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To Chat, or Not to Chat?

Often I find myself having a recurring conversation with my dealers. The topic? Website Chat. Chat is essential to a dealership if they want to capitalize on all potential leads. Many argue, “It’s a waste of money…it’s a waste of time… and it requires too much attention.” This is where I beg to differ. The average chat provider charges about $250 a month. Even if your dealership only sells three cars in a month directly from chat leads, wouldn’t you say that it’s worth it? As far as managing the chat leads, it’s really not that tasking. Most chat providers allow you to have the leads sent directly to your Droid or iPhone. Let’s be honest, if you work in an automotive dealership, you’re most likely glued to your phone anyway.

Still not sold? Consider the traditional car shopping experience. A consumer visits your brick and mortar store and is immediately greeted by a salesperson to determine their needs and answer any questions they may have- right? So how would you expect a consumer to react if they came to your dealership and there was no one around to assist them? In today’s world, the shopping experience begins online. Your website is a virtual showroom, and live chat serves as your sales person.

With all of the money spent trying to get consumers to your website, what are you doing to engage the prospect once they’ve arrived? Usually they have come looking for information, so give it to them! Over time, shoppers have become increasingly needy and seek instant gratification. Even I want to be able to keep my shopping time to a minimum. I could be shopping for product at 7PM and by 7:15pm, I’m out walking my dog. Although responding to chat leads may take a few minutes, it’s certainly a worthwhile use of time if your goal is to move inventory and appease shoppers.

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