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Auto inventory ads on social media

Are Facebook Inventory Ads Stealing Your Customers?

2019 is the year of social media, and more importantly, the year of Facebook. You and I both know your customers are always on social media, so why aren’t you taking advantage of promoting your inventory right into their News Feed? ActivEngages’ newest feature, Social Advantage, does just that. With this latest implementation, we help enable you to influence your customers’ online shopping experience.

The Diversity Advertising on Facebook Makes

Online consumers are shopping differently. In as little as 5 seconds, a customer decides whether they want to purchase from you or move on. Additionally, there are 30 million shoppers on Facebook Marketplace, imagine reaching that many shoppers and selling that many cars. That’s where ActivEngage comes in. We help you reach your customers wherever they are because, at the end of the day, we’re on the same team.

After our continued success with Facebook implementation in early 2017, ActivEngage is now helping car dealerships leverage Facebook in even more ways with Social Advantage. This powerful suite of tools includes Facebook Messenger, Marketplace uploads, and our new inventory ads. The best part, we manage everything for you. That’s one less thing to worry about so you can focus on the incoming sales. Dealerships that currently utilize this package have the opportunity to increase their unit sales through Facebook feeds with a simple scroll.

ActivEngage and Automotive Inventory Ads

Facebook inventory ads proactively show your current Marketplace inventory to local, in-market auto shoppers. With this new feature, dealers can use Facebook’s advanced targeting data to create dynamic ads based on consumers’ market radius, credit bracket, and car shopping behavior. This results in the opportunity to reach the highest potential customer base yet!

How it works: Shoppers who are actively searching for a vehicle will be targeted to see dealer ads in between friends posts about babies, marriages, and bird videos. Each ad is unique to the individual—if a shopper is searching for SUV’s, ActivEngage targets them with local SUV ads. With this new feature, car dealers will be able to:

    • Increase unit sales
    • Proactively reach car shoppers
    • Target local market
    • Customize ads
  • Measure vehicle sales

But, because some shoppers won’t always convert after seeing an ad once, our tool launches retargeting ads until they do. By retargeting them, you’re giving customers a more engaging and personalized car buying experience. This results in a happier customer and an even better selling experience—go you!

The first conversation you have with a shopper can happen online.

But your customers don’t want to deal with robots. That’s why, once the customer bites, they can chat with one of our knowledgeable messaging specialists. As a dealer, you can feel peace of mind knowing that your customers are in good hands, with a real human.

Show Those Other Guys Who’s Boss

Social Advantage is just the beginning, and we are eager to continue holding the title of the #1 approved chat and inventory partner on Marketplace. Like you, we work hard to remain a leader in this industry. ActivEngage is consistently growing our digital retailing features to turn more of your online shoppers into sales. We can’t wait to share what’s in store for 2019!

30 million Facebook shoppers are clicking on vehicles in Marketplace. Are any of those vehicles yours? To learn more about how we maximize your visibility on Facebook, please visit www.activengage.com/social-advantage.


Alyssa Goolsby

Alyssa is a Customer Support Specialist and growing Digital Content Creator who’s passionate about strategic marketing approaches with a focus on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. When she’s not helping customers or writing content at ActivEngage, you can find her watching Friends or thrifting.


car dealership holiday incentives for busy shoppers

Automotive Marketing: How to Win Over Multitasking Shoppers – Part 3

Welcome to the final part of our 3-part series on how to win over multitasking shoppers at the dealership. In part 1, we went over simple digital marketing tips that help distracted shoppers pay attention to your business during their automotive research. Part 2 was full of helpful ideas on dealership promotions and unique amenities that cater to multitaskers.

Now that we’re at the end of the road, your friends at ActivEngage want to help you capitalize on the busiest time of the year: the holidays. It’s a hectic time for most, going from holiday parties to gift shopping to visiting the family. Help your multitasking, busy shoppers by taking a load off – and earn their business in the process – with these holiday incentives.

Holiday Incentives for Busy Car Buyers

Multitasking customers LOVE convenience, especially since the holidays are always extremely busy. To help them with the pain of having to run to multiple places to get all they need, why not bring what they need directly to them?

Here are some examples of ideas for holiday incentives that entice shoppers to visit your store for a test drive or service:

Wrapping paper/gift-wrapping services

Few things are as tedious as getting Christmas presents. But then you have to wrap them, too. Offer wrapping paper or gift-wrapping services for service customers. That way, your multitasking shoppers can accomplish two tasks at once.

A real-life Santa Claus

It’s a common family tradition to take the kids to see Santa during the holidays. Why not bring the family in to meet the jolly old fellow at your dealership? Have Santa hand out candy canes to spread extra cheer.

Christmas Trees

What could possibly be better than a new car for the holidays? A new car AND a Christmas tree. New car buyers are already feeling the holiday spirit, and you will only reinforce their decision to do business with you by going above and beyond.

For inspiration/motivation, check out how Fairfield Subaru and Preferred Auto Group do Christmas Tree Giveaways:

   

Other Holidays Your Dealership Can Capitalize On

  • Valentine’s Day – Offer flowers and chocolates for their Sweetheart.
  • Independence Day – Pick up your sparklers and fireworks before you head home to the family.
  • Halloween – Give away pumpkins to Service customers.
  • Black Friday – Free coffee or Starbucks gift cards (because your shoppers will be sleepy from getting up so early!)
  • Thanksgiving – Have a Thanksgiving Bake Sale or offer customers a free pie when they come into your service department during the week of Thanksgiving. It could save them time baking or shopping during this holiday, and you’ll get bonus points for being so thoughtful!

Winning the Hearts of Busy Shoppers = Thinking Outside the Box

Saving your multitasking shoppers time, traveling stress, and money during the holidays is a prayer answered for some people. Think outside the box and add to your holiday incentives based on what you think they might need at any time during the year – including all those crazy winter months!

Remember, there’s a reason Starbucks still sells newspapers, and it has everything to do with the added convenience. If you apply that strategy to your dealership, you’ll win the hearts of busy shoppers who will be loyal to your ongoing generosity and thoughtfulness. ‘Tis the season, after all!

Looking for more holiday advice for your dealership? Check out “5 Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer to Your Dealership’s Employees”.

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

 

 

Tips for car dealership promotions and amenities

Automotive Marketing: How to Win Over Multitasking Shoppers – Part 2

Multitasking shoppers are complex car buyers, and therefore, difficult to attract for car dealers. The thing is, the vast majority of your automotive shoppers are multitaskers. How do you sell cars to people juggling their time and attention?

In an effort to help your car business boom in the era of always-on consumers, we created a three-part series of automotive marketing tips to help you win over multitasking shoppers. Part 1 focused on how to win over multitasking shoppers online. Part 2 will focus on ideas for dealership promotions to entice multitaskers to drop the million things they’re doing and drive to your dealership.

 

Increase Dealership Traffic with Dealership Promotions

Oil Change Buddies

No one likes going to the Service Department alone. To appeal to the busy socialite and bring in more fixed ops business for your store, I recommend trying out a promotion in your marketing emails or on social media called, “Friend Day.” Tell your customers that if they bring a friend with them to get an oil change, they get half off their service. Or maybe both the customer AND their friend get half off.

Everyone wants to help a friend out and make time to hang out with them at the same time. Your dealership can help them do both by offering this type of oil change special!

Test Drive Buddies

You can use the “Friend Day” dealership promotions for your Sales Department as well. Just offer to provide both your shopper and their friend a gift card for coming by to test drive a vehicle.

This promotion can be very beneficial to your sales strategy because friends are great influencers. They can help each other determine what vehicle they should buy. What better way to bring them both into the decision-making process than by incentivizing them to come to the dealership together?

Ideas for the gift card:

  • Local restaurants
  • Popular or local retail stores
  • Tickets to concerts or sports teams
  • Movie tickets
  • Gas station gift cards

 

Provide Unique Service Amenities for Multitaskers

Offering free WiFi and snacks for the busy worker is pretty mainstream in dealership Service Departments these days. To stand out from the competition, your dealership needs to take it up a notch by offering unique amenities.

Here are a few examples to inspire the creative and competitor in you:

  • Longo Toyota offers free Wifi AND provides iPads for customers to use while they wait. They also have a Subway and a Starbucks on their property, so customers can choose between a latte or sandwich. Being able to grab lunch while getting an oil change is a multitasker’s dream!
  • DCH Honda of Temecula offers complimentary manicures every Wednesday and Thursday for the busy people who want to get dazzled up while getting their tire fixed. They also provide a kid’s lounge to keep the little ones occupied so working parents can be productive while they wait.
  • Island Lincoln provides a full gym area with weights and cardio equipment for the health-conscious multitaskers who need to have their vehicles serviced but don’t want it to interrupt their typical workout routine.

These amenities can incentivize shoppers who never feel like they have enough time to get errands done during lunch hour…like actually eating lunch!

Looking for more digital marketing tips for your Service and Parts department? Check out our FREE eBook: The Repair Order for Your Dealership’s Fixed Ops Strategy.

If any of these ideas inspire you to offer dealership promotions and unique amenities, don’t forget to talk about them. Put it on your website, make sure your chat team mentions it, share pics and videos on social media, etc. It’s perfectly okay to toot your own horn from time to time!

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

 

 

Multitasking shoppers need digital marketing strategy

Automotive Marketing: How to Win Over Multitasking Shoppers – Part 1

Do you ever have those days where you have a million things to do and haven’t the slightest idea how to get it all done other than to do multiple things at once?

If you answered yes, you might not be surprised to learn that your online shoppers have this problem too. Time is of the essence, and we’re all busy, busy, busy. But to gain more business from the busy crowd, your dealership needs to find ways to grab their attention and make their time worthwhile.

So how do you accomplish this? It’s simple. You offer your shoppers ways to get their other tasks done while they are trying to buy a car or service, and as a result – you win their business! Let’s take a look at a few ways how your dealership might effectively execute an automotive marketing strategy to win more sales and service appointments from today’s multitaskers:

Cater to Second-Screening Consumer Behavior

According to J.D. Power, 53% of consumers use mobile for their automotive research, and that number will undoubtedly increase. Always-on consumers are inherent multitasking shoppers, and to sell to them, you need a mobile marketing strategy.

User-Friendly Mobile Websites

Today’s distracted shoppers prefer mobile-friendly sites that they can browse while watching TV or doing other tasks. A responsive mobile site saves them time, they don’t have to switch devices to interact, and it requires the least effort to find information fast. While (hopefully) the vast majority of automotive websites are already mobile-friendly, they need to be user-friendly as well. Your multitasking car buyers don’t have the attention span to struggle with a bad user experience.

Looking for tips on making your dealership’s mobile site more user-friendly? Check out our FREE eBook: Is Your Dealership Website Mobile-Ready?

Chat with Mobile Shoppers

A responsive mobile website isn’t completely effortless without live chat. Adding a chat or text button to your mobile site allows shoppers to get their questions answered quickly, their decision made, appointment scheduled, and get back to watching their show or doing the other hundred things they have to do in no time at all. Once you turn on mobile conversations, be sure to follow proper mobile chat etiquette. The wrong conversation will drive your busy customers away. Check out “6 Dos and Don’ts of Mobile Conversations” for helpful chat tips.

Appeal to Omni-Channel, Multitasking Shoppers

Car buying is almost a fully omni-channel experience. Your car buyers typically switch between online and offline channels 4 times during the shopping process. Your digital marketing strategy needs to expand beyond your website and traditional advertising. Social media advertising, SEM, and 3rd-party websites are just some of the many options available to your customers when they research vehicles. Successful dealers will capitalize on these new digital sales opportunities by being present — and, they’ll interact with shoppers on these channels.

The era of “traditional chat” is over. Your multitasking shoppers are most likely toggling between Facebook, Craigslist, and your website while they research. Be there when they find your inventory. ActivEngage, for example, lets your team (or ours) chat with busy shoppers wherever they are — social media, search results, digital ads, 3rd-party sites, etc.

The right chat solution will help you broaden your reach while catering to the needs of today’s shoppers. It’s a win for you and a win for your customers, which is precisely what you want!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Setting appointments increases the value of internet leads

The Competitive Advantage of Internet Leads with Appointments

Internet leads from consumers who schedule and keep an appointment have a closing rate of almost 50%. Meanwhile, traditional ups typically close at 20%, says a recent study by PLADOOGLE, LLC.

The study also found that if dealers go above and beyond by having the vehicle cleaned and make the shopper feel special during their showroom appointment, the closing ratio for an Internet lead can exceed 80%!

 

Internet Leads with Appointments Have Significant Value

These statistics are not something to ignore. The evidence is clear that Internet leads have distinct advantages over traditional ups because they:

  • Give the dealer the opportunity to set an appointment, creating a commitment from your shopper
  • Allow dealers to gather valuable information about shoppers’ needs, which they can use to help close the deal
  • Enable the dealer to prepare for a superior showroom room experience, while also developing a lasting relationship via the initial conversation

 

Internet leads with appointments are gold

Expect More From Your Live Chat Provider

With these advantages in mind, there are some essential questions you need to ask your chat team. These questions will ensure you are getting the highest closing ratio possible:

  • Do they set test-drive or service appointments?

  • If you have managed chat, do they make sure your dealership is aware of shoppers arriving in an hour or less?

  • Do they ask questions that help gather the “good to know” information from your shoppers?

If you want the best results from Internet leads, get a chat team that sets appointments and asks the right questions. These two things are ultimately going to help you sell the most cars from live chat.

ActivEngage Sets More Appointments for Your Dealership

At ActivEngage, we’ve always understood the value of getting more foot traffic to your dealership. Our bottom line is your bottom line, which is why the ActivEngage chat team sets both Sales and Service Appointments on your behalf (and sends them directly into your DMS). Out of every chat lead we send our dealer customers, around 20% have a set appointment. 

Leads don’t get sales, people in your showroom do. If you settle for less than that, your chat investment is a waste!

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

 

 

ActivEngage and Mazda Partnership

ActivEngage Selected as Mazda Canada Partner for Live Chat

OEM Leverages Chat to Create Instant Connections with Online Shoppers

Orlando, FL. December 2016—ActivEngage, Inc., the most trusted brand in automotive live chat, announced today that it is now the exclusive provider of live chat services for Mazda Canada Inc.

Today’s car shoppers expect the highest level of service and information from Mazda Canada. In order to meet these expectations, Mazda Canada entrusted ActivEngage’s highly-trained team of Live Chat Specialists with the responsibility of representing the Mazda Canada brand and providing quality chat conversations that surpass the standards of its customer base.

Michael Tsang, Manager of Interactive Marketing at Mazda Canada, commented on the partnership, “We chose to incorporate live chat into our digital marketing strategy in order to keep pace with the rapid changes in consumer preferences and increased expectations online. After comparing multiple chat providers, the ActivEngage team has demonstrated that its live chat team is the best of its kind. We are confident in our decision to provide real-time communication for our customers and look forward engaging the online community on our website.”

On being selected to manage live chat on behalf of Mazda Canada, Ted Rubin, COO of ActivEngage, said, “We are excited to provide our managed chat solution to Mazda Canada. Mazda’s commitment to providing an exceptional online experience to its customers is impressive, and we are equally committed to helping Mazda Canada achieve even greater success.

#

About Mazda Canada:
Mazda Canada Inc. is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer service and parts support of Mazda vehicles in Canada. Headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Mazda Canada has a nationwide network of 165 dealerships. For additional information about Mazda Canada visit: www.media.mazda.ca

About ActivEngage:
Since 2007, ActivEngage has provided the most trusted automotive live chat software and professionally managed chat service to dealerships, automotive groups and manufacturers around the world. With ActivEngage’s web-based software, dealerships can build relationships with their online customers and provide a concierge-level of customer service. ActivEngage also employs professional Live Chat Specialists in its Orlando and Las Vegas offices who are expertly trained to answer inquiries and generate additional sales opportunities on behalf of dealerships. To learn more about ActivEngage, please visit www.activengage.com.

SMS texting at the dealership

3 Ways to Jumpstart Text Conversations with Your Dealership

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you’ve noticed that just about everyone has a smartphone in their hand nowadays. In fact, over 2.8 billion people use the Internet from their smartphones.

But even with the promise of a miniature computer in our pockets 24/7, it’s surprising that more dealerships aren’t leveraging the full potential of mobile engagement via texting.

I mean, real-time communication that’s available for car shoppers at any time in their shopping process is not just invaluable for them, but a great opportunity for your store! Am I right?

If you’re one of the forward-thinking dealers looking for ways to start or improve your texting strategy at your store, check out the tips below:   

Keep a Clean Website Layout

A cluttered website is the number one culprit of consumer confusion and cause of lag time in a shopper’s path to purchase.

For shoppers to engage and text with you, they have to find the “Text Us” button first — and if your website is a convoluted mess, chances are they won’t see it!

So, to help potential buyers find your invitations to text more easily, do a quick run-though to evaluate the effectiveness of your website.

Here are some quick points to look for during the evaluation process:

  • Is there a pop-up ad on the home/VDP page?
  • Are all the main pages accessible from the homepage?
  • Can you easily find the text invite?
  • How many calls-to-action are on one page?

This quick website review is the perfect opportunity to remove the clutter and focus on emphasizing calls-to-action that will move shoppers further down the sales funnel.

And Remember: A “Text Now” button is only as effective as the website it’s on.

Strategically Design Your Website Graphics

Both text invitations and any other graphics on your website need to be strategically created to flow with the theme of the website.

There are a few main focus areas to keep in mind when creating your graphics and text invitations:

  • Color – Design text invitations in line with the color scheme used throughout your site.
  • Design – Keep text invitations as similar as possible to other buttons on your site.
  • Placement – Make text invitations easily visible, and make sure they don’t overlap important information.

Stay away from tacky or flamboyant colors and design. Keep the text invitations simple and place them in an inviting location that doesn’t inconvenience to the customer.

Key Take Away: Consumers will be more reactive to “Text Now” buttons that seem to be a part of the website design rather than a foreign popup or third party provider.

Use Behavioral Advertisements

Billboard advertisements, paper ads, email campaigns, etc., just don’t cut it anymore. It is time to embrace the power of behavioral targeting technology. The ability to personalize an experience by segmenting consumers and providing relevant content can increase consumer follow through significantly.

A Bibliometrics published study, authored by Jun Yan and associates, found that “Click-Through Rate (CTR) of an ad can be averagely improved as high as 670% by properly segmenting users for behaviorally targeted advertising.”

For example, at ActivEngage, implementing custom advertisements with ActivTarget is as easy as contacting your complimentary Customer Success Specialists. ActivTarget is a feature that has been created to allow dealers to provide consumers with relevant content at the right time. The ActivTarget feature tracks viewer habits and will deliver a customized offer or advertisement dependent  on the actions of the consumer.

Bringing It All Together

As the digital age of communication and shopping continues, it is your job to stay current with emerging technologies that can get you ahead or hurt you if you don’t have them. Keeping your website clean and user-friendly, designing chic, but relevant digital graphics, and using strategic targeting strategies to provide customers with deals and promotions that fit theirs needs are the best business practices that will your dealership maintain a steady competitive advantage. After all, maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage is marketing 101. So don’t be afraid to try new techniques and invest in technologies that will aid you in bringing your dealership into the future.

Looking for an SMS texting solution that fits your dealership’s needs? Check out our SMS software capabilities today! 

accountability at the dealership

Accountability: A Manager’s Way to Success

Accountability in the workplace is the paramount method to success. In order to justify your decisions as an owner or manager of a dealership, you have to be able to show the reasons why you are doing something, and so do all of your employees.

If there is an action without a reason, there is no accountability for that action. In all departments of your dealership, actions occur every day that impact your business as a whole. You need to keep track of those actions and how they affect your success.

Ways to Be More Accountable

Set Goals

Goals should be made for all levels of the dealership. What are your Sales goals this month? How much do you expect to receive in return from your marketing efforts? What are your customer service standards that all employees should be following? Goals should be clearly defined and measurable, so that a record can be made to ensure all goals are being met.

Look at the Data

If you don’t know what your goals are or need a better way to understand what your goals should be, look at the data. If you have a way of measuring success and performance, you can easily see where any errors might be occurring, where improvements can be made, or how to excel better at what you are already doing.

One way to find those improvements is through measuring your ROI. You need to track each lead from its origination point to the end sale. Once you are tracking each of your lead sources and the results they provide, you can see which investments were most effective in making a sale and increasing your dealership’s success, and which were less effective in producing results.

Do you have data that can tell if your sales staff is performing at the level they should be? Do they have a sales quota to meet by the end of the month? Are they expected to follow up with customers who recently purchased? Are you keeping track of these expectations?

Discuss Your Expectations

Each position in the dealership has a role to play, and they have specific responsibilities that must be carried out for you all to be successful. You need to communicate your expectations with your employees and make sure they understand their role and what is expected of them to achieve the goals you have set for them.

At ActivEngage, our Chat Specialists go through a monthly check-in process to look at areas of improvement. The rep can then go about implementing the necessary changes throughout the next month, and see how their performance improves. A true professional admits their mistakes and weak areas, and seeks to correct them. We are all professionals, aren’t we?

Also, it is good to note that encouragement before criticism is always best. In those monthly meetings you should address not only what your employee needs improvement on, but you should also let them know what they are doing well. This enhances your employees drive for intrinsic incentives, which are their internal motivators for doing a better job, improving a skill, or making a customer’s experience even better with passion for the work they are performing.

How to Maintain Accountability

Incentives are what motivates people to be accountable and to sustain or improve performance. You can approach maintaining accountability by offering certain incentives for employees who are meeting the goals to keep them motivated. However, there are two different kinds of incentives:

Extrinsic Incentives:

  • Fear of loss (e.g. – loss of a client, money, job, or a business)
  • Hope of gain
  • Rewards
  • Recognition

Intrinsic Incentives:

  • Improving Skills
  • Personal Interest
  • Enjoyment

Most people who are intrinsically motivated are usually already accountable, because they love what they do and are interested in making their work better. Employees may need extrinsic incentives if they do not have an internal motivation to do well, or if they feel they need some kind of reward to demonstrate and accentuate that their performance is worthy of attention and praise by others.

Accountability Builds Trust

When you create an environment of accountability, where your employees know what you expect and they understand how their work affects the dealership’s success, you build a mutual trust between the manager and the employee to ensure that work is done, and done appropriately. You’ll be able to hold your employees responsible for the work that they do, and they can also give you feedback on what they think is no longer working on the manager’s end.

Everyone is accountable to something. Even an owner of a dealership is accountable to that dealership’s success and for providing the tools to the managers and other employees to perform their jobs in a way that improves the business as a whole. It should be a collective decision to be accountable in order to deliver the results you are looking for and to reach your potential as a truly successful business.

live chat tips for slow car sales

4 Steps to Increase Unique Visitors, Leads, and Test Drives with Live Chat During the Slower Months

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

But before you jump off the bicycle and stop moving, there are a few steps you could take – with live chat – to tip the chart from down to more ups and to keep moving your sales forward.

Combat Slow Car Sales Months With Live Chat

Step #1: Increase UV Traffic by Promoting Your Chat

When it comes to Internet leads, according to CDK Digital Marketing, the main source of the problem for dealerships during the slow car sales months is declining organic search traffic. And as a result, you often have less unique visitors on your website.

Some of the common ways you can increase traffic to your website during these months are by improving your SEO strategy, using urgency in your ads, nurturing your service customers via email, and other inbound marketing methods to get shoppers to click to your website.

However, it’s also always a good idea to let shoppers know that your dealer site has a live chat specialist ready and waiting to answer their questions personally because for some shoppers, that’s their ideal method of communication.

One effective strategy we recommend to increase unique visitor traffic to your website is to promote your live chat service on your social media platforms, in your advertising, and even on your radio and TV commercials. Tell shoppers to stop by your website and ask a Chat Specialist about your latest inventory, incentives, and specials.

In your promotions, be sure to hit on shopper pain points to drive more traffic:

  • Tell them they won’t have to wait on hold. Nobody likes to wait – especially car buyers who would prefer a text-based communication anyway. Instant answers. A faster process. This is what the modern shopper wants.
  • Tell them they can get the personal attention they deserve right now. Customers love feeling special, and hate feeling like they are “just a number.”
  • Tell them they can get help on narrowing their options. Not all shoppers know exactly which vehicle they want and if you have what they are looking for. By letting them know they can get help with their options, you are saying that you are saving them time and they don’t have to go through the hassle of filtering through all of your inventory.

Todd Caputo, President, and Owner of Sun Chevrolet, regarding his experience with promoting his chat service, said,

“We occasionally mention our live chat service in our 30-minute infomercials on Sundays. Some people like to use email or phone; some people like to chat. By letting people know they have multiple options for contacting us, we can drive the most business to our dealership.”

And that’s exactly what you need to make sure you are doing during the slow car sales months – driving the most business to your website and into your showroom!

But once you get shoppers to your website, how do you get them to start a chat conversation?

 

Step #2: Get Behavioral Graphics to Increase Chats

Once you get shoppers to arrive on your dealership’s website, the next step toward getting them to your showroom is encouraging customers to chat with you.

So what’s the best proactive method for starting more conversations on your dealership’s website? Well, it’s all about the chat invite graphics and delivering the right message at the right time.

ActivEngage does this through what we call, “Behavioral Chat Graphics.” Behavioral Chat Graphics are designed to send targeted messages to shoppers on the dealership website based on their behavior and perceived intentions.

For example, you can target a customer who has just opened the Finance Application page with a message that could dispel any doubts or feelings of uncertainty about their credit history by using a message like,

“We will ensure this is your best car buying experience ever, regardless of your credit background!”

By delivering targeted messages, you can relieve shopper doubts, entice them to click to learn about specials, and more!

So once they click to chat, what’s next?

 

Step #3 (for Service): Discover Your Customer’s Needs and Promote Fall Service Packages During Chat to Increase Leads

Once shoppers click to chat, it’s important to determine what their needs are and to promote your dealership’s unique offerings.

During the slow car sales months, this is essentially considered “Aftermarket Season” for car dealers as many shoppers look to winterize their vehicle before the snow hits.

And something to consider is the many customers who use chat to get their fixed ops questions answered. In fact, 30% of chat conversations are related to fixed ops, and depending on your brand, that percentage can be even higher. So to take the most advantage of this time of year, make sure your live chat service is promoting your service packages.

Chat representatives have a huge advantage in their power of suggestion. When a shopper chats about their service needs, your chat agents can start the upselling process by mentioning your service package options.

Note: Chat reps can also suggest options for inventory models, essentially opening up options that the shopper hadn’t even considered for their next car, just by recommending them!

Now that your shoppers are interested, how do you coax them away from the fireside and into the driver’s seat or service bay?

 

Step #4 (for Sales): Create a Fall Test Drive Event with Live Chat Bonus Incentives to Increase Service Appointments and Test Drives

Sometimes shoppers need a little extra push to get them in the door, and that’s why you create awesome events with incentives!

One idea you can use to boost not only test drives but also chat leads with appointments is to create a Fall Test Drive Event. For this event, you would incentivize your shoppers to come into the dealership to test drive vehicles during the slow car sales months of the year. And for that time frame, if shoppers come in to test drive a car, they would receive a gift for bringing or showing a copy of their chat transcript (something that could easily be pulled up on their phone email!).

Gift ideas for this event would be something like a gift card, or a free pumpkin, or a Winter Car Kit – something fun, helpful, or relevant to the season!

Then you would promote your event all over the place – on social, ads, emails, on your website, and especially in your chats!

It’s important that once you’ve designed your event and how you want to execute it to make sure to inform your managed chat service or in-house chat team of a few things:

  1. The timeframe of the event.
  1. Who is eligible to receive the gift – New car shoppers only? Used car shoppers? Shoppers who are leasing? Service customers?
  1. If you’re an automotive group, are all of your locations hosting this event?

This way, the chat team knows the details of the event so they can promote it in their conversations and get you more test drive appointments!

Note: You can also use this incentive for when shoppers come in for service of course! Just tell them to show you their chat transcript when they come in for an oil change, and you’ll give them a discount or one of the other great gifts listed above!