If you’re like most dealers across North America, you’ve seen a decrease in the number of leads that your website is generating. The perplexing thing is that sales are, in general, increasing. Does this mean that lead generation is dying?
In some regards, it is. Consumers are becoming more inclined to visit a dealership without filling out a lead form or calling for three reasons. First, the rise of mobile as a fixture in most of our lives is not conducive to forms. This is a trend that isn’t going to go away. Second, car buyers are starting to trust the internet more from an inventory perspective. They have the perception that if it’s online, chances are good that it’s actually at the store that they’re visiting. This is true for car shopping, toilet paper shopping, and everything in between. This, too, will not be changing any time soon.
The third reason is the one that dealers have the ability to affect. Website visitors, whether on mobile devices or at their desk, are shifting in the preferred method through which they contact businesses. They like the idea of real-time communication but they are often against using the phone to have a direct conversation. This is where chat comes into play, but it’s more than that.
What we’ve seen in the industry is a shift towards chat services that do one of two things: they are either so passive that they are worthless or they’re so aggressive that they can’t discern communication quality. In the first case, the chat service is just a check-box item. It’s chat for the sake of chat. There are discount chat providers popping up all the time that really don’t care whether or not they help a dealership generate more leads. In some unfortunate cases, they actually prefer to reduce the number of chats generated in order to save costs. The less chat that happens, the more profits they make.
The second case is also a growing problem in our industry. They do practices designed to get contact information at all costs regardless of whether or not there’s real interest in buying a car or scheduling service. Some even put a gate at the front of the chat that forces website visitors to give their information before the chat can even be initiated. This increases “leads” but actually prevents many people from even talking to the dealership in the first place. More importantly, it dilutes the quality of the contact in a way that forces dealers to sift through non-buyer contacts in hopes of finding the occasional shopper.
The goal is to get more leads, but quality counts. Dealers who use CarChat24 have learned that they get more leads and better leads as a result. There are many reasons for this such as research, testing, operators, and interface, but the most important reason is alignment. Our goal is to help dealers sell more cars. Since our goals are aligned with yours, it makes sense that we would want to focus on quantity and quality simultaneously.
Having chat is important, but it’s just the start. Having the right chat partner can be the difference between checking off a box and selling more cars.