The automotive industry is one of the many industries that was hit hard by the pandemic. Showrooms emptied out as consumers could no longer step inside and dealers had difficulty finding inventory due to chip shortages. The journey to the sale changed for both consumer and dealer. The buying process that involved kicking tires and a handshake agreement is no longer possible as the entire process has shifted online.
Prior to the shutdown, consumer habits were already transitioning to online vehicle research through dealership and aggregator sites. Even still, customers had to go to the dealer to fill out paperwork and to pick up the car. Fast forward to today, we see that the process has shifted to an entirely digital experience. This includes communication and the need for building strategies around automotive sales chat which has become stronger than ever to generate sales and retain customers.
Web chat is the method of choice for many consumers as it often allows for an anonymous shopping experience and gives the ability to gather more information. Successful dealerships have made chat a focal point of their communication efforts and it’s easy to understand why.
Instant follow up
In the automotive industry, customers usually take time to decide which car to buy. Potential consumers will do research at night, on the weekends, and even while they are at work before they visit a dealership showroom. If a customer seems interested over web chat, company representatives can follow up. Consumers might also have questions regarding inventory and pricing, which gives dealerships the opportunity to build a relationship with the consumer.
Use of visual aids
The decision making process for a customer can be enhanced through the use of visual aids like images, infographics and videos. If a customer asks for a particular model of vehicle, attaching images in the chat will help visualize what the car looks like in detail. It’s possible to include a video walk around of the vehicle and product sheets to give additional specifications.
Connect customers with the right salesperson
In every sales team, different representatives may be more effective at closing different types of customers. With web chat, through some dealer-specific qualifying questions, customers can be connected to the sales people that they might work better with thereby generating more sales for the dealership.
Scheduling through chat
When the customer has identified the vehicle of choice, they will want to come see it in person or take it for a test drive. Chat gives sales people the opportunity to schedule appointments and provides the dealership opportunities to schedule service after the sale. Links can be given for calendars or for follow-ups by text, letting the customer communicate when and where they want.
Auto for Autos
One of the main complaints dealers have about chat is they don’t have staff to manage the conversation. With a mixture of automated and live conversations, dealers can have the ability for customers to ask repetitive questions that may be answered through a knowledgebase. When the customer asks a complex question in the chat or needs to speak with a live person, they can easily connect. This gives customers the opportunity to self-help before engaging with a representative and it gives the dealership the ability to focus on other things as repetitive questions are handled by the chat widget.
Chat can be an effective way for customers and dealers to communicate digitally. Conversations can easily transition to SMS text if the consumer needs to leave their computer. Botsplash offers chat, SMS text, and other digital messaging services for dealers making communication easy and efficient. If you are looking for chat that is customizable, feature-rich, and allows greater engagement with customers, consider chatting with us and learn more. Botsplash can help you be where your customers are.
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