Do You Know How Many Website Visitors You Get Late at Night?

It's the quiet time. Just about everyone has it. Whether it's late at night when everyone's in bed or early in the morning before everyone wakes up, a good chunk of people do much of their important website surfing when there are fewer distractions of life to prevent them from their task at hand.

Buying a car or getting it serviced are two of those important aspects of life that require distraction-free time for some people. What's the percentage? How many people visit your dealership website at times when some companies claim that nobody shops for cars? Take a look at your analytics for the answer.

Whether you're using your website's own analytics program or a third-party application like Google Analytics, there is likely a way to check visitors by hour. On GA, it's in the top right corner of your dashboard.

In the example to the right, you'll see a dealership that has had 477 unique visitors in the last day. While many say that people are only on your website right before, during, or right after business hours, we can see that 37 people visited between 7pm and 9pm while 42 visited between 10pm and midnight. Then between midnight and 2 am, another 15 people hit the website. That means that nearly 12% of the website's visitors yesterday came in between 10pm and 2am.

Would you be happy if 88% of your showroom visitors were engaged by someone at the dealership? If not, why would you allow 12% or more (I've seen it as high as 25% during "non-peak-times") to be on your virtual showroom, your website, without a way to talk to anyone directly?

In an article posted on our blog, we discussed this issue and why it's so important to defend your customers 24-hours per day. If they're on your website, there's a good chance they want to consider buying a car or having their vehicle serviced at your dealership. You need to be available to them at all times throughout the day and night. This is a position from which we will never back down.

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Comment by Michael Baker on October 25, 2014 at 10:26pm

Of the other 66 VIEWERs out there, any feedback???????

Comment by Michael Baker on October 25, 2014 at 10:25pm

Jeff, Your explanation was quite impressively thorough, Thank You. O/S the auto business for the Entertainment Verticals that are not able to operate 24/7, and have incoming calls or leads from all the USA, inc. Hawaii hours, WHAT are their methodologies?

Comment by jeff sterns on October 25, 2014 at 4:22pm

Hi Nicole! Thank you for reading and commenting.

The way to handle after hours leads can be done many ways subject to your aggressiveness and creativeness!

The idea is to impress a shopper, right? Get your store looking the best among competitors...agree?

When we were new to this business....(when it wasn't even a business yet...just trying to patch a h*** in our founder's own store), we discovered that the bell was ringing for chats after hours so, we allowed the car shopper to shape our business and we tried a "night operator". 

With no "sales" experience and just a few scripted answers from our "day" operator (installed to take missed chats from that store's dedicated BDC)...we discovered a high rate of leads occurring after normal hours.

What was interesting was that the "night operator" had no experience and really we just plugged her in to say that we are here, use a few of our scripts (that's all there were back then!) and "I don't know a lot but can I have someone call you as soon as we open?" (and a little warm conversation.) The shopper was very responsive!

Maybe they were (and are) happy to be able to take care of a little business on their own terms (time of day) and convenience and were a little surprised that they could get this item in their day crossed off their list...and go to bed knowing that someone will call....that knows their story, needs and wishes. 

So you asked, "So how are you supposed to handle leads that come in after business hours?"

Well naturally it's our job here in the "lead creation" department to cause that problem for you! And we don't have quite a defined answer.

What I can tell you is that we deliver 30%+/- of all leads to dealers after hours and dealers tell us that they close at the same rate as overall website leads. And this is when responded to first thing in the morning.

Some have auto responders that speak to the fact that the client is talking to them after hours and how important this information must be to the shopper and that they will pay special attention to efficiently provide info to them due to their possibly difficult schedule.

I've heard or a special after hours phone number put in that email that rings a cell phone that staff members rotate taking home! Also, we deliver leads VIA SMS for dealers that want the message NOW.

To be honest, I admire the passion and would bet that this will blow away a certain shopper and get an extra deal but I have not seen data that says that over  a year this raises close ratio.

The best answer I can give is to "get yourself in trouble (adding this approx 1/3 more chat leads from your site)" and test what works in your market.

I think that contacting them as soon as you open will be very sufficient and impressive.

You already impressed them by allowing them to tell their story when it was good for them! So, you're already on the right foot :)

Comment by Nichole Schroeder on October 25, 2014 at 2:36pm

So how are you supposed to handle leads that come in after business hours?

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