DEARBORN, Mich. — FordDirect introduced LiveConnect Communication Service, an enhancement to its product offerings that enables dealers to better engage with consumers in real time through their websites. The new service offers a customizable, dealer-managed chat solution, with integrated software that automatically travels through the customer journey and prompts dealers to follow up. 

As auto shoppers demand more instantaneous information, they have become increasingly interested in contacting dealers through live chat. Given these trends, dealers should prioritize chat leads to benefit from high conversion rates and increased customer satisfaction. An independent study by R.L. Polk shows that 30 percent of Internet shoppers who engage in chat on a dealership’s site purchase a vehicle within 60 days. 

“With its high conversion rates, chat presents an ideal platform through which dealers can capture valuable sales leads,” said Valerie Fuller, chief operating officer for FordDirect. “Because consumers today are demanding instant access to information, chat services enable dealers to connect with customers on their own terms, while building loyalty and improving overall satisfaction.”  

FordDirect also offers a Fully Managed Chat Service that provides around-the-clock responses to customer chats. This concierge service enhances customer satisfaction and helps drive new leads to the dealership.

Through a pilot program, FordDirect discovered that chat increases online customer engagement, provides dealerships with more opportunities to foster customer loyalty, and that chat customers are more likely to make a purchase than many other lead sources. The pilot results showed that the Fully Managed chat sites received more than twice as many chats and attained more than double the chat conversion of the LiveConnect (dealer-managed) chat sites.

FordDirect recently published a whitepaper on the use of chat as a complement to the online shopping experience, entitled, “Let’s Talk about Better Customer Service.”