Leads are often the lifeblood of a car dealership. Some have the advantage of great location or miles of selection, while most dealers rely on their ability to generate leads in order to create opportunities to sell more cars. How your website generates leads is one of the biggest keys for success.
Website chat is easily one of the most important differentiating factors that can help dealers increase their leads. This segment of the industry has been growing for years, but there are still plenty of dealers who are not looking at their chat solution through a proper critical lens. As we push into 2015, those who want to make the biggest impact on their leads and sales should take a closer look at what they’re doing.
Those With Ineffective Chat
One of the biggest questions we face when discussing chat software and management solutions is whether or not there’s really a difference between chat providers. After all, it’s just a button on the website and a dialogue between potential customers and an operator representing a dealership. What could go wrong?
The reality is that there are huge differences in style, practices, and effectiveness when it comes to dealer website chat. Some of the differences are basic and philosophical such as goal alignment. Others are more profound, including a constant need to test the various chat factors and word tracks. Then, there are differences that are paramount for success such as having a presence 24-hours per day or utilizing a proactive approach to generating more chats.
Lastly, there are differences in opinion about how to generate a lead and even what to call a lead. We do not believe in “soft leads” such as taking visitors to an hours and directions page. Can this turn into a sale? Yes. Should it be considered a lead if the customer did not leave their contact information? Of course not, and most dealers would agree with this stance. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with chat providers.
If your chat solution is effective, you should be seeing a clear increase in the total number of leads your website produces. You can’t always just look at the number of chat leads. You have to look at the totals and compare those numbers to the past so that you can know that your chat solution is generating more leads rather than just becoming a different lead source that is taking from other areas of your website.
Those Without Chat
There are plenty of reasons that dealers do not have chat on their website. Perhaps they tried it in the past and did not have success. Maybe they have their budgets allocated to other lead generating measures. Maybe they simply haven’t gotten around to it. Regardless of your reasons, you should definitely be taking a closer look at it this year.
It’s not like it was in the recent past. The total number of leads generated by properly managed chat is going up rapidly, faster than the growth of the industry. This is happening for a few reasons, but the most important one to understand is that chat represents a method of communication that is “safe” to the consumer and similar to the favorite method of communication for millions of Americans: texting. We’ve become a society that is reliant on text. Chat is very similar and offers a way for your website visitors to communicate with you on their own terms.
Even if you’ve tried chat in the past, we strongly encourage you to let us show you what it’s like today. If you’ve never even considered chat, now’s the time. Many of your competitors are selling cars as a result of chat leads. Shouldn’t you be doing the same, only better?