These are extraordinary times. I wake up every morning to what seems to be a completely new world. There is no roadmap to determine how to operate, but everyday work is still being done. People and teams are helping each other, in both simple and monumental ways. It is all heroic. That is what I use to keep me going. I can plug into that feeling and allow it to help carry me forward.
In the spirit of helping others, I wanted to offer some insight into how customers are interacting with dealerships nationwide during COVID-19. As ActivEngage continues to have online conversations with shoppers across the country 24/7, we’re seeing the following trends:
Lead volume is holding steady overall, while our engagement volume is up slightly. We have found that customers are still visiting stores and retail sites looking for information. Speaking with many of our dealers, sales from these leads are still happening, though lead times are slightly longer. Conversations are also about 23% longer. It often feels like customers are just looking for a live representative to interact with and answer questions. It seems like it is a personal connection thing. These engagements appear to be quite valuable, and the conversations are pushing buyers forward.
In areas where there are dealership shutdowns, customers are still looking to purchase. We are seeing that digital retailing tools like Darwin, Roadster, CDK Connected Store, Modal and our newest tool, Revolve, are getting more attention than normal. Many customers are asking about delivery for Sales and PickUp/DropOff for Service. Customers in heavier hit areas are especially interested in these services, and they will resort to working with dealers further from them if they’re able to accommodate these options.
The content of the communications has changed little. There is more time spent on pleasantries, and there is a genuine feeling of concern for each other. There has been some uncertainty about how an in-person interaction would work. Each dealer should define this well, so it can be easily communicated to your customers through any channel. People are scared, so empathy is key. They need clear and concise direction navigating these interactions. They still need to get around, and they still need your services. So, your concern for them and their wellbeing will go a long way.
Finally, our team is here for you, and our people are all working to help you and your customers the best that we can.
All of our teams are in force; Customer Service, Chat & Text Services, Training, Development, etc. We are supporting all of our dealer partners just as before. If you have specific messages, hours, processes or details that you would like us to convey, please reach out to your representative and let us know. The more personal we can make the conversation with your customer, the more it will benefit both you and them. We are your managed solutions partner, and we are at your service now and always.