Why Your Dealership’s Live Chat Team Needs Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to absorb emotional cues and use it to guide behavior. It’s essentially the combination of personal and social competence, and it affects how well we interact with others.

The most important thing your dealership needs to know about emotional intelligence is that your live chat team should have it.

Why does EI matter in live chat?

Your dealership’s website is the online equivalent of your showroom. Customers expect the SAME quality of service when they click to chat that they receive when walking onto your lot.

What a chat representative says in a conversation with your shoppers will always be a reflection of your dealership.

An emotionally intelligent chat rep will ensure your shoppers have a positive consumer experience – resulting in more leads, more sales, and a positive reputation for your store.

But what exactly makes an emotionally intelligent chat team? And how do you know whether your chat provider trains them to have a high emotional IQ?

Traits of Emotionally intelligent chatters


When shoppers click to chat, they’re expecting the representative to either have answers or a solution that will help them find the answers. They DO NOT want to hear “I don’t know” or “that’s not my department.”

Self-aware live chat representatives are confident in their conversational skills as well as their knowledge of your dealership. Your vendor should provide ongoing training to ensure chat reps give the kind of customer service that will get your dealership more sales.

Regarding self-management, an emotionally intelligent live chat associate will be adaptable when having conversations with different types of shoppers.

TEST IT: Investigate whether or not your provider is ensuring they have the best chat representatives for your dealership. Don’t be afraid to ask your chat provider:

  • What qualities or backgrounds they look for when hiring their chat representatives. Do they look for adaptability, creativity, or experience in customer service?
  • Do they provide any training to their chat reps? What kind of information do they collect from your dealership for the chat team to better understand who they are chatting for?

Also, don’t forget to look at your live chat transcripts — does the chat rep sound knowledgeable about your dealership? If in your transcripts the chat rep included details like service hours, vehicle specs, and even your dealership’s “why buy” statement, they’re doing it right.


Social awareness allows chat representatives to understand and respond accordingly to the emotions of the shoppers clicking to chat. By understanding your online customers, your live chat agents should then be able to relate to and engage with them.

If your chat reps respond to every shopper with scripts, they’re going to frustrate potential customers looking for a unique, human experience.

The key to empathy is relating to your shoppers, something a scripted conversation CANNOT DO — which is why personalization is so important.

TEST IT: Look for awkward conversations being had on your site. For example, if chat representatives are responding to shoppers that say “I just totaled by car and need a new one” with remarks like “Great!” or “Perfect!”, you need a new chat team.