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This may be why you don't Outsource your Chat on off hours..

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by Jeff Kershner, Dec 14, 2014.

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  1. Jeff Kershner

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    And this may be why you DO NOT outsource your off hour website chat. If you do outsource your chat sessions, or you're considering it - you may want to mystery shop the service before you sign up.

    Take a look at this chat I had with a dealership today, Sunday. The dealership is closed and Heather does NOT work for the dealership.

    Please wait. An operator will be with you shortly.

    Heather Gordan says: Hello Todd, my name is Heather Gordan. How may I assist you today?
    Todd says: Ive been looking at the Nissan 4Runner and wanted to know if they have the option for rear seat tv's with dvd player?
    Heather Gordan says: yes
    Todd says: Oh great! Do you control it from the front unit or are there controls in the back seat area?
    Heather Gordan says: I believe it's in the back.
    Todd says: Are you open today?
    Heather Gordan says: no we are closed today
    Todd says: When would be best for me to stop in an speak with you personally? Will you be there Monday?
    Heather Gordan says: I'm not in sales. I can set you up an appointment with someone if you would like
    Todd says: okay. But since we have been talking will you be around Monday?
    Heather Gordan says: sure. what time is good for you?
    Todd says: What time do you close?
    Heather Gordan says: 9
    Todd says: Heather, you're a women of many words. :-)
    Heather Gordan says: Is there a good phone number and email address for you?
    Todd says: why do you need that?
    Heather Gordan says: To set up an appointment
    Todd says: Do you have a White Nissan 4Runner in stock?
    Heather Gordan says: Let me check on that for you. One moment please
    Heather Gordan says: I'm sorry I don't see any Toyota 4Runners in stock at the moment
    Todd says: Well that's not good. I guess I'll try another dealer. Thanks.

    ...and that was it. ​

    Some would say a chat session is better than no chat session. But I have always argued that. I as a consumer, after a chat like this, I'm out. There's a high chance your off my list for good and I'm not revisiting.

    This particular outsourced chat example VS No chat during off hours? Which one would you rather have?

    Do you think a chat like this has any influence on the consumer?
     
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  3. Bill Simmons

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    I vote "no chat" would be better than that one. There is very little chance the customer would want to recontact that dealership during business hours.
     
  4. joe.pistell

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    JK's topic suggests "chat vs no chat"? Shoppers like chat. IMO, the topic should read: "Does your Chat Vendor suck?"

    Chat vendors hire and train reps to deal with people.
    Your store hires and trains reps to deal with people.

    and we all know... People can fall short


    Read your chat transcripts AND hold your chat vendor responsible for the quality you'd expect.
     
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  5. joe.pistell

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    Mornin' Bill,

    Chat transcript reads:

    Heather Gordan says: I'm sorry I don't see any Toyota 4Runners in stock at the moment
    Todd says: Well that's not good. I guess I'll try another dealer. Thanks

    Heres how I see it:
    Chat or no chat, the shopper is leaving. The dealer has ZERO 4Runners in stock.

    This is a BUSINESS problem. IMO, not only do you need to train your reps with word tracks to get around this business problem, your chat vendor should already have a "zero inventory talk track" solution well defined in their internal processes. I'd get on the phone and ask to speak to the chat manager of my account and hold them accountable.


    More Insight:
    95% of shoppers don't chat. By reading he chat, we've got a highly unusual shopper that's chatted BEFORE looking for a 4Runner. This chat allows everyone to see what happens when your silent 4Runner shoppers find you have none in stock (they say to themselves "Well that's not good. I guess I'll try another dealer.")
     
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  6. Alex Snyder

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    Outside of the car business I've found chat to either be supremely helpful or a total waste of time. In the latter case I typically seek alternate options for spending my money. It has been helpful when the employee was either capable of taking my order (confusing ordering system on the website) within the chat or was very knowledgeable of the product. The worst ones are when it seems like the other person has no clue what business he or she is actually supported (a managed chat service more than likely...out of India).

    I loathe managed chat. My personal opinion is totally based on creating and running my own BDC where I was capable of monitoring chats and training my people. I know I'm different than the average person out there because I like to roll up my shirt sleeves and I'm smart enough to figure out a path around problems. Although I can't continue to stroke my own ego when it came to the final results of our chatting ROI because I didn't think it was that great. However, I can absolutely say we were better than any managed chat service. I was never fond of chat at Checkered Flag; nor were my employees. Admittedly, we stuck to it because everyone else did it. I know better now.

    In my years of reading chat transcripts (comparing to what I see from a few clients I keep tabs on today) I think more and more that chat should be manned solely by individuals who are extremely product savvy. And the chat should be specific to product questions without a push for getting contact info or an appointment. When chat operators are incentivized toward conversions the customer experience is significantly impacted.

    Which leaves me with this conclusion:
    The car customer who starts a chat is doing so because they cannot find the answer to their question on your website. They're not in a position to pick up the phone nor do they have the patience to wait for you to email them back on a contact us form. In most cases their preference is remain stealth because they're not far enough along in the purchase process to make themselves known to you yet. When your chat representative is paid on converting that customer to a lead, appointment, up, etc you are creating an adversarial environment. My opinion: if you have to pay for conversions, take chat off your website.
     
  7. Jeff Kershner

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    Joe, I was trying to keep the conversion a bit more specific to bad Chat (outsourced) during OFF hours VS No Chat at all. The "Does your Chat Vendor suck?" it too broad and too obvious. There's no fun in that.

    Many dealers are chatting in house with shoppers during business hours and then outsourcing during off hours. There are a few services that provide this option (if not all of them now). The dealers using this option maybe not be a quick to mystery shop their own outsourced chatting service since most of it is performed in house. This is potentially a great example of just that.
     
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  8. Jeff Kershner

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    I'm surprised no one has taken notice, but I purposely asked for a Nissan 4Runner. Nissan DOESN'T MAKE THE 4Runner. That's a Toyota. So here we have an outsourced service that's chatting for a Nissan dealership during off hours, I asked if they had any Nissan 4Runner's in-stock, only to be told no. Well of course not.

    Let that settle in...

    Now maybe we can use Joe's suggested title "Does Your Chat Vendor Suck".
     
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  9. joe.pistell

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    From the shoppers POV, the perfect chat rep is a concierge. Someone that's willing to run around the building to get answers (service) and a product specialist that can give great advice (sales).

    Chat shoppers will run you ragged, but, if it's done right a shopper will like the concierge experience and consider it part of the unique dealer experience.

    Funding this position takes balls and vision. IMO, because the concierge "sees it all", they should report to the GM, or, the Digital Marketing Manager (who reports to the GM).
     
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  10. yagoparamo

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    Issue that I see is that while the vendor may suck at times... so may the person working at the dealer.

    I sold cars and worked at the dealer, so don't take this as an insult by any means but... sometimes the person at the dealer answering that chats also sucks.

    So it is a matter of training, not whether chat after hours is good or bad.

    There is another issue beyond training, and that is how much is the dealer willing to pay for chat. We are in the industry of "negotiating for negotiating" and not asking the right questions. When you agreed to pay for 24/7 answered chat for $299/month did you really think that made sense? We sell full service chat, and without disclosing pricing so JK doesn't scream fault for promoting my services I want to point out that dealers ask me all the time if the people answering chats are U.S. based. My answer is simple: "Do you think we can afford to pay anyone n the U.S. based on the numbers we agreed upon today?"

    There is a balance between cost and service, and that is what you need to figure out (this biz title way too much towards cost upon signing then suffer the consequences of poor service). But I completely disagree with JK that the questions should be whether chat after hours is valid.

    Good chat after of doing hours is valid, and that is what you need to find.
     
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  11. joe.pistell

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