Car dealerships across North America are struggling to keep pace in uncertain market conditions, and many experts predict their industry will face existential threats in coming decades. In this climate, businesses are turning to innovative dealer chat software to help them reach out to new buyers, and leveraging the power of online marketplaces to bring a younger generation of customers through the door. Here are a few things dealerships should keep in mind when considering new live chat software.

Support Staff

Not every live chat software offers support staff, so if you want to get the most from your money, make sure your provider will guarantee around-the-clock sales support.

Dealer chat is most effective when it allows your sales staff to focus on what they do best: taking a lead and turning it into a sale. A good live chat software provider should take care of lead generation for you, and only turn things over to a dealership sales team when the customer is seriously considering a purchase.  

24/7 Call Support

Most successful sales begin with a call from an interested shopper who wants to learn more about some of the vehicles your dealership is selling, so it is shocking that 16% of calls to dealerships go unanswered. Often, this simply has to do with the busyness of your sales staff, who can only be talking to one customer at once. It can also be due to the number of calls that come in after the dealership is closed. Many potential customers working their own jobs aren’t able to call during business hours. The next day, when your sales team sets about responding to missed calls, it can be easy for some to slip through the cracks.

Not only does this reflect badly on a dealership’s customer service, it is also a waste of a valuable lead. So don’t let your dealership miss an opportunity just because a customer called when no one was available: when you are consider live chat software providers, ask whether they also offer 24/7 call support as well.

Online Marketplace Integration

A recent report from J.D. Power noted that while 22% of new-vehicle shoppers used social media websites as a shopping source, they largely found them to be less helpful than traditional automotive shopping sites. Clearly, there is an opportunity for dealerships to make a case for their ability to offer superior customer service. This is why any dealership considering new live chat software should look into whether or not it is integrated with social media alternatives like Facebook Marketplace.

Online marketplace integration allows dealerships to list their inventory on social media marketplaces, and uses functions like Facebook chat to reach interested customers seamlessly. This gives interested dealerships the opportunity to reach potential buyers who may not think to visit their actual website, and make contact with them in a way that can translate into a sale.

Whether a dealership is looking to explore live chat for the first time, or its current live chat software isn’t performing as well as expected, keeping these three points in mind will help focus the search and arrive at an option that will be most satisfactory in the long run.