One major challenge online shoppers face is that their questions are not always able to be answered immediately and/or correctly. A quick and easy solution is to integrate a live chat feature on the website. Live Chat allows the customer to shop and browse at their own pace, while still being able to receive answers to their individual questions. It helps potential customers as well as returning customers with any information they need. Simultaneously, Live Chat allows boat dealers to be more precise and specific towards the customer’s present and future needs.
Here we discuss why live chat is important for boat dealers and how this feature will positively impact the effectiveness of the overall business. At the end of this piece, there will be a list of important do’s and don’ts regarding live chat.
- Live Chat Engages the Customer
Often times when online shopping, there is this feeling of disconnect for the customer. The customer is browsing and shopping for a specific brand but unlike shopping in-person, a live person is not there to represent the brand and cater to the customer’s needs. Live Chat has the ability to break this barrier and interact with the customer while maintaining brand image online. Live Chat can see exactly what the customer is browsing and for how long the product is being viewed. A simple and non-intrusive message to the customer via Live Chat can create a friendly conversation about the product and brand. With sales in mind, a simple conversation goes a long way at the end of the day.
- Live Chat Provides a Leg Up on the Competition
Many businesses that are in competition with one another, are pretty much on the same page. They have a sleek and modern website that showcases their brand as well as their product. Competitors attempt to separate themselves from their competitors by implementing various practices to generate leads as well as using numerous promotions. Everyone uses variations of these practices. It has stopped being innovative and has become the norm. So, how can one really separate from the pack? Live Chat provides immediate customer service that leaves a refreshing feeling in the customers’ mind. To customers, knowing that your company has the ability to be there for their needs instantly, creates a higher sense of positive rapport and value between the customer and the company.
- Live Chat Cultivates Sales
A positive experience goes a long way in sales. Nothing turns off a customer more than the feeling that their time is not valuable. A quick way to create a positive experience, as well as demonstrating value of the customer base, is a little humanity. Live Chat provides an immediate form of access of human interaction. It helps the customer feel secure enough and have the needed amount of trust in a company, to make a purchase when considerate human interaction is available. With a knowledgeable and well equipped Live Chat Representative on the other end who is able to aid in a customer’s needs, a growth of sales is sure to ensue.
- Live Chat Works as an Equalizer
There is an ongoing debate in the boating industry regarding how to communicate product with potential buyers. On one hand, there is the theory that not listing prices increases potential sales. The thought is it that by displaying the price, it will deter the potential buyer from the product due to its high cost. On the other hand, some say that being transparent and listing the price is the correct route to take. The reasoning behind that is that there is an understanding that the potential buyer already knows the cost of the product, so why hide it? Being transparent creates a trust factor between the two parties.
With Live Chat, both practices can coincide with one another in the industry. The weaknesses of both practices become non-existent with Live Chat. For dealerships that decide not to list price, Live Chat can communicate and discuss all of the options with the potential buyer. Once the discussion of pricing arises, the Live Chat Representative can easily transition the conversation to a sales expert at the dealership. Whereas, for dealerships that list prices, the Live Chat Representative can provide all of the necessary information to the prospective buyer and then eventually pass the conversation on to an expert salesman at the dealership. This, in turn, creates a beneficial transitional bond between the potential buyer and their dealership.
The DO’S and DON’TS of Live Chat
Live Chat should be approached virtually the same way as in-person customer service. Promoting a positive and welcoming standard through online chat is necessary and to do that, follow these simple do’s and don’ts:
- Respond promptly to the customer’s inquiry. Best practices say to respond in under 30 seconds.
- Greet the customer by introducing yourself first.
- Create and maintain a polite, friendly, and professional conversation.
- Be well-informed on the product and brand.
- Double check your responses prior to sending them.
- Forget to check spelling.
- Be short or rude in conversation with the customer.
- Be sarcastic in conversation. Often times, what is meant to be a joke, never comes across correctly in type.
- Type in ALL CAPS. When typing in all capitals, it gives the perception of yelling to/at the customer.
- Leave the Live Chat on outside of hours of operation or when your team is not available to respond.
Marine Dealer Solutions offers several Live Chat solutions for boat dealers.