There is no question that the Internet has had a fundamental impact on the retail landscape. In many sectors, online shopping has literally decimated brick and mortar outlets, with the majority of consumers preferring to order goods online instead. Even in industries that have maintained a strong physical presence in communities, like car dealerships, the exposure to many different brands and dealership options that the Internet has fostered has led to a massive spike in competition, and dealerships are increasingly turning to new online tools to engage customers and maintain current sales levels.
One of the most powerful tools for driving increased sales online is automotive live chat software. Automotive live chat software works through a dealership’s website but is operated by a third-party provider with their own remote sales team. The live chat provider’s remote sales staff engages visitors to a dealership’s website and is given access to the dealership’s inventory so they can field questions about which makes and models are available at what prices while also providing information about upcoming sales and special offers. The chat provider’s salespeople can even book potential customers appointments for test drives and help them fill out applications for financing.
In many cases, a chat provider’s sales team will be the first dealership representatives a potential customer is in contact with, which allows them to filter leads and ensure that only the most serious queries are sent on to the dealership’s sales team. Many website visitors are simply looking for information about store location and hours and having chat personnel handle these queries allows dealership staff focus on doing what they do best: helping potential customers on their journey toward a sale.
As a way of leveraging the full potential of a dealership’s website, the advantages of chat software are clear, which may be why it has rapidly become a standard industry tool. At the same time, chat providers like Florida-based Gubagoo have continued to develop their service to provide an ever more sophisticated range of tools to bear on the online sales process. For example, Gubagoo recently revealed their Behavioral Engagement and Scoring Technology (B.E.A.S.T.) software, which uses the power of data to gather information on website visitors and create profiles based on their searches and interests. This in turn allows sales representatives to approach them with targeted deals based on their interests and drastically increasingly the likelihood that a casual browser will be converted to a serious lead.
There is no question that the winners in this new automotive sales economy will be those who are best able to incorporate the best digital tools on the market into their sales strategies. Digital is the primary channel for influencing customers and providing them with information, and dealerships that are unable to adapt to a marketplace where most consumers make their important shopping decisions online will struggle to retain customers. New software tools, on the other hand, can play a vital role in helping dealerships capitalize on the opportunities that come with a digital marketplace — but only if they are adopted before they become mainstream, so if you don’t want your dealership to fall behind, invest in new customer engagement tools today.