In this day and age, any company that wants to succeed with their digital marketing needs to have chat on their website. It’s not an option. Of all the industries that can benefit from chat, the car business is one that is very clear. People have questions about cars and service. Many of them want the ability to chat with someone at the store.
It’s for this reason that it’s surprising so many dealers do not have chat on their websites. There are plenty of chat companies out there. Most specialize in the automotive industry because of the specialization required to handle it, particularly from the managed chat perspective. Some dealers do it themselves. Others rely on their vendors. Some vendors operate during business hours. Some, such as CarChat24, work around the clock. Regardless of which way the dealership wants to go, they have to have some variation of chat available.
When consumers think of car dealers and their profits, most believe that the sale of new cars that can be $30,000 or more is where the money is made, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s in used car sales and the service drive that the profits are truly driven at most franchise dealerships.
Even though consumers don’t usually know this, most dealers know it. This is why it’s a conundrum that the majority of their advertising dollars are spent on selling cars rather than driving customers to their service bays. For many, the argument is that the majority of their service business comes from people who bought their car at the dealership, so marketing for more sales will also help them increase the fixed operational side. Things are different now thanks to the internet and the drop in brand loyalty, so dealers should be investing more into filling their service bays.
When car dealers hear the expression, “casting a wide net”, they usually associate the concept with going after a larger geographical area, branching out from their standard market area to get people who are further away from the dealership. This is one way to look at it, but another (and arguably more important) way to casting a wider net is to get out to a broader digital audience by being in more places online.
The narrow approach isn’t bad. It’s important for dealers to make sure that their website is getting plenty of traffic and helping to generate its own leads to have exclusive contacts with potential customers. This is the approach that most dealers take and we’re not suggesting that it should stop. However, the wide approach has benefits you simply cannot get with a narrow approach.