Dealer Live Chat best practices_

Last Updated : December 3, 2020 — Sales

You’re just 10 steps away from having a better live chat experience and generating more opportunities for your dealership.


Automotive live chat is hard to get right


And it’s not an uncommon problem. Our team hears it all the time. Even from some of the world’s biggest automotive brands.

So you’re not alone if you’ve tried implementing live chat for your dealership in the past and been burnt.

Our customers tell us it’s a real challenge following up on all those leads quickly enough and in the right ways. Yet fast follow-up is crucial for success.

The process of turning an MQL into a Sales Qualified Lead SQL) is both time-consuming and time-sensitive. Web1on1 can help.


But let’s face it.
The reality remains. Live chat is an essential channel in today’s world. Especially if you want to connect with car buyers earlier in their buying journey.

After all, nearly all car buying journeys today start online with buyers doing 95% of the research before they even contact a dealership.


From our 10 years of delivering automotive messaging for brands like Toyota, Fiat and Mercedes Benz (just to name drop a few 😉) we’ve come to realise that the success of your messaging channel comes down to these 10 best practices.


Calculate your potential

Before embarking on any journey you want to have a general idea of the outcomes you can expect. The same applies to implementing a messaging program into your dealership.

Calculating the potential of your live chat program gives you a snapshot in the volume of automotive leads you can expect to generate for your sales team.

Check out how many leads you should be generating from live chat program based on your web traffic with this free to use calculator.

Calculate your potential


Be available when car shoppers want you the most

Think back to the last time you or your loved ones browsed online for a car. Did you do it at your work desk or in between meetings? Chances are you browsed in the evenings or weekends. And the same is true for your customers.

Car buyers are online 24/7 and a 9-5 support channel just won’t cut it in today’s world. So before kick starting your messaging program make sure you’re equipped to service customers during the hours they want to talk to you.


Remove barriers to conversations

Let’s face it, we’ve all called a company in the past, navigated through an IVR and spent what can feel like hours listening to bad hold music only to give up and end the call before we’re connected to an agent.

Barriers to entry when trying to connect with someone can lead to significant drop offs. And messaging isn’t exempt from this.

Obstacles like forms, email captures and consent opt ins will lead to people ‘turning off’ before you’ve spoken with them.

So have a conversation first and deal with capturing your lead´s contact details second.


Be proactive with the right message

When someone enters a dealership, they don’t always need help right away.

But if a potential customer lingers around the same car for a while, that could mean they have questions.

This is how proactive messaging should work on your website.

Proactively engaging customers before they reach out not only makes them feel valued but the right message at the right time can boost lead volumes from your website by 50%


Carry on the conversation outside of your website


Live chat is great for when someone is on your website.

But today’s customers prefer to message brands on the apps they use every day.

Add to that the fact the average website session lasts only 2-3 minutes and it becomes clear the benefits of introducing Whatsapp, Messenger and SMS.

More about WhatsApp for dealers





Have an internal champion and manage expectations

Appoint a team member to be the internal driver for your messaging program.

They’ll guide the adoption and implementation of features within your messaging platform, liaise between the team and your messaging provider (should you opt to bring in external expertise) and oversee training. Ensuring your chat program runs like a well oiled machine (pun intended).


Onboard your car sales team

Did you know messaging engaged buyers are more likely to convert into sales than those that don’t?

With stats like that it’s hard to see why your sales team won’t fall in love with your messaging program.

Nonetheless, bring them up to speed with it and ensure they’re extracting context from the live chat leads to ensure a smooth handover of the conversation.


Scale-up your automation

If your website generates large volumes of traffic daily then the idea of an always available live chat channel can seem daunting.

But more traffic doesn’t have to equate to more staff or overheads.

Thanks to AI and smart bot technology you can serve a large part of your traffic with automated conversations. Giving even more people than ever before the opportunity to interact with your brand.

See examples of chatbots.


Analyse and iterate

Messaging isn’t a “one-time implementation and then forget about it” kind of channel.

Use the data from your conversations along with traffic insights to constantly make tweaks that bring you closer each day to delivering the perfect messaging experience.


And that’s it

10 easy steps to implement live chat best practices for your dealership that will drive better results. Every. Single. Time. Interested in learning more about how these 9 best practices have helped the likes of Jeep, Skoda and Audi (as well as their independent dealerships) nail delivering digital conversations? Chat with one of our experts and we’ll tell you.

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