Best Practices

Chat Tracks – Critiquing a Dealer Chat Transcript

Critiquing a Live Dealer Chat Transcript

We have word tracks for when were face to face with a potential client.
We have word tracks for becoming a Ninja like phone-up professional, moving the customer to appointment.

Have the right words at the right time in your arsenal and move the customer that much closer to the appointment or sale.

But what about word tracks for Chat..”Chat Tracks“.. for when you’re in the introduction or knee deep in a chat with a customer on the other side of your monitor?

If your dealer is using chat to build a relationship and capture more leads from your dealers website or inventory listing site like, it’s imperative to obtain ninja like chat skills.

I’ve been messing with dealer chat for quite a few years now. I’ve failed miserably, I’ve outsourced, I’ve totally gotten rid of it (and said I would never do it again).

To my wonderful surprise and by default, I’m back into leveraging chat as a lead driver for a few of my current dealers.

Here’s the PROBLEM; and it’s why I moved away from chat a few years ago – MOST people SUCK on Chat (and the phone for that matter).

However, if you take the time and learn how to effectively chat, it can no doubt be one of your most highest converting “lead sources” your dealer can have.

Some might be quick to discredit chat on their dealer website, saying it merely takes away from other points of conversion. However, I think the dealer chat case study that Shereef at CarChat24 has been showcasing here in the DealerRefresh forums will potentially change your perception.

It doesn’t matter who’s chat service you’re using. We have several that advertise and participate in the forums here, so if you’re considering chat, be sure to give them a click and check out their services.

Consider this; Before you jump into chat or if you are already chatting away, having some ninja chat skills behind you is imperative. If you’re great on the phone, you can be just as great on chat. Most of the same best phone practices carry over to dealer chat – though there are a few differences, plus you get more time to figure out what to say.

SO — let’s get to the purpose of this thread.

Below, I have posted the first actual live chat transcript. Let’s all put our heads together, collaborate and find the areas of improvement. Vendors are invited to participate with no blatant or hidden sales tactics of course 🙂

Review the live chat transcript below..

Where did they go wrong?

What should they have said differently?

What “chat track” would have worked better AND why?

Side note: let’s keep this the only chat transcript for this thread. IF you have your own chat transcript that you feel as if would be a great example, please submit to Dealerrefresh and we could use it in a future Chat Track critique session.

Let’s Begin…

Starting Time: 6/16/2010 1:08:47 PM Central Daylight Time
Agent: Jack Handy
VisitId: 7717927
Time to Answer(in seconds): 45
Origination: Removed

[1:09:07 PM]<System>Agent Jack Handy has accepted the conversation
[1:09:11 PM]<Customer>is your White 1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5 for $10,990 still available?
[1:09:32 PM]<Jack Handy>Hello, How are you
[1:09:38 PM]<Customer>Here is a link..
[1:10:07 PM]<Jack Handy>Please hold while I look that up for you.
[1:10:17 PM]<Customer>thanks.
[1:11:23 PM]<Jack Handy>Im sorry for the hold, Have you been working with anyone in our sales department
[1:11:48 PM]<Customer>No.  Just looking for a 4Runner online.
[1:12:31 PM]<Jack Handy>Ok, I would be more then happy to help you. My name is Jack Handy, I should be receiving a answer very soon
[1:12:41 PM]<Customer>Thank you.
[1:14:04 PM]<Jack Handy>I am back, sorry about that
[1:14:44 PM]<Jack Handy>I have followed up and we did sell that Toyota 4 runner, Would you consider a 2004 though
[1:15:07 PM]<Customer>can you send me a link to look at the specs online?
[1:15:33 PM]<Jack Handy>Yes I can, Please give me a sec
[1:16:20 PM]<Jack Handy>Please go to
[1:17:33 PM]<Jack Handy>My name is Jack Handy if you would like to stop by for a test drive or if I can assist you in any way. Thanks once again. Can I help you out with any other questions
[1:18:19 PM]<Customer>I don
[1:18:38 PM]<Customer>I don’t see a 2004. Is it posted on your site?
[1:19:35 PM]<Customer>Also, why are some certified and others not?
[1:20:18 PM]<Jack Handy> When you go into ABC Toyota , go to Used inventory and you should see it listed. Is there a phone # that I could contact you on and walk you through the process.
[1:20:41 PM]<Customer>I think I’m good. Thanks for your help.
[1:21:27 PM]<Jack Handy>Some are Certified and others are not. The Toyota Certification process is very very tough, They need to go through a 160 point inspection to pass for certification
[1:21:38 PM]<Customer>got it, thanks.
[1:21:53 PM]<Jack Handy>Your welcome, Thanks for your time & have a GREAT day
[1:22:03 PM]<Customer>you too.

Click Here to share your comments, ideas and thoughts on this live dealer chat transcript over on the DealerRefresh forums.

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • July 27, 2010
We have added a few more chat transcripts for review! Check&#039;m out!

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Jeff, you are absolutely right. It is not difficult to have a productive chat that results in a lead, however it does take some practice and there are definitely some &quot;best practices&quot; to follow. I work for a chat company so I see what goes on in the chat world day in and day out. Here are a few things I spotted in the transcript above that could be done differently:

1. It took 45 seconds to answer the chat, that is generally too long. No one wants to hold when they are looking to communicate with you. Most people will drop the chat if they have to wait more than 10 seconds.

2. As chatters, we have to make some deposits to the customer then ask for some information in return (the withdraw). Next would be to confirm that the 4 Runner is a great choice of vehicle.

3. Sending the actual link to the alternative vehicle instead of having the customer search would have been smoother.

4. E-mail before phone is our mantra. People are much more comfortable sharing e-mail addresses than their phone. Something like this might have helped the conversation move differently.

&quot;I&#039;m sorry, that particular 4 Runner has been sold, but we have some others on the lot that are similar, is there an e-mail address I could send some additional information to about those vehicles?&quot;

These are just some points, chat is a fluid game and every conversation is different. Every customer is different, but with practice chat can easily be your number one lead generator!
Matt, thanks for your feedback. If you would like to - you could also share this over in the forums where this thread has everyone critiquing and commenting. We also have a few other chat transcripts over there as well with more being added.

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  • R
  • January 10, 2012
I've had better luck getting email addresses saying, "Could I have your email so I can send you the CarFax"?

Then getting the number by saying, "I'll have to check on tha because it's showing in the computer but I don't see it on our lot". Can I call you back win about 10 minutes?" Also, "...can I have your number in case we get disconnected?"