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What do customers expect from your car dealership’s live chat solutions?

A well-made live chat or AI-powered chat tool lets you serve your customers, even when you aren't physically in the dealership.  

Did you know that most customers prefer live chat to phone or email? Through a survey of 1,000 US consumers, the live chat platform Kayako found that 41% of customers would rather participate in live chat than call or email a company. It’s no secret that live chat has gone from a “nice to have” to a “must-have” for car dealers.

Since twice as many car buyers are starting their research online, live chat has become a way to meet customers directly where they are. For this reason, it’s crucial to ensure your chat solutions meet customer needs and preferences.

Here is what customers expect when interacting with your live chat and AI-powered chat tools.

Effective communication 

Whether you’re using a live agent or an advanced AI chatbot, customers want to feel like the conversation is natural and that it helps them find the answers they need about your inventory. Chatbots Magazine says conversational chatbots can reduce service costs by 30%. By using the right questions and answer triggers, customers can speak to a bot and get their needs met, whether to ask about a test drive or vehicle price. The goal is to get them from initial interest to making a conversion — like coming in for a consultation — and effective communication can accomplish that.  

customer communicationMore: How (and why) car dealers should prioritize customer communication

Adequate answers — regardless of the time it takes 

While swift and efficient interactions are critical, customers want their questions answered, even if it takes a little longer. According to live chat platform Comm100, organizations with a customer service score of over 90% had average wait times of over 90 seconds. Those with less than a 90% satisfaction rate have wait times under 30 seconds. Customers want a live chat tool that fully answers their questions and provides the guidance they need during the car buying process, regardless of how long it takes.  

A hassle-free user experience  

Customers who prefer live chat also want a streamlined user experience. Kayako found that 38% of the surveyed customers were most frustrated by poor live chat user experiences. This can look like a random disconnection during the chat experience or inefficient pre-chat forms.   

The goal should be for the live chat agent or AI-powered chatbot to decrease the work your potential customers do to find the information they need about your dealership inventory. So, be sure to have yourself or your dealership staff run through the chat process to ensure it’s working correctly and accomplishing what it should.  

Focus on thoroughness and efficiency  

Many of today’s customers want to receive customer service seamlessly as they move through the online car buying experience. A well-made live chat or AI-powered chat tool lets you serve your customers, even when you aren’t physically in the dealership.  

These tools represent your dealership brand and can help turn a lead into a customer that moves on to buy a car or come in for a service appointment. The more you invest in this preferred customer experience, the easier it will be to turn potential car buyers into actual customers.  

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Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner
Chanell Turner is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for CBT News.

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