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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

    Jeff Kershner
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    Yago, not sure why you disagree with me. I'm not questioning if Chat after hours is valid. I'm questioning the dealer community - would they rather have a bad chat session after hours (like the example I have posted) or no chat at all.

    What influence does that bad chat have on the customers overall perception of the dealership?

    Like to see more opinions on this one... @kevinfrye@kevinfrye @Joe Webb@Joe Webb @Kelly Wilson@Kelly Wilson @skeetle@skeetle @Jason@Jason @Eley Duke@Eley Duke @bzweifel@bzweifel ...
     
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  3. Jeff Kershner

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    IF I have the proper staff and bandwith, I keep chat in-house while working with a top tier chat service that offers the best outsourced chat BDC in order to grab chat sessions during off hours and over flow for when my BDC isn't able to grab the chat within a timely manner.

    Before continuing to pay for outsourced chat during off hours and weekends, I would consider taking the time to evaluate the chat sessions that are happening during off hours. Sales AND Service chats. Then base my decision from there.

    I do know this - If this were my my dealership and I was tracking frequent chat session that sent down like this one, they would no longer have my dealership as a client.
     
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  4. joe.pistell

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    Speaking of "...the customers overall perception of the dealership", Consider discussing that irritating, floating, shopper harassing chat box.
     
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  5. yagoparamo

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    Jeff,

    I argue having/not having chats based on one conversation. Check your phone calls, emails, autoresponders, etc, would you shut those down? Plenty of those don't get answered correctly.

    The answers is no, you will not shut down your phones. You will work on the phone skills, email, and auto responders until they start to sound correct and working. You will fine tunes your sales team internally or hire someone like Jerry Thibeau and get better. But you will to shut down the phones.

    One poorly answered chat (or phone call, or email) makes no difference on a dealer's overall business, how we work to correct it the issue does.

    However I wanted to bring one important dynamic to the conversation and it is the equation of chat cost/dealer expectation. An equation that will play dramatically on technology vendors (specially websites and crm vendors) in the next few years ahead.
     
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  6. Alex Snyder

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    Big difference between chat and the rest is the majority of the consumers elect to engage in the chat tool because they can't find the answer to their question within the body of your website. They're not saying "okay I'm ready to begin the hounding process with you Mr. Dealer" like they are when they submit a lead or pick up the phone.

    If the people manning the chat are paid on getting a consumer's contact info for a conversion metric you are ticking some customers off who are not ready to engage that deeply. Not to mention the predatory perception those damn floating chat boxes create.

    Do you really gain or lose business having chat?

    For the record, I think chat is a fantastic consumer engagement tool when implemented well. I still haven't seen it implemented well in our industry.
     
  7. yagoparamo

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    100% disagree on everything.

    Majority of emails are also looking for answers (price, quotes, availability, etc) pretty similar to chat. Furthermore, very few questions can be found on a website other than hours of operation and inventory related (starting negotiation price and some options in the unit).

    Chat is another way of communication. No more no less.

    If you look outside the automotive industry almost every other industry (banking, airlines, cell phones, etc) force you to enter your contact information before they will chat with you or it is one of the first things they will ask you what you use their systems.

    Anonymous chats are discouraged in almost every industry.

    Here is the difference in mindset: some people think that I need your name and number to hound you after you chat with me. On the other hand Bank of America, Comcast, Sprint, etc look at it from the point of customer support (disconnection issues, quality control issues, follow up with support issues).

    Step up. Chat done right is not $299/month. Nor every dealer will be able to find the staff and train them to be great at chat (lets actually start with phone skills if you are going to spend some money). There is no mystery on chat, it is just another way of communication tat fortunately you can keep open 24/7 (that is actually its advantage).
     
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  8. Alex Snyder

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    Spoken like someone who sells chat Yago. And I really like it when you disagree with me ....usually means I'm doing something right ;)

    However I think we're nearly saying the same thing in that neither of us believe chat has been done right. Dealers haven't made the investment in it to make it right.
     
  9. yagoparamo

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    Yes, we do sell chat. Not a focus revenue source for us but a product we believe is necessary for a full digital dealer and definitely integrated with the website platform.

    Probably you are correct on that, I strongly believe that the tools are only as good as the dealer wants to make them work. We are in the age where buying advertisement alone just doesn't cut it. Dealer must understand it, work on it, modify it, etc. My most successful dealers, probably same as yours, are the ones that go to the conferences, read the forums, follow your newsletter, etc.
     
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  10. subi101

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    I 100% disagree with your statement Jeff and I agree with Joe and Yago. (Okay... give me a minute. I'm letting my previous sentence settle in... never thought i'd say that! :cool: ) (and Alex I'm coming from the perspective of someone who has also set up BDC/Internet Departments for small and medium sized groups).

    Joe and Yago have a point. "To err is human." Managed chat vs in house doesn't matter... you still have individuals responding who are capable of making a mistake or reading too quickly that you said Nissan 4 runner instead of Toyota. Now, THAT was a particularly terrible scenario and that individual needs serious training or a new career path, but to assess whether after hour chats are bad idea based on a couple of bad examples is unfair.

    I implemented a non-industry inexpensive managed chat software (I had to pay out of my pocket to test it) and armed my teams with scripts, shortcuts, techniques that I learned from handling them myself first. They took chats at all hours. There was a team of 4 individuals responsible for making sure those chats were answered and someone was always on call over holidays. I don't care what any "study" says, in 3 different dealer groups in 3 different states and cities over 5 years, I gathered that my most qualified leads were coming from chat.

    Even more exciting? When I extended after hours, it was our highest volume of lead activity. This allowed me to remove paid leads and I will forever stick to the notion that chat leads are a wonderful thing IF handled well. I am a girl who loves her numbers, so I don't make these assumptions easily. I tracked and followed and gathered my evidence. BUT, my last dealership wasn't structured in such a way to give after hour chats or even regular chats to anyone. So, I tested and checked around and picked a managed chat. I have incredibly high standards and found one that I liked. Is it the best solution in my opinion?... no! But if you keep your vendor partners accountable and share your concerns, they generally don't take it lightly.

    I had a great partner who handled my chats really well. I kept an eye on them and make sure the chats were handled with the same tone and customer service touch that I wanted my leads to be handled with. Were there complaints I had from bad chats? Sure! But it wasn't any more than my own staff handling them.

    To err... is human afterall.
     
  11. subi101

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    And for the record... I don't sell chat. :-P
     

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