How can live chat help auto dealers?

The latest tactic that car dealerships are using to increase sales and pull in repeat customers is an up close and personal method of communication via the dealership’s web site called “live chat”.

It may seem like something from a science fiction movie, but live chat is a reality and it’s making inroads into the automotive sales industry.

By using the live chat software, dealerships are able to generate hotter leads, qualify customers and decide what the customers needs are before they ever see them at the dealership.

While older methods of lead generation are viable, it’s the idea of leads that are actually ready to make a purchase when they come into the dealership that has sales management teams chomping at the bit to have a system like this built into their site.

The excitement that is being generated by live chat software is proving to be well deserved.

Auto dealerships have known for many years now that a Web site was an integral part of their marketing strategy. Giving customers the ability to browse inventory online, look at upcoming sales events and even purchase vehicles has led to more leads and bottom line growth. However, just having a Web site is no longer enough.

Many customers require interactivity and immediate response to queries. They have questions about the particular values of vehicles, what extras might be available and they usually want the information immediately. It’s no surprise, then, that dealerships are making the decision to integrate live chat software into their sites for just this purpose.

Having this software also benefits the dealership in other ways. By having a live person available to help a customer any time of day or night, the dealership stands more of an opportunity to close the deal.

The concierge approach to customer interaction also gives a sales person the ability to, in essence, look over the customer’s shoulder while they shop, give advice when requested and answer any important questions the customer may have about a particular vehicle.

Further benefits of having live chat available for a customer are that it pulls customers in and turns them into repeat visitors. It also engages their need for interactivity and conversation and qualifies the customer and what they are looking for. This creates an environment where a customer is more likely to come into the dealership and make a purchase.

Because of the added touch that live chat software provides, customers are more willing to do repeat business with a dealership. A recent survey of live chat customers showed that they were much more willing to not only return to the site, but actually make a purchase based on the information that was provided by the sales associate.

They also perceived that they received better service than if they had called or clicked to call the associate. These same customers felt that because of the live chat conversations, the sales associate behind the screen had actually gone further to assist them in their questions than they would have had they gone in and visited in person.

Live chat is obviously becoming an essential tool for car dealerships to use in communicating with their customers and actually garnering purchases from those customers. The simple fact is that live chat works. It’s a powerhouse of customer lead generation that sits on their site 24/7.

As an added benefit, this same software adds a personal, one-on-one, touch for advertising. It’s also obvious that live chat isn’t going away anytime soon.

So, do you sit quietly and wait or do you chat your customers into your dealership?

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