There are plenty of chat providers in the automotive industry that point to the number of leads they generate, but it’s important to ask a question about them: “Is this chat solution generating more leads or are they simply replacing what we would have received anyway?”
One of the most crucial components of our research and product development has been to identify ways to specifically increase leads rather than take them from other sources on the website. This is important because our goal, like yours, is to make the total lead count for your website go up dramatically. There are plenty of ways to account for automotive sales leads, but it takes a dedication to helping the dealership in order to produce a product that will actually get more people to contact the dealers than before.
Many chat providers use techniques that are designed to stake claim at any cost. They can preempt the need to generate leads by forcing website visitors wanting to chat to give their contact information up front. This is great for the vendor and may seem like a good idea to a dealership, but you do not want to create a barrier in communication between you and your customers. How many people wanting to chat with the dealership actually click off of the chat once they find out they have to give over their personal information first? Would you have your operator ask for their name, email, and telephone number before directing the call?
Another way that chat providers can subtract from other lead generation sources is to put a contact form in place of the chat box. Customer think they’re about to chat when they click the icon, but instead they get an offline prompt and a contact form. This is something that we also discourage. In fact, we have seen that the most successful dealers never have their chat turned off, whether they’re managing it themselves with us acting as the backup or if they’re using our managed chat service itself.
Our research and testing has shown that by using a proactive chat model, we can increase overall lead acquisition. That means that we’re not just replacing other sources. We’re turning website visitors who would not normally contact you into real prospects that you’ll be able to contact. It’s imperative that dealers understand the difference in philosophies. We feel that most dealers are not even aware of the potential of chat to be an additional driving force for the business. That’s bad for most… but potentially great for you!