Hello car dealer! Buyers are now on chat.

Number of car leads doubled despite of getting fewer website visitors.

Now if ever it’s worth being on 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 doubled. Now we saw the highest chat volumes in many years. It is proven that customers want to talk to sales 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 on those websites decreased by -4.9%.

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 by a lot! The rising trend has continued in January 2023 for most car dealerships. The real chat conversations with customer service and sales have risen the most. Chatbot clicks with the same operators increased nicely by +36% at the same time, but clearly less than chat conversations.

Table: Chat volumes per month

In the right place at the right time.

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 on 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, as it requires the help of an 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 in the right place at the right time. Chat is often the only channel where you can get an immediate response from the stores and someone will immediately start taking care of the matter. According to the feedback received from car dealerships, 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. When there are questions, customers prefer a channel that is open almost at all times, where there is a low threshold to ask and where someone answers the questions almost immediately. Strong increase in the number has not affected the quality of the service: the feedback that Smilee’s chat customer service representatives have received in the same time period was 4.6 (on a scale of 1–5), which is an absolute top result. We often cooperate with the car salesmen located in the stores, 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 can handle sales and customer service

Recommendation: go on chat and give good customer service to your customers online. It’s worth the time and investment. If you don’t have the resources or the time yourself, Smilee’s team that is trained in car dealerships, can handle all or some of the chats. In light of these results, messing with bots and AI can be left for less as people went to chat despite the bots. Of course bots have their place as well, 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. Machines or bots have not yet replaced humans. Chat isn’t just a sales or a customer service channel, it fills both roles! 

Contact us if you need help with chat. Smilee already has a long experience of serving the customers of car dealerships and getting the best out of websites and their customer service. 

Contact us!

Are you considering a live-chat or chatbot solution to your website? Don’t hesitate to contact us, we can arrange a swift demo of our tools and discuss what kind of setup would help you to reach your goals.

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