Top 5 Reasons Dealers Should use Live Chat Online

October 11, 2009 - 12:24 am

1. Enhance Customer Experience. Most car shoppers dread the experience of drudging to the local car dealership to shop for a vehicle. There is a preconceived notion that car buying is a difficult experience. The solution for shoppers to obtain basic information without having to interact face-to-face with a salesman is Internet shopping. That’s right. Car shopping has gone online and shoppers are using your website and the websites of your competitors to find information on their next new or used car. So what happens when your online shoppers have a question about a vehicle you have listed on your website?

With Automotive live chat on your website, it puts you where your customers are—allowing you to provide answers to their questions immediately. Time kills all deals so the faster you can respond to your potential customers’ questions and concerns, the better your chances are of converting these prospects into customers.

2. Increases Lead Opportunities. If you’re like most car dealers, driving traffic to your website is not the problem. Turning your website visitors into qualified leads is the problem. Despite the large amount of money dealers spend each year on lead generation campaigns, most car dealers are lucky if they are able to convert 2% of their website visitors into quality leads. When you have live chat software available to interact with visitors on your website, it creates an automatic lead generating system. Having a live chat service on your website often more than doubles the amount of car sales leads dealers receive online.

3. Boost sales. A dealer chat service also helps convert a higher amount of your leads and website visitors into sales. Using a live chat solution allows you to take a proactive approach to communicating with your potential customers. A live car chat creates more interaction between you and your dealership website visitors. An experienced dealer chat service provider, using proven processes, can convert six out of ten sales chats into leads. These leads typically close at a rate that is two to three times higher than leads dealers purchase from a third party Auto Sales leads provider.

4. Enhance car dealer marketing strategies. Automotive live chat is one of the most effective and valuable components of car dealer marketing. Live chat will help you convert more prospects to leads and sales. Rather than thinking of live chat support as an additional form of communication separate from other marketing initiatives, it’s important to work with a live chat service that helps you integrate offline marketing efforts with online marketing efforts.

5. Makes you stand out from your competition. Brick-and-mortar car dealerships have hours of operation. Salespeople at the physical locations go home. What happens to your potential customers during the hours when your business is not open? With a car chat service, you extend your business operating hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Premium automotive live chat services proactively engage and welcome site visitors, any time day or night, when they visit your dealership website. Live chat operators help visitors find specific content they’re looking for on your website and provide sales, service and parts information. It’s also a great way to promote special sales events, provide post sales and service customer support. The bottom line is that a dealer chat service sets you apart from your competition because it improves the overall satisfaction of your website visitors by providing instant, professional and courteous support.


Success is in the Approach

Live chat allows you to increase auto sales leads without spending more money on auto internet marketing in an effort to increase website traffic.

As an auto dealer, you’re probably spending thousands of dollars each year to drive traffic to your website. Smart dealers understand that you need to focus your sights on converting these valuable visitors into auto sales leads and increase vehicle sales. The average conversion rate for a car dealership website is less than two percent. The remaining 98% of website visitors that are not converted into leads represent a huge amount of missed sales opportunities. This is especially true when you consider that the leads generated from your own website tend to have the highest closing ratio and offers a much better return on investment, as compared to trying to convert third party leads into sales.

By offering live support chat, you’re changing your website from a static informational format to a conversational one.

Live support chat software:


  • Is a cost effective way to convert more of your existing website traffic into auto sales leads
  • Channels money normally spent on auto internet marketing into converting a higher percentage of the thousands of visitors you already have into auto sales leads
  • Extends your business hours of operation to be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


A 24/7 live chat service provider uses an approach similar to the approach used at your dealership and improves visitor satisfaction while building loyalty with previous customers.


Effective live chat process:


  1. Promptly greet and welcome visitors to your site—helping you build rapport with site visitors
  2. Captures important contact information from the visitors–providing your staff with quality auto sales leads
  3. Creates a process for your dealership to sell more cars online
  4. Uses proven scripts to gain a positive rapport
  5. Provides a system where auto sales lead information is promptly turned over to the sales staff to follow-up
  6. Creates additional prospects for sales people to follow-up, schedule appointments, and close more sales


After Sales Support


Having a live chat service on your website also allows you to provide superior customer service to your existing customers. It’s less expensive to sell to an existing customer than it is to find a new one. Providing quality customer support using state-of-the-art live chat car dealer software, along with a proven process, is the key to your success. Answering website visitor questions, while building a rapport with them, will allow you to offer your customers convenient and immediate support. A direct approach with live chat support services enables your dealership to exceed visitor expectations and provide a high level of quality support before and after the sale.


Are You Losing 98% of Your Website Traffic?


As the generation of car shoppers becomes more dependent on the Internet and advanced technology, you have to engage your website visitors as soon as they come to your website. If you don’t engage them, then you’re probably missing a large percentage of your visitors every day. If this strikes fear in your heart (and it should) then now is the time to do something about it. As we move into a Web 3.0 world it’s more important than ever to transform your one-sided communication website, where approximately 98% of your site visitors are clicking away, into an interactive auto sales lead generating and capturing machine.


If your website generates 3,000 site visitors per month and 98% of them are lost to you forever, you are literally losing 2,940 opportunities to make a sale each month.

3,000 sites visitors x 98% = 2,940 lost opportunities


By adding an interactive service, such as automotive live chat, your visitors can get the answers to their questions immediately, and it’s a proven way to capture auto sales leads. Even if you could only convert an additional 2% of these missed opportunities, you would be increasing your potential prospects by 58 leads per month.

2,940 originally lost opportunities x 2% = 58.8 potential new customers

If you could convert even twenty percent of these prospects into paying customers, what would this mean for your business? How much would it boost your bottom line to add another 11 customers per month to your sales numbers? Remember, this is on top of what your website is already doing for your sales numbers, and is in addition to your face-to-face sales.


Visitors to your website always have questions or need some kind of assistance. When you offer a live car chat service on your site, you’re able to help them immediately. If they have to wait until your business opens, or if the information they are looking for is too hard for them to find, or if they have to take an additional step such as writing an email, it delays your interaction. This delay may eliminate the possibility of ever interacting with and converting these customers. Live chat allows you to answer even the simplest of questions and jumpstarts your relationship with the visitor—allowing you to guide them through the sales process faster and easier.


Creating Positive Customer Experiences on Your Website


Your car dealership website is your virtual dealership. It’s your opportunity to broaden your reach of potential customers. No longer is the reach of your dealership limited to the neighborhoods that surround your brick-and-mortar office. You literally have the opportunity to reach customers all over the country. The primary way to win customers over is to create a positive customer experience every time they have contact with your business, which includes creating a high quality experience for visitors on your dealership website.


Visit and Compare


How do customers rate their experience on your website? The answer is they compare your website with the experiences they’ve had on other websites. Now is the time to ask yourself how your website measures up to other websites. It’s also important to note that it’s not just other dealership websites visitors are comparing your site to.


What Makes Your Site the Best Place on the Web


When you put yourself in your customer’s place, you can easily determine whether your website is creating a positive experience for visitors or is frustrating them and sending them away. Spend some time surfing your own website and ask yourself these questions:


  • Is the site easy to find?
  • Can I navigate the site to quickly and easily find the information I’m looking for?
  • Which service options are available to me to reach the dealer to answer my questions?
  • Does the website offer different ways to interact with the dealership?
  • What communication vehicles are available to “talk with” the dealership?
  • Does my website have similar features and benefits to other dealership websites?
  • How do my website features and benefits compare to some of the other top consumer websites online (beyond the dealership industry)?


Your Website is Your Dealership


Recent studies show that more than 80% of people shopping for a product go to the company’s website first. This means the first impression car shoppers have with your business in on your dealership website. In essence, your website is your dealership. It’s important to understand this because if your website doesn’t engage them on their first visit, you may never get another chance to modify the first impression they leave with.


When customers come to the physical dealership they are met by a friendly and welcoming salesperson that interacts with them. You need to have this same type of interaction with your website visitors, so you can make the right first impression the first time. The Internet has changed over the last few years and Internet shoppers are savvier than ever before. This requires your website to be savvy too, in order to stay ahead of your competition and meet your customer’s needs.


When used appropriately, live chat provides an avenue to interact with your potential customers and creates a positive experience for every visitor to your site. Statistics reveal that the purpose of the first visit to your site by car shoppers is to see what types of vehicles you have available, to find out prices, look for incentives, and to find the hours and address of your business. Live chat makes this search productive and beneficial.


The Numbers of Creating a High Quality Experience


In the end, creating a high quality experience for website visitors translates into customers for your dealership. In recent studies conducted by National Automobiles Dealers Association (NADA), statistics reveal that dealers are generating at least 50 leads per month from their dealership website. The same study shows that approximately 15% of these leads turn into sales. This calculates out to be approximately eight sales per month coming from the dealer’s website. With the average vehicle sale being $16,000, dealerships are generating approximately $1,536,000 per year in gross sales, solely from leads received online.


These figures represent dealer websites without automotive live chat.


So what happened when a live chat service was available?


Live chat increased the number of website visitors converted into quality leads by approximately 50%, which led to the dealer almost doubling its auto sales—all from their own website. Instead of selling $1,536,000 per year from online sales, the dealership could easily increase gross sales to $2,304,000 —all for the nominal cost of adding a live chat service to their website.


What could an additional $768,000 in gross sales mean for your dealership?


With a live car chat service, it’s not about spending more money to drive traffic to your website. It’s about effectively handling your website visitors to capture their information and convert them into auto sales leads. Once converted into a lead, it’s all about turning them into a sale. Live support chat allows you to accomplish each of these steps in a more effective and efficient manner.


How to Use Dealer Chat to Engage Your Visitors


Now that you see how live chat support can boost your website sales, you may wonder what the specific ways you can use the live chat software.


Here are some ideas to get you started.


  • Exclusive Online Offers: Everyone loves to feel like they are receiving the royal treatment. Your chat service can be setup to offer online visitors a special and exclusive offer such as coupons, free offers or a special gift.
  • Personal Shopping Service: Many online visitors are not knowledgeable enough about cars to shop for a new or used vehicle on their own. This is a prime opportunity for your automotive live chat staff to provide quality service—acting as an assistant to your website visitors—to help them make educated choices about buying their next vehicle.
  • Answer Questions: Probably one of the most common uses of a live chat service is providing immediate answers to your website visitors’ questions. Dealer chat creates a sense of instant gratification to website visitors. Since time kills all deals, the faster you can satisfy a potential client’s needs, the faster you can turn them into a sale.
  • Help with Vehicle Searches: Most online visitors come to your dealer website to find out what vehicles you have available for sale. The live chat service can help visitors search for the available vehicles that fit their needs. This is especially true for those visitors that may not be web savvy and need assistance. In essence, the live chat service becomes “the vehicle matchmaker.”
  • Announce Special Deals and Pricing: Trying to move certain vehicles? You can use your live chat service to announce special deals and pricing to site visitors. It allows you to announce special deals, meet your visitors’ needs and sell vehicles! It creates a win-win situation.
  • Provide Hours of Operation: Customers and potential customers often want to know the dealership hours. Whether or not you have the hours posted on your website, the live chat service can answer this popular question for site visitors.
  • Help Schedule a Service Appointment: A convenient option for customers to schedule a service appointment is to be able to do it online. It saves the customer time from having to look up the phone number and place a call to schedule the appointment.
  • Schedule an appointment: Once the live chat operator answers a visitor’s questions, they can offer to schedule an appointment. This means you can offer a higher level of service by being prepared for the customer when they arrive for their appointment.
  • Help Find a Part: For do-it-yourself customers that need to order a part for their vehicle, the live chat operator can assist in finding the information in a matter of minutes.


What to Drive Away with


Live chat support helps you offer the same level of service to your virtual car dealership visitors that you do at your physical location. When you offer a high quality service such as this to your website visitors, you are also increasing the number of vehicle shoppers that visit your physical location. Using dealer chat engages your website visitors so you can capture valuable information about who they are and what their needs are. With this information, you can then convert them into customers—into sales for your business—whether it’s vehicle, service, or parts sales. Stop losing 98% of your website visitors because you don’t have a service that engages every visitor. Utilize a live car chat service to capture a larger percent of your website visitors, turn these into sales opportunities, and boost your bottom line.


Use live chat to:


  • Reach new customers
  • Offer a higher level of service than your competitors
  • Gain the loyalty and sales of website visitors
  • Double your website auto leads and sales
  • Save money by using a cost effective alternative to phone calls
  • Offer more to your customers for less time and less money


Automotive live chat support software provides a medium to boost sales—and that is something you can drive away with, all the way to the bank.


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