Myths of Live Chat

Live Chat

By Ketty Colom

As more con­sumers are using the web to research and com­mu­ni­cate with deal­er­ships before they decide to pur­chase a vehi­cle, it is impor­tant to under­stand the val­ue of live chat and the pow­er behind estab­lish­ing a rela­tion­ship between the chat­ter and your deal­er­ship.

There is plen­ty of lit­er­a­ture on the Web that estab­lish­es the best prac­tices of live chat for auto­mo­tive deal­ers. Watch out for these arti­cles, if they are not from cred­i­ble sources! Here are some com­mon mis­con­cep­tions that are found online about live chat and the real facts to help your deal­er­ship mas­ter the art of chat.

Mis­con­cep­tions of live chat:

1. Deal­ers can sell a vehi­cle dur­ing a chat con­ver­sa­tion.
FACT: The notion that you can turn a chat into a sale right then and there is ridicu­lous. Car­ol Mar­shall, Direc­tor of Vir­tu­al Sales at ActivEn­gage states, “Unlike oth­er com­modi­ties, like shoes and cloth­ing, a car is some­thing peo­ple need to dri­ve and to ‘expe­ri­ence.’ This can­not be achieved online.”

2. Ask­ing for con­tact infor­ma­tion ear­ly in the chat
FACT: By ask­ing for con­tact infor­ma­tion (full name, email, phone number..etc) too ear­ly in the chat you are basi­cal­ly, “clos­ing too ear­ly.” And as all Sales Man­agers know this can be detri­men­tal in the sales process. Instead, you need to be proac­tive in under­stand­ing what the chat­ter wants as well as their pref­er­ences.

3. Nev­er ignore ques­tions
FACT: Around 24% of shop­pers online actu­al­ly buy the vehi­cle they inquired about. Many ques­tions aren’t black or white and nei­ther are the answers. Ask to clar­i­fy the ques­tions instead so your sales­peo­ple, the experts, can answer them. Mar­shall added, “We make them aware of their need to come to the deal­er­ship through rel­a­tive ques­tions. We ask ques­tions in order to get clar­i­fi­ca­tion on their request and then, when appro­pri­ate, go for a ten­ta­tive appoint­ment.”

4. Be per­sis­tent by offer­ing pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als, direct mails of offers, or by call­ing them.
FACT: Online cus­tomers do not want to be bom­bard­ed by pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als. They want to be con­tact­ed to get answers to their ques­tions. By ignor­ing what they are tru­ly ask­ing for, you are ignor­ing the cus­tomer and negat­ing the 9 + min con­ver­sa­tion they had with your online assis­tant, the VSA.

5. While chat­ting, watch your tone in your respons­es.
FACT: Its about gram­mar, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, and the length of respons­es that cre­ate the “tone.” Every word mat­ters in a chat con­ver­sa­tion.

We view our live chat ser­vices as more than just a lead pro­vid­ing machine, so we task our­selves with build­ing a rela­tion­ship with the cus­tomer for your deal­er­ship so that vis­i­tors feel tied to your deal­er­ships. “We are han­dling the ‘meet and greet’ and some needs analy­sis, allow­ing the deal­er­ship to do what they do best — sell cars,” Mar­shall com­ment­ed.

Ket­ty Colom is Social Media Spe­cial­ist for ActivEn­gage, Inc and can be reached at





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