One of the most memorable scenes in the original Star Wars Trilogy is when Jedi Master Yoda tells Luke Skywalker “Do. Or do not. There is no try,” in The Empire Strikes Back. His lesson was that if you are going to do something, commit to it all the way. We say the thing applies to live chat on car dealership websites.
There are certain tasks in life that you can’t do ‘half way’. Things like fitness programs, educational degrees, and even building construction take a determined focus to follow-through and complete. And so it is with live chat. Each level of service requires a different investment of management, money, and personnel. Because 30 percent of chat conversations take place after hours or on Sundays, we strongly recommend full or backup support to minimize the number of missed chats at ANY hour.
Full Support – Adding full support requires the greatest investment of money, but working with a quality company like CarChat24 requires little in the way of management or staff because all the chat conversations are handled by the managed chat provider. A manager and/or staff member typically track statistics and ensure car sales leads are routed according to internal processes.
Backup Support – Live Chat backup support (sometimes called a HYBRID) cuts back on the financial cost for support because the dealership plans to have managers and/or staff handle as many of the chat conversations in-house as possible. The chat provider takes the chats if there is nobody logged in at the dealership or the staff is tied up on another chat, phone call, or showroom visit.
Software only – Because a car dealership is only paying for the software on their website and the chat console for the staff member handling the chats, this requires the least amount of monetary commitment to a chat company. However, this option has by far the greatest dealership staffing requirement to handle some of the following tasks. Many also apply to a backup support option, but the chat provider typically provides a higher level of support:
- Set up user accounts
- Coordinate the installation of code on the dealership website with the provider
- Install chat operator console on dealer computer(s)
- Train and supervise current and future chat operators
- Take the chat conversations – averaging 8-10 minutes; as long as 40 minutes
- Monitor performance of live chat operators
So what is the upside of fully managed chat? PLENTY – greater profits and increased car sales for one thing. There is typically a business boost for the parts, service, and collision departments, as well. In addition, when a dealership has live chat operators available around the clock, customers with questions or problems can communicate them to a live operator, which not only protects factory CSI, but helps general customer attitudes and can help online reviews on websites such as Google, DealerRater, and others.
There is no longer a question of whether your car dealership needs live chat on its website. There are only decisions to make regarding the amount of quality website leads you would like (and the corresponding bump in car sales), and the balance between the investment in service compared to the level of participation for dealer staff. Live chat is here to stay, so like Yoda says, you MUST DO!