Data science

Why Science Beats Gut Feeling on Dealer Website Chat

August 10, 2014 - 11:18 pm

One of the things that separates successful dealers from those who fail is having a strong natural sense of intuition, a “gut feeling” about what will work and what will not. From the vehicles that you order to the trade values that you deliver to potential customers every day, the car business is one that relies on strong instincts. It works wonders in many situations. When it comes to chat, good ol’ fashioned scientific testing yields the best results.

There is a science behind where we put our pro-active chat prompts. There is a science that determines whether operators should say “Hi” or “Hello”, whether their name should be “Rebecca” or “Becky”, and whether the picture used to depict the operator should be person A or person B (or C, or D, or…). Through constant collection of data, thorough analysis, and ongoing testing, we’re able to know how to position chat on a dealership’s website in a way that is most likely to serve their visitors and generate more leads.

It’s more than that, though. We utilize scripts in order to take website visitors down the proper path to meet their needs and, when appropriate, help to convert their visit into a lead that the dealership can follow up with in order to sell more cars. There are those who believe that “shooting from the hip” and chatting with an “off the cuff” style is better. This form of natural chat can be compelling in a sales pitch to dealers, but the reality is that science trumps gut feelings in this regard.

Chat is not the same as working with a form lead or talking to a phone up. Sales-speak works fine in these situations, but even then there is evidence that properly scripted phone word tracks and email response templates work better than conversational communication. In the world of chat, this distinction is even more pronounced. Chat scripts work because the vast majority of chats end up following a very narrow path. The responses that have been proven to work in these situations tend to work universally. In other words, scripted chat responses work much better than loose conversation because majority of situations have been repeated over and over again over the years.

As we note in our Reasons to Choose CarChat24:

Testing. Testing. Testing. The biggest reason that our chat solution outperforms every competitor in the automotive industry is because we are guided first and foremost by science. We tenaciously track the smallest details. For example, the faces and names displayed to your customers within the chat interface can increase or decrease both the quantity of chats initiated as well as the quality of the chats that occur.

It’s part of human nature to want “natural speak” to be better than scripted. We want to believe that our ability to type in chat responses is superior to scripts. Chat is a direct form of communication between two humans and nobody wants to feel like it’s easy to coerce another human through the science that goes into scripts, but the facts are the facts. The science of automotive website chat yields better results than trusting in our gut instincts. This isn’t true for everything in the car business, but when it comes to chat, the numbers are very clear.

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