With more than 500 vendors on the exhibit floor of the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention in Vegas and a boatload of others in attendance, live chat is likely to be one of the critical marketing tools auto dealers have on their shopping list. With the potential to increase website leads by as much as 50 percent or more, managed chat has become a critical source for additional car sales that generally have the highest closing ratio and biggest profit.
Chat started as a novel way to communicate with auto shoppers but has become a critical digital marketing tool. With tech moving at an incredible pace and add-ons that can be extremely confusing, here are six features that are critical to chat success:
- A proactive chat popup on the landing page – this is a critical element, but carefully-tested timing, placement, and repetition are key to chat success
- Well-trained operators – they should be well-scripted to generate quality leads, directly supervised for exceptional performance, with performance targets and reviews
- Mobile chat technology focus – with mobile traffic exceeding fifty percent in virtually every market, chat invites, as well as high-speed servers and Microsoft SignalR or equivalent technology to maximize mobile.
- Chat effect on website performance – be wary of chat code that can slow down dealership website page load speeds and processes that cannibalize or scavenge form leads
- Must-have basic chat features – these include seeing text as shoppers type, an ability to push pages (open URLs such as specials, credit application, or directions pages in visitor’s browser), automatic translate into as many languages as possible, built-in functions for shopper to save or send chat transcript, and more
- Scientific testing of every single aspect of the chat experience – choose a vendor that has tested everything from stock photos and icon placement to server processing speed and data transmission times
These six live chat features are key fundamentals for success, but there is another factor to consider. Many chat providers try to differentiate themselves with a host of technologies built into their chat product to enhance the experience. Like flash website intros of the early 2000’s, these features seem attractive on the surface, but one of the initial acid tests is to see if the chat provider is using the technology on THEIR OWN websites. If a feature is so good for a dealer’s success, wouldn’t a chat provider leverage that option for themselves?
If a feature is so good for a dealer’s success, wouldn’t a chat provider leverage that option for themselves?
Finally, check with a third party consultant, analytics company, or even top-performing website provider to see who they recommend for the best managed chat performance. These sources typically have access to actual DMS sale data to see which chat provider is helping sell the most cars. After all, the whole reason for attending the NADA Convention is to learn about technologies and techniques that will help grow sales.