Selling more cars could be as easy as doing what comes naturally to your teenager: chatting online.
It might sound crazy, but the data speaks for itself: dealers who use instant chat products on their dealer websites or on their listings on third-party sites interact with 25% more shoppers daily than dealers who don’t. That’s a very significant number.
Research conducted by instant chat provider Contact At Once! shows that automobile shoppers prefer an instant chat conversation with a dealer over submitting a website lead form. It’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in leads. In many cases, full customer contact information is still obtained by dealers in instant chat conversations. So simply because a customer doesn’t submit a traditional lead form doesn’t mean that a lead is not obtained.
Since instant chat products allow customers to communicate with you instantly, shoppers can get instant answers to their questions, resulting in more direct conversations with your sales team. And as we all know, more conversations with customers inevitably leads to more cars sold. One dealer reports his store sells 10-20 vehicles each month to customers who first contact the dealership via chat.
One interesting nugget in the latest research around instant chat: customers enjoy using it because many times they are shopping for cars online for work, and can’t make or receive a personal phone call at their desk. A chat conversation gives them the answers they need quickly – and silently.
Even better, advances in instant chat products no longer mean you – or the customer – have to be chained to your desk to engage in chat conversations. The latest products allow for mobile access on both ends. Customers can initiate chat conversations via text message, while dealers can be alerted to new messages and respond from their mobile devices such as iPads.
Some chat providers even offer the ability to never miss a chat from a customer. When your team isn’t available to answer a chat, it is routed to the provider’s chat professionals, who engage the shopper in conversation and attempt to collect shopper name, phone and e-mail information (which are forwarded to your dealership for follow-up).
Perhaps best of all, instant chat products are surprisingly affordable – CarsDirect, for example, offers instant chat functionality at no charge to dealers who utilize our Used Car Connect product.
Just as people who don’t text or instant message seem behind the times, dealers who don’t take advantage of instant chat products also seem outdated – not to mention the fact that they’re also missing out on hundreds of valuable conversations with customers and potential sales. To learn more about how to leverage the potential of instant chat, call (800) 260-5857 or e-mail email@example.com.