Many of the hottest sales leads you get come in through your dealership website. If you are unable to form the essential first connection with these leads, many drop off or go to other dealerships. One way to break the ice and immediately interact with your online leads is through online chat. Online chat is a simple yet highly effective tool that can easily be set up and used on your website.
How can I use online chat on my website to engage leads?
Many people who are browsing your website have questions about specific vehicles or seasonal promotions. Without a way to answer these questions, many of these online leads slip through the cracks. By providing online chat directly on your website, you give online visitors a way to connect with you immediately.
Chat with customers to help drive vehicle purchases, provide information on models, answer general questions and more. This type of interaction creates a connection with each lead. You can show a lead where to go and help them find the information they need on your website.
What are the benefits of online chat, as opposed to connecting with leads over the phone or in person?
Live chat on your website is a strong starting point for customer communication. It is intended to provide customer support and lead to other forms of contact such as a phone conversation or an in-person dealership visit.
Live chat helps you get in touch with hard to reach online leads once they hit your website. Live chat enables you to send links and other important information to leads over the Internet. It also saves leads the hassle and wait time of trying to contact a customer service person over the phone.
This method of communication is also very casual. If leads aren’t ready to purchase but would like more information, they may hesitate to call the dealership. By asking their questions online, leads can gain information without any obligation.
Does online chat lead to more responses from online leads?
Online chat enables you to make that essential first contact with each lead. Your chat window is always available so all a lead has to do is click to type their question or comment.
The main focus of using live chat on your website is to build a relationship with potential leads. While chatting with a lead, offer to set up an in-person appointment to get the lead into the dealership.
What features and functionality should I look for in a live chat tool?
You want a tool that is easy to install on your website, and one that isn’t too intrusive. Check out different chat tools to see how they display and function on websites. Does the chat window fit with your website and dealership branding? Is it too large or too small? Is it distracting to website visitors?
Look for chat tools that are simple for both leads and customer service representatives to use. The tool should ideally save chat logs for future use and information collection. It is also helpful for leads to have the ability to leave a message when there is no representative to help them at the moment. The chat tool should provide them with an automated message that no on is available. Some chat tools also have a feature that sends you a quick automated email or text message alert whenever a lead is trying to connect and you’re not online.
There are so many online chat options available. How do I pick one?
Try as many different chat tools you can to see which ones are easiest to use and offer the features you want. Many chat tools offer a limited time free trial. There are even some comprehensive chat tools that are entirely free to install and use on your website.
Are there any accompanying tools that help make the most of live chat?
Live chat is only the beginning. Certain other helpful tools enable you to make the most of your first connection with a lead and build a strong relationship from there.
Use online tracking to see which pages on your website leads have visited so you can establish a connection based on each lead’s individual interests and needs.
Email, text message and social media are also useful tools for staying in touch with leads and customers over their preferred mode of communication. This communication can easily be automated, can be done manually, or both.
Author: Shawn Ryder
Shawn Ryder works with the Automotive Industry to automatically send communication to customers based on their individual preferences and unique dates, vehicle type, service requirements or other available information. Previously, as Co-Founder of training and coaching organizations, Shawn worked with clients to ensure the training and coaching sessions meet requirements for Volvo North America, Ford Motor Company and retail dealerships using a variety of delivery channels, including workshop and in-dealership implementation coaching.