn’t either!
How much emphasis do you put on your sales team to “just get ‘em in” and “close the deal”? Ultimately the goal of ANY interaction with a shopper is to make the sale, right?
The only difference between closing a sale in store and online is that the chat provider’s goal is to set appointments and provide you with a qualified opportunity to follow up on, rather than actually selling a vehicle. But the concept is the same. Your chat team should be moving the shopper from just browsing to wanting to potentially buy from you.
However, understand that this shift in the shoppers mindset from browsing to buying can only be made if they have received great customer service upfront and feel as if they have been truly helped. Anyone can be a receptionist and take down shopper information for you, but they won’t drive more traffic to your physical store.
The floor associate and the live chat associate interact with the customer at different stages of the buying process, but they do the same thing: expertly transition the shopper into the next buying stage. These teams should be mirror images of one another, and provide the quality assistance your dealership embodies.
So I ask, is saving money really worth driving potential customers away from your sales floor? No company could charge you $199/month, employ highly trained automotive experts to chat on your behalf, train them to have quality conversations with your shoppers, pay their benefits and salaries, and still turn a profit. Something has got to give. And its not going to be their bottom line. You always get what you pay for - so stop paying for bad chat services.
Does your dealership website have chat? If so, how has it helped (or not) generate more leads? Share your stories below!