One of the useful features that you see on a lot of dealership’s websites these days is online chat. Online chat certainly is not a new idea, but you are seeing it more and more on websites. With all the text messaging, instant messaging, etc. that we all do, it’s great that you can use that way of communicating with someone as they are shopping online. An immediate response to someone’s inquiry can surely lead to more visits to the dealership. But, If you have online chat, you need to make sure you always have someone available to manage it. A lot of salesmen get excited when they initially get online chat, but the excitement fades and before long, no one is managing it. You should make sure you have at least one person designated to handle the chat leads. We did a study of 20 dealerships using online chat and only ONE of the 20 responded to our request within the first 30 seconds. And only TWO ever responded at all. If the average time someone spends on a site is 2 to 4 minutes then 30 seconds is a long time to keep someone waiting. Those stats are not good. This way of communicating is such an advantage, so make sure you manage it properly. To make sure your online chat is being handled promptly, be sure to secret shop it from time to time.

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