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Leads Are Often the Side Effect of Being Helpful

November 10, 2014 - 2:13 pm

Everybody wants more leads. It makes perfect sense for dealers to grade their vendors based upon how many leads they can get, the quality of those leads, and the cost of acquiring them. These are all parts of a formula that can determine the return on investment and it’s something that we hold in the highest regard as we continuously develop our chat services for car dealers.

Sometimes, it’s the supporting activities that a dealer or vendor can do that can make an impact on whether or not a website visitor becomes a customer for the dealership. This is why chat cannot be viewed as a lead-generator only. When it supports your website visitors in other ways as well by being helpful, the leads can come as a secondary result. Here’s how:

Being Helpful with Little Things

A common thing we see within the transcripts of our chats, especially the ones late at night or early in the morning, is that people are often looking for information that is quick and easy. This is the type of information that is too small to them to warrant a phone call but too timely to justify filling our a form or sending an email. Hours of operation, availability of a vehicle in inventory, or information about a vehicle’s history are commonly inquired about through chat.

When a dealership is able to answer these types of questions quickly and with little hassle on the part of the website visitor, there is a minor amount of goodwill earned. It’s subtle. They’re not going to go tell all of their friends about the great chat experience they received on your website, but it can register on a subconscious level that you were helpful with the little things. As humans, we have a common sense understanding that those who can be trusted with the little things are more likely to be trustworthy with bigger things such as selling a car properly.

Passing the Chat Test

People are testing you every day. There are still plenty of car shoppers out there who wrongfully believe that buying a car today is the same as buying a car in the past when the information wasn’t as readily available on the internet. As a result, they often test how you’ll respond to various forms of contact.

Chat is one of those forms of contact that they test. They might ask you questions through chat regarding information about vehicles. This is where integration with Edmunds can come into play. They could ask you about the vehicle history report, in which case sending them the CarFax directly through the chat interface can go a long ways towards building trust. When they ask these questions, they might even already have the answer. They’re testing you to see if you’re one of those transparent and open dealers that they keep hearing about or if you’re on of those “old school” dealers out to get them.

“Will They Sell to Me?”

Here’s a quick but valid pitch regarding managed chat. We know there are many dealers out there that do a great job at managing their own chat, but we also read transcripts constantly where the operators get too aggressive for chat contacts. This is particularly the case when it’s clear the chat operator is in sales but the questions come in regarding service or parts.

If they come on to talk about fixing their car, it’s not the right venue to start discussing buying a new one. Still, we see sales people trying to do just that on service questions.

If you want them to buy a car, answer their questions in a professional manner. That’s not to say that you can’t get aggressive with them at some point, but the chat box is not the right place for that. Help first. Sell second. The leads will come.

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