Spotlight on Live Chat

Todd Williams, Director of E-Commerce for Mike Castrucci Chevrolet in Milford, OH, chats with Outsell about dynamic use of Live Chat. You can listen to the audio file or read the transcript of our interview below.

Amanda: I’m here today with Todd Williams, Director of E-Commerce for Mike Castrucci Chevrolet in Milford, OH, discussing Online Sales Methods, particularly dynamic use of Live Chat. Thank you for talking with me today, Todd.

Todd: Thank you very much for having me.

Amanda: How long have you been utilizing a Live Chat service for your dealership?

Todd: We’re working on our third year using Live Chat on our websites. We have found that it has been a great asset in engaging all aspects of our customers from sales to fixed operations in parts and service as well.

Amanda: I know you use Live Chat not only as a way to communicate with customers but also in your training methods and BDC process. How do you approach that?

Todd: Well, it’s interesting that you mention BDC because our process at the dealership is just a tad bit different. Our internet department we actually call ‘Central Hub’, and the reason for that is we are staffed 7 days a week from 7:30am to 1am. So in that 18 hour timeframe we are responding to our customers with a detailed personal response by an actual person, not using any type of automated responses whatsoever. What Live Chat does to compliment that process is that in the timeframe of that first response our customers are getting the actual quality of talking to someone. Particularly when the dealership is closed, for instance, a customer can chat live with a person. That representative then sends that inquiry to our Central Hub, which includes the Live Chat transcript. So we’re able to answer in those after hours and inquire immediately, whether it’s 10 o’clock or midnight or 1am in the morning, which has been a huge advantage for us in taking full advantage of the Live Chat service. And once again, it’s not related to just car sales, it can be in parts and service as well.

Amanda: What about Live Chat do you find particularly effective for training new sales associates?

Todd: Well, for starters, that Live Chat lead in most cases is a more detailed inquiry. So it helps having the sales associate recognize that by incorporating the chat transcript to best assist the customer. Taking a step further in using those transcripts, it also can help the sales associate in their phone skills by simply following the same Live Chat guidelines. So it’s a huge part in relating to the customer and getting their needs met as well.

Amanda: Would you give any additional advice to fellow dealers on how to best benefit from a Live Chat program?

Todd: Simply utilize the program. The Live Chat service is a great tool because essentially those customers are already engaging with the dealership and they’re asking questions. Our job in the internet department is to engage in dialogue with the customer, so taking advantage and following up promptly makes it a huge advantage over dealerships that aren’t utilizing a Live Chat.

Amanda: Mike Castrucci Chevrolet is clearly using some very unique and dynamic methods for keeping their sales team ahead of the curve. Thank you so much again for joining me today, Todd.

Todd: Thank you very much for having me.

Amanda: That was Todd Williams, Director of E-Commerce for Mike Castrucci Chevrolet. Good luck from all of us at program headquarters with your own Online Sales Methods.

Thanks again to Todd for taking the time to chat with us. You can keep up to date on more from Mike Castrucci Chevrolet at their website. To learn more about Outsell’s Live Chat program please check out our Live Chat page.