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Chat Challenge: Show Me Your Chat

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by JD Rucker, Mar 13, 2014.

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  1. JD Rucker

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    What makes for great chat software or managed services in the automotive industry? I want to know. At Dealer Authority, we don't offer chat, but it's becoming more of a concern as we work with dealers across the country on their general digital marketing needs. I'm not a chat expert, so I need help from the community.

    Whose chat works well? Whose does not? What are some best practices? I'd like to hear from dealers AND vendors on this one if possible, please

    I'd also like to offer a challenge. To any chat company willing to show me your statistics, case studies, pitches, whatever, I'm willing to listen. The goal is to find out who we (and anyone else) should recommend. Is anyone really the best or is chat just... well, chat?

    Please let me know if you're up for the challenge. Dealers, please comment about your experiences as well.
     
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  3. joe.pistell

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  4. Daniel J. Mondello

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    Love Shereef from CarChat one of the more solid dudes in Automotive Software space for sure. That said, at the end of the day chat is chat. Yes you need to have it, yes it works, and if you didn't have it you might expect to see a lower conversion due too the fact that "chatters" are not the same as traditional phone and email ups. I think that chat is most effective when your website is less effective. When navigating your site is a clunky operation chat can certainly bridge the gaps.

    I'm not particularly fond of chat. I don't like the idea of someone else representing my dealership(s) however I become deathly ill when thinking about how much worse it would be if we had our "BDC" managing the chat sessions. DISASTER!

    I will continue to use CarChat24 because in my experience in this business it isn't everyday that the owner of a company will call me to let me know that he's seeing some less than stellar results on my websites using his product and that he wants to fully investigate and come up with a game plan to get us back on track. I don't know how many client's CarChat has but I always get what I consider VIP treatment from CarChat24.

    But again Chat's are all pretty much same (give or take a few differences) CarChat24's customer service and openness are what keep us a loyal and satisfied customer.

    My advice is to make certain that whoever you end up using for Chat hires within the united states or at a minimum employees chatters who are more than fluent in English and has an option for Spanish. We've had experiences where the language barrier becomes a business blockade. I'm thinking back to the old days when I used to have to call Dell customer support (Nightmare.)
     
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  5. Alex Snyder

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    All chats are technically the same, but not all managed services are. There are some out there that incentivize their own staff heavily on lead capture (not sure how CarChat24 incentivizes their staff). I have seen the quality of those leads, once delivered to the dealer, as UNBELIEVABLY bad. Most only come through as an email address. Barely any inform the dealer why they're reaching out to this customer. And in all the cases I've measured, like this, the closing ratios have been less than 1%. A lot of time wasted, on the dealer's part, under the guise that "you're getting a lot of leads from our managed chat service."

    Any managed chat service that talks about "leads" should be looked at hyper-critically.

    I want a managed chat service that answers my customer's questions relevantly and only hits the "hot" button (submits a lead to my staff) after they've collected a First Name, Last Name, Email address or Phone number and at least a New or Used heads up as to what kind of car the customer is interested in. I also don't want to see leads from my managed chat provider that have less than 3 back and forths between the customer and the operator.
     
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  6. Todd Caputo

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    I am very please with Active Engage. It provides 40% of the leads to usedcarking
     
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  7. JD Rucker

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    That's two - CarChat24 and ActivEngage. Who else?
     
  8. Daniel J. Mondello

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    Todd any stats on how the Chat box in the search bar performs? I find that placement highly intuitive as well as imaginative.
     
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  9. mcampo2501

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    I believe there are an endless amount of chat providers, and I don't think it would be doing the forum any favours to point out the ones that are just okay. Contact at once deserves consideration due to their connection with cars.com and autotrader. CarChat24 and ActiveEngage are the only other real players. That said, I've used all of them at one point or another.

    As previously stated, a lot of the evaluation should hinge on how you intend to use the chat. For fully managed chat, I really don't believe it gets better than CC24. They are one of only two vendors I have complete faith in. The quality of lead they bring in is outstanding, and close at or above the goal rate I look for. I know it's hard to get on board with someone on chat not being able to answer a customer question, but you have to ask yourself first what your expectation is for your phone receptionist. Is he or she required to answer all questions, or transfer calls to the right department/person? Obviously it's the latter, so why would chat have different expectations. The difference is your phone operator probably isn't getting a phone number, email address, name, and vehicle interest before transferring the call.

    Having such solid chat results has actually led me to reevaluate how our phones are answered. It's too bad CC24 doesn't take inbound phone traffic...
     
  10. Ralph Ebersole

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    J.D. As you know by your e-mail and messages, I am. Our organization is an open book. Let me know when you are ready.
     
  11. JD Rucker

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    Sounds like three nominees. I know a bit about all three, though just enough to be dangerous. Thank you to those who reached out privately. I'll be looking forward to sharing the numbers, pros, and cons.
     

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