Advanced Topics    March 1, 2021

Top 3 Tips for Car Dealership Live Chat

Insights Team
Insights Team

Customer demand for live chat is growing everyday, and Applied Concepts is committed to helping you navigate this reality. There's a bit more to it than meets the eye. Below are our top 5 tips for dealerships wanting to make the most out of live chat.

1 | Effective Integration

Chat Advantages-1

In order for a dealership to realize ROI from a live chat platform, it must be properly implemented and effectively integrated into your business. It's not enough to simply install the function on your website. You need to invest the time, energy, and money into successfully making live chat an integrated component of your sales, marketing, and customer success processes.

Culture - Your team (including your managers) needs to be bought-in to providing a customer-centric live chat experience by using your live chat platform. 

People - You need enough people to provide effective customer service, clarity around roles, and training to not botch what is likely a customer's first one-on-one interaction with your business.

Technology - Your live chat platform needs to speak to the rest of your sales and marketing platforms.

Procedures - Which employees are going to take these inquiries? How will you handle after-hours inquiries? Will those employees be able to handle inquiries for sales, service, parts, finance, and anything else that may arise? Does your rep have the ability to access your team's calendar to make appointments? How and to whom do you escalate a chat when the question is too complex for the rep? How and when will you transition a chat into an email or phone call? How long is too long for a rep to step away from a chat before sending an update message? 

2 | Value in Exchange for Value

One of the most controversial topics is whether you should require a customer to submit contact information before beginning a chat. There are a couple of perspectives.

Option 1 - Include a Gate

Require customers to submit their contact information before they even start a live chat. After all, contact information is the lifeblood of any retail organization and can allow you to provide a more customized customer experience.

Option 2 - Value for ValueLive Chat Infographic

In a customer-centric world, you should avoid putting hurdles in front of a customer engagement. Instead, ask for contact information early in the conversation while answering their question.

We at Applied Concepts subscribe to the value in exchange for value approach. Instead of saying, "What's the best number to reach you?" Consider saying, "What's the best number to text you a virtual walk-around of the vehicle?" You are offering value (video) in exchange for value (contact information). That's a fair trade.

3 | Speed vs. Customer Service

With live chat, don’t mistake speed for customer service.

When a customer submits a live chat on your website, they expect a response almost instantaneously. You need to capture your customer's attention while it's there for the taking, otherwise they'll look for the answers themselves or begin multi-tasking and forget all about their chat. That means you need to respond quickly.

Your first priority should be providing a good customer experience by providing transparent, honest answers to their questions in a reasonable amount of time.But don't let speed stand in the way of customer success. Customers don't care if you respond with "Hi, I'm Sarah, how can I help you today?" in less than a nanosecond if you are ultimately unable to answer their question.

How Can We Help?

Every day we help dealers re-think or optimize their live chat platforms. We also train BDC reps and sales reps on how to effectively handle chat leads, including follow-up phone calls. Learn more HERE or connect with us HERE for a free assessment.