CommVersion author

Digitalisation has changed the way potential buyers are searching for cars. Be it ordering a new or a used/pre-owned car or spare parts, buyers now prefer searching online for the best deals. So, even before a customer sets foot in your dealership, they have already done their research online and have formulated an opinion on the make, model and features of the vehicle they are looking for. This stage of market research by the customer is very crucial in the customers purchase journey. If you do not connect well with your website visitors and engage them on your website, you are likely to lose out on potential customers.

What challenges do automotive companies face?

1. Lack of personalised interactions

An increased use of smart phones and radical developments in mobile technology have drastically changed how potential buyers interact with brands. And dealers need to go beyond the standard practice of merely having an online presence. You need to study the behaviour (number of pages visited, time of visit, specific models they are looking for etc.) of your website visitors and accordingly ask them questions or solve their queries in real-time. The key here is not just to be available but to interact with the right message at the right time.

2. Customer loyalty is becoming increasingly challenging

The automotive industry is highly competitive – everyone wants an increased market share and customer loyalty. Customer choices are no longer limited to their immediate geographic area. This has made the competition fiercer. Numerous websites nowadays allow them to compare costs, product benefits and features across dealers. This makes customer loyalty a difficult goal to achieve.

3. Steady lead-generation

Unlike other industries, automotive companies and dealerships don’t have the luxury to rely on frequent return customers. Why? Because for many, cars are not a regular purchase. And before making any purchase, potential buyers spend 75% of their total time and 2.7 months on an average to research and make a decision. It can, therefore, get quite challenging for companies to grab the attention of these prospects and make themselves heard in a noisy market.

How Live Chat service can help automotive dealerships…

Live Chat addresses the above issues you might be facing as an automotive brands / dealerships. Being real-time and round-the-clock, chat support ensures that your website visitors are catered to, anytime and anywhere, and not lose them to competition.

1. Ability to interact with visitors 24/7/365

The ‘always-on’, millennial customer doesn’t have the time or the patience to connect with dealerships via phone calls or by visiting them personally. Likewise, it is not possible for businesses to attend to every customer query promptly and be constantly available via traditional methods. Live Chat enables businesses to aid prospects round-the-clock. Purchasing a car is an important decision and buyers could need assistance regardless of the time of the day. Live Chat helps connect with such visitors and answer their queries in real time- just the way they expect. CommVersion sees 50% of it chats coming outside of the business hours.

2. Improved and personalised customer interactions

Having enough traffic to a great website is of no significance if there is no human connect. Live chat not only allows 24*7 interaction but ensures a personalised communication. Such interactions help businesses understand their visitors well and how best they can cater to their needs. This allows prospects to ask specific questions and have them answered immediately, leaving no room for misunderstanding and ambiguities. Making potential buyers feel valued increases engagement drastically. This, in turn, helps in building customer loyalty.

3. Increased online leads

Companies spend huge amount of their marketing budget to direct visitors to their website and generate leads. However, not many visits result in a lead. The primary reason for this is the lack of real-time interaction on websites. Live Chat service helps you to increase your website sales and significantly reduce bounce rates. Furthermore, personalised communication guarantees an increased possibility of a purchase and a higher level of customer service. A content and happy customer is bound to return and recommend you to acquaintances.

Taking a cue from the Bob Rohrman case

Bob Rohrman Auto Group was like any automotive dealership which liked to engage with their website visitors. However, they saw a decline in visitor engagement and test-drive appointments. “I read the transcripts. All of a sudden, the customer on the chat would say, ‘Hello, is anyone there?’ or, ‘I guess you really don’t want me to buy a car from you.’ It was painful to watch,” Laura Isbell, e-commerce marketing director, stated. The reason? She made the mistake of asking her busy sales personnel to engage with customers online. And engaging with a customer takes dedicated time.
So, what was the way out? Isbell installed Live Chat service of a third-party vendor with 24×7 customer support. As a result, the stores not only got contact information on nearly every visitor, but also saw a significant rise in test-drive appointments scheduled by Live Chat.

Parting thoughts…

Customers today are more sceptical and their demands are increasing. Automotive dealerships must be able to meet the demands of the digital-savvy and ‘always on’ customer – to interact with them the way they want and whenever they need. This is where Live Chat service can make your company approachable and accessible to potential buyers. It can also result in higher sales and more satisfied customers. At CommVersion, we convert up to 40% of all live chats into qualified leads. Click here to register today to get started.