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Roadster’s managed chat helps boost engagement, reduce drop-offs

Roadster is expanding its range of products to include conversational commerce with the launch of Express Store Live — a new managed chat service.

Announced on May 10, 2021, the service instantly connects consumers with the company’s team of auto experts who can reply to in-depth car questions and move them further down the car-buying funnel. Those in-depth questions would include things like vehicle pricing, incentives, rebates, F&I options, trade-in valuations, and more.

“While chat has long been used by dealerships as a lead generation tool, consumers often find the process so disappointing, they abandon it before any meaningful information is exchanged,” said Andy Moss, CEO of Roadster. “With Express Store Live, and its technology platform powered by LivePerson, dealerships can now create the opposite effect.”

Moss said the service not only helps dealerships engage with their customers at a rate that is “double the industry average” — it also helps them close at an exponentially higher rate.

The company also conducted pilot tests in several dealerships and found those specific stores experienced a faster response time of just five seconds, versus the industry average response time for managed chat, which is 15 seconds. The result, according to Roadster, is that the service helped dealerships reduce consumer drop off by 64 per cent.

The pilot test also revealed an increase in engagement, since Roadster’s auto experts are able to provide answers to initial questions from customers. The company said dealerships saw 85.5 per cent of their customers continue engaging over chat. Average conversations lasted 26 minutes, which they say is more than double the industry average of 11 minutes.

The dealerships in the pilot test also experienced higher close rates; they were able to more than double their rates, at 35 per cent, compared to the industry average of 16 per cent. 

“Assuming a $2,000 gross profit per car, doubling the close rate can produce an additional $10-20,000 in monthly revenue,” said Roadster. 

Dealerships also reported that with Express Store Live, 79 per cent of customers responded to their follow-up. 

“They were also able to answer lower funnel questions online, creating an operational efficiency for their dealership,” said Roadster. “This in turn also increased customer satisfaction by saving showroom time for the customer.”

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