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What To Ask Yourself Before Taking The Smart Plunge Into Dealer Chat

October 31, 2010 - 2:13 am

You’ve received phone calls from automotive live chat providers. You’ve read the articles in dealer magazines. You’ve seen the postings on dealer message boards. You’ve made the decision to give the new craze a whirl. Maybe you want to reach out and see who is visiting your website. Maybe you’re starting a new web advertising campaign, and you want to be sure someone is available on the web to answer questions. Whatever the reason, you’re ready to hit the trails of dealer chat, or are you?

As with almost everything these days, there is more than one automotive live chat provider, and all offer different features, packages, policies, and pricing. When choosing an automotive live chat provider, there are some important details to consider. For some dealers it’s not so much about price as it is features, ease of use, and convenience for your own needs.

Before making a decision on a provider, here are a few things to ask yourself:


Is Dealer Chat Something That My Dealership Needs?

This is by far the most common question that dealers ask themselves and their colleagues. “Do I really need dealer chat?” Even after a dealer decides to try live chat, they might think it’s a great feature, but they may wonder if it’s truly necessary. To answer this question, the decision should be based on the answers to these questions:


1. Is your dealership online? Does it have a website/internet presence?
2. Do you want to sell more cars to prospects that are ready to buy?
3. Are some of your incoming phone calls regarding vehicles that are posted on your website?


If you answered “Yes” to even one of those questions, then Yes, automotive live chat is absolutely something your dealership needs in order to optimize your website.


Who will my website visitors be talking to?

Some dealer chat service providers allow salesmen or designated staff from your dealership to chat with online visitors. This works well, provided someone is there to answer chats. But what happens when no one is available, when your dealership is closed, or when your staff is busy with other important duties? Who is going to answer the chats then?

The answer to this is a fully staffed dealer chat solution. Chat providers such as Car Chat 24 provide a fully trained and educated staff that will answer every chat request that occurs on your website. No matter if it’s 3:00 PM on a Monday afternoon or 2:00 AM on a Sunday morning, an agent is ready and waiting to manage that interaction with your customer. Other chat providers are readily available for your website during normal business hours, or hours that you designate.

As an added bonus, allowing a third party group to handle your dealer chat leads enables you to avoid the additional cost of providing staff at your dealership. This also frees up the time of your salesmen so they can focus on what they are best at; selling cars!


Which service package do I go with?

Depending on the automotive live chat provider, you’ll have different options and packages to choose from. Some providers offer flat fees for support and leads, others have a set rate for each chat. Before deciding which option is best for your dealership, you should consider the volume of website traffic you get each month. For dealers with a larger volume of website traffic, a flat rate per chat would be very costly.

There is a third option that also has its benefits along with the previous two. That option is Performance Based Service.

A performance based fee schedule enables you to only pay for leads in which a pre-determined amount of information is gathered in order for the lead to be considered “valid”. With this option, you may pay an increased amount of money, but you are guaranteed to get high quality leads from customers who give valid contact information for you to work with.

There isn’t one universal answer to which automotive live chat provider you should go with. It depends on a variety of preferences and the specific needs of your dealership. One thing is for sure; a website without dealer chat is like a showroom without any salesmen.

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