• Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.

Cars.com & Facebook Product

Apr 3, 2019
16
10
8
First Name
Jim
Has anyone used the Cars.com Facebook product? According to this article, 40% of all chats turn into leads:

https://www.mobilemarketer.com/news/how-carscom-drives-a-40-chat-to-lead-conversion-rate-on-facebook/545127/

We use the company for its core product and its a reasonable price to upgrade for this feature, especially if 40% of the time a lead will walk in after having already conversed with us so we know more about where they are in the process. Just curious if others have used any of their Facebook products as we are keen to try it.
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,674
1,097
114
Ontario, Canada
First Name
Craig
I have not had any experience with their solution, but with a lead percentage that high they're probably starting every conversation with "Can I get your email address or phone number in case we get disconnected" and then sending that through as a lead, even if the person only asks a simple question.

I'm sure it's possible that this is not the case, but 40% seems awfully high from the numbers I've seen from internal and other vendors.

By the looks of this article, they're using their Ana bot to handle the chats, so it's also possible that the bot just collects that information and passes it along as well. I still haven't experienced an AI chat that can answer the simplest of questions, such as business hours, confirm availability of a car, actually schedule an appointment, etc.

Moving forward, what does Cars.com's relationship with Facebook Messenger look like?
SKINNER-RICKETTS: We are continuing to refine our AI technology and Ana Bot gets smarter with every consumer interaction, helping to improve both the shopper and dealer experience on Facebook Messenger.
 
  • 1
Reactions: Alexander Lau

Dave Lemmon

Getting Refreshed
Nov 3, 2015
53
31
8
Columbus, Ohio
First Name
David
I think 40% is low. You're talking about people who searched Marketplace, found a very specific used vehicle they liked, opened a chat, and started conversing with the dealer. If 60% of those people aren't a lead, that seems fishy to me. We are an approved inventory provider for Marketplace and log the conversations. I see dealers doing it themselves, dealers using Gubagoo, LivePerson, CarNow and other providers. All have better conversions than 40%.

1. How do you manage SMS or chat leads now? Do you have a provider that you like? If so, why turn your conversations over to cars.com's AI?
2. What does their reporting look like? If they aren't reporting impressions, unique conversations, using a tracking number, tracking click to calls, and maybe most importantly, reporting on average time to response...it isn't robust enough.
 
Apr 3, 2019
16
10
8
First Name
Jim
My initial reaction was similar to @craigh, but you make an interesting point @DAVE. My only issue is it is the numbers appear too high. Inventory on Marketplace per provider is still in its early stages so getting 218k chats must be more that first finding a car one is interested in. But I take your general point as these potential customers being predisposed already. Given that, we should be paying less per lead than in other circumstances that come from here. On your second question, since we don't use it, I don't know - but I think those are all important questions. We can go to our rep on this (or if anyone else knows...)
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,674
1,097
114
Ontario, Canada
First Name
Craig
I think 40% is low. You're talking about people who searched Marketplace, found a very specific used vehicle they liked, opened a chat, and started conversing with the dealer. If 60% of those people aren't a lead, that seems fishy to me.
This is a great point. I was including general Facebook chats in my response, but if this is on Marketplace leads than the number makes sense.
I can still see many of these being "leads" generated by the customer having a question the "AI" can't answer.

I agree with Dave though - if this traffic is high quality, why trust it to skip logic and automated responses?
 
  • 1
Reactions: Alexander Lau

ed.brooks

Sr. Refresher
Jan 15, 2010
1,112
659
113
First Name
Ed
When venders all try and prove their product works....and confuse the customer in the process on a Facebook Marketplace chat.


View attachment 4122
To me it looks like the dealer has two chat vendors active at the same time in Facebook Messenger (CarNow and DealerInspire). Dealers, you can't do that! Pick one. When you have two active at the same time, you get this bad customer experience.