Now if ever it’s worth being in the chat to serve customers! The chat volumes of Smilee’s largest customers in the car trade industry increased by an average of +67% in the second half of 2022 compared to the first half of 2022. Some of our customers’ chat volumes even doubled. Now we saw the highest chat volumes in many years. It is proven that customers want to talk to the seller directly from the website. Total leads from the chat also increased by +49% and trade-in car leads almost doubled +95%. At the same time, the number of visitors to those websites fell by -4.9%.
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In the past, the number of chats has followed the number of visitors quite well, but now the trends are going in a completely different direction and a lot! The rising trend at most car dealerships has continued in January 2023 as well. The real chat conversations with customer service and sales have risen the most. Bot clicks with the same operators grew by a nice +36% at the same time, but clearly less than chat conversations.
What is the reason for this, what causes such a significant increase in results? Growth of online trading everywhere, investment in chat services, good service provided by people in chat from morning to night, decrease in floor traffic, change of buyer generation, impact of the pandemic, image of disreputable service in brick-and-mortar car dealerships. Buying a car is difficult for many people, it requires the help and sparring of another person. The combined effect of these factors has changed visitor behavior and driven people to the web and chat.
It’s easy to start a chat and the help is exactly at the right place at the right time. Chat is often the only channel where you can get an immediate response from the shops and someone will immediately start taking care of the matter. According to the feedback received from stores, the number of other channels (e.g. phone calls, emails) has not increased in the same proportion.
Customer feedback 4.6 / 5
Impatience online is also increasing all the time. When there are questions, customers prefer a channel that is open almost all the time, where there is a low threshold to ask and where someone answers to questions almost immediately. The strong increase in the number has not affected the quality of the service: the feedback that Smilee’s chat customer service representatives has received in the same time was 4.6 (on a scale of 1-5), which is an absolutely top result. We often cooperate with the car salesmen of the shops, so they take over some of the chats. However, the majority of chats are handled by Smilee’s trained and experienced team.
Investing in chat is worth it. It handles sales and customer service
Recommendation: everyone go to chat and give good customer service to your customers online. It’s worth taking the time and investing. If you don’t have the resources or the time yourself, Smilee’s team that is trained in car dealerships, can handle all or part of the chats. In light of these results, messing with bots and AI can be left for less, as in this case as well people went to chat despite the bots. Of course also bots have their place, for example interactive solutions embedded in content are the best of the best possible prompts among static content. Chats and bots work seamlessly together when they are designed well.
Chat sells and serves.
For some, it is a return to the old and for others it is a couple of steps forward. Investing in customer service is something that most car dealerships should do now. Machines or bots have not yet replaced humans. Chat isn’t just a sales or customer service channel, it fulfills both roles! Good customer service is binding, as always.
Contact us if you need help or sparring with these things. Smilee already has a long experience in how to serve the customers of car dealerships and how to get the best out of websites and their customer service.