Why 24/7 is the Name of the Game for Dealer Chat

As website communication tools go, chat has grown at the fastest rate of adoption on car dealer websites for years. It’s not new, but more dealers are embracing what chat can do for them to engage with people visiting their website.

There are two primary reasons that it wasn’t a fad that died away like so many other website addons over the years. First, it is an ideal method of communication for the expanding number of people who prefer to use their phones for texting rather than calls. Our society is shifting towards testing as more people embrace it and chat is the closest thing to that type of communication available on a dealer’s website.

Forms and emails do not have the real-time dialogue abilities that text and chat have. Scientific research has shown that many people avoid calling a dealership (or any business) as much as possible because they no longer possess the pacing control. With chat or texting, they determine when and how they reply. On the phone, it’s more direct. In essence, website visitors have more control over chats and texts than they do with phone calls.

The second reason that chat continues to grow is because in most cases and with some providers like CarChat24, chat is the only way for dealers to have a conversation with a website visitor late at night or early in the morning. Despite what some would have you believe, today’s consumers do their research and shopping at all hours of the day or night.

One of the best things about the internet is that it has empowered us to not be restricted based upon time of day. For many, the best time to get online and do serious research like shopping for a car is off business hours. The idea that people only shop for cars during daytime hours is incorrect. The number show that there are plenty of people visiting and chatting even after midnight. You can see this for yourself by checking your analytics and breaking down visitors to your website by hour.

With these two pieces of information, let’s now discuss why 24/7 is so important.

The Power of Being Always Open

It all comes down to differentiation. For most dealers, they either have no method of communication on their website late at night or the communication is not working properly. That’s how you should look at it. If your chat says “Offline” at night, then it’s not working properly. It’s not accomplishing what your website visitors expect from a chat box.

Late night visitors are not “weird” or any less likely to buy. They aren’t visiting for fun. If anything, the fact that they’re up late at night investigating your dealership is a sign that they’re truly serious about it.

Chat offers the only way for your website visitors to get answers immediately. Through managed chat with CarChat24, you’ll have an “always open” presence that your competitors are missing.

If you’re selling the same vehicles at approximately the same price, you have to differentiate yourself. Sometimes, the ability to contact you is all of the differentiation you’ll need to start to earn their business.

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Comment by DealerELITE on January 4, 2017 at 8:28pm
Excellent information
Comment by steven chessin on March 25, 2015 at 3:12pm

Jeff  - Let me call this response "THE BRICK"  -- It is anecdotal but answers this question.   

In my very first BDC director role for a Toyota store (2001) I ran into a website development issue with the a very respected vendor that handled the entire group. The I.T. Marketing director said, "nobody else is having the issue you have. If it ain't broke don't fix it".

If a wing falls off an airliner does it needs to happen more times for it to be accepted as "broke"?      

I contacted the website company and explained the problem I was having. 

They were very supportive and told me the dealer group was using a 1.0 version that should have been upgraded to a better and less expensive version. They also told me that top execs from the company were going to be in the area and would be glad to stop-by to speak to the manager - on my behalf - and to help the entire group. The day of the meeting I emptied my hallway closet because it the very back I knew I had my first Motorola cell phone from the late 80s --- "the brick". 

When the website company reps came-in for the meeting we all walked into the meeting room and the others placed their phones on the desk and I dropped my brick on the desk. The manager said, "what the hell is that?" and I responded, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and everyone laughed.  He called me a "wise guy".

The rest of the meeting was just explaining the upgraded features and benefits of the new site. 

I know - that you know - how to swat-away minor league evasions that claim the issue is either not an issue - or - they tried your solution and it did not work. 

Just the other day I was speaking to a top-level Ford store. The mid-manager told me they would not be interested in the things I do because they already did them. I knew I would be wasting my breath on that manager so I walked away realizing I had to go over his head --- if I wanted to bother. By-the-way  .... he told me that his website already had videos on every car. True motion videos too. Very advanced. However "there's just one thang" - as Tina Turner said. "NO VIEWS". Did he not see that there was an issue ? It takes 50 views per lead. Obviously, the job had been done but not done right. None of the videos had more than five views. Why bother ?  He could say to me they "have video and it doesn't work." Except he did not even realize that what he had was failing. 

CHAT .... or VIDEO   .. or any other technology is not the answer ... unless "someone" knows how to make it work. This idea that you simply plug-in a vendor's software and it can be checked-off the "to-do list" is the real problem. 

Comment by jeff sterns on March 25, 2015 at 1:35pm

Hi Steven,

I, too, was hoping to hear from a GM or DP before replying. The main objection we hear is that they've tried chat in the past and it didn't work. Things are simply different today. Chat generates more contacts and leads. All day. All night.

Comment by steven chessin on March 22, 2015 at 7:41pm

"If you’re selling the same vehicles at approximately the same price, you have to differentiate yourself. Sometimes, the ability to contact you is all of the differentiation you’ll need to start to earn their business."

Lincoln Concierge Personal 1-on-1 Customer Service 24/7

Jeff - One question. Why would any DP or GM not want this ? It seems like a "no-brainer". What are the objections ?  Maybe the best answer should come from a GM or DP.  

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