Car dealerships in 2016 are facing a crisis: foot traffic is at an all-time low. While auto sales in North America are up, customers have changed their behavior. They are comparing products, prices, and incentives online instead of going from lot to lot. In the past, that’s how your sales reps would have generated leads and made their pitch. But now that customers spend most of their research time on their laptops and smartphones, you need to find a way to connect with them before they show up in person.
If you’ve gone shopping online lately, you’ve probably noticed live chat windows in the corners of the company websites. They’ve become increasingly common as companies realize their potential as lead generating tools. But auto sales is a unique industry, and that means it requires a different breed of live operators than other retail sectors. Realizing this, one company, Gubagoo, now offers a live chat tool designed specifically for car dealerships. Their operators are trained to encourage prospects to book test drives so that your sales representatives can seal the deal.
The use of 24/7 dealer chat services typically breaks down into 2 categories: reactive and proactive.
Reactive – Operators wait for the customer to ask a question; they use the opportunity to find out more about a prospect, such as their price range and other details about the kind of car they want to buy. Customers prefer dealing with sales representatives digitally, and typically report higher rates of satisfaction with customer service on social media, apps, email, and live chat than over the phone. According to one study, 73% of customers were satisfied with the help they received through a chat window on a company website. By comparison, they frequently get irritated when they have to get in touch with a phone call, as that often means getting put on hold, navigating phone trees, and having to explain their situation, sometimes more than once. There is no better way to keep yourself from making a lead than irritating the prospect.
Proactive – A service is considered proactive if operators can interrupt a prospect’s browsing experience. An operator may invite a prospect to ask questions or seek help, or they may even promote targeted inventory (with lots of images). But you may be asking, when does an operator actively interrupt someone viewing your dealer site? The answer is: when a repeat viewer has done in-depth research and returned multiple times to the website. But how does the operator know how serious the viewer is if they’re anonymous web traffic? Smart chat services such as the one offered by Gubagoo are powered by behavioral intelligence systems that identify anonymous web traffic and create profiles for each IP address. It applies a scoring system to an IP address to determine how close a viewer is to their purchase point. Operators can also see which pages the prospect has viewed and for how long, giving them a good idea of the prospect’s preferences and price range.
Car sales have changed; unless you can reach your customers online, you won’t be able to compete. Get a live chat service today and tap into your website’s hidden lead generating potential.