ActivEngage, a company that manages messaging for dealerships, has embedded chat functions into vehicle detail pages in partnership with some dealership website providers. Over a 15-month period through the end of 2020, dealerships that enabled chat on vehicle pages saw a 6.2 percent increase in leads, said Eric Schlesinger, ActivEngage’s chief revenue officer.

“If we can bring the human element back into the dealer website and the car-buying process, then, again, we have a higher probability of getting that consumer to transact with that dealer,” Schlesinger said.

Last year, Rydell employees successfully connected with about two-thirds of customers who submitted a lead form, Hibma said. Since the “Ask an expert” function launched in August, a dealership employee communicates directly with customers browsing the website close to 80 percent of the time, she said.



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