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Auto Dealers Adapt to Millennials & Mobile Shoppers with Mobile Text & Chat

2014 Dealer Survey

Contact At Once! platform helps customers sell more cars.

More than 7 in 10 automotive professionals who participated in the latest Contact At Once! annual dealer survey say dealer chat and text are very important to prospects and they would miss opportunities if they only relied on phones and forms to generate leads. Further, 96% of Contact At Once! customers who shared an opinion on the impact of chat and text say the Contact At Once! platform helps them sell more cars.

Along with reporting a year-over-year increase in the number of cars sold to consumers who first contacted the dealership via Contact At Once! chat, survey participants also gave texting high scores for reaching and following up with today’s automotive shoppers. For example, 3 in 4 say they’re more likely to get a response to follow-up when texting with consumers compared to calling—results that are not surprising to Contact At Once! CEO John Hanger.

Society as a whole is becoming more ‘text-based’ every day, and it’s only going to increase as ‘digital native’ generations join the car-buying market,” Hanger says. “More than 9 in 10 of our survey respondents who shared their experiences regarding millennial shoppers said they prefer chat and text.

Contact At Once! provides the only automotive digital conversations platform that can integrate text and chat conversations from dealership websites, online classified ads, OEM sites, mobile sites and even print ads into a single user interface. This solution enables easier management and more proactive control over message-based sales conversations.

This survey is conducted annually among Contact At Once! users, and the 2014 findings are based on answers from over 1,600 auto professionals in North America, including general managers, sales managers and Internet salespeople. Responses were gathered over a two-week period in July. All questions were not answered by every participant; nor did every participant have knowledge applicable to every question. The complete Contact At Once! 2014 Dealer Survey results are available for download now.

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with auto dealers and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. More engagement can translate into more sales, and that’s why 13,000 dealers, the world’s busiest automotive classified sites and many automotive manufacturers rely on Contact At Once! to build relationships with online shoppers. For more information about Contact At Once! in the automotive industry, visit www.autodealerchat.com.

The Worthing Companies Boost Conversions with Contact At Once! Property Text & Chat

worhting companies text chat

Use of text-based communications results in increased “show to lease” rate.

The Worthing Companies (Worthing) recently expanded their deployment of Contact At Once!’s secure, tracked text messaging and chat platform to 15 of its properties after a 60-day analysis proved that 18 shows credited to the digital conversations resulted in 17 leases.

Worthing prides itself on building relationships “the old-fashioned way” through hard work, integrity and trust—and the Contact At Once! digital conversations platform streamlines the connections needed to do that in today’s world. Consumers can text or chat directly from Worthing’s property websites and mobile sites, and property management personnel can respond in kind via desktop or mobile app.

“Contact At Once! has given us a great edge on the technology market of today,” says Trent Jones, CAM, regional marketing director for The Worthing Companies. “We’re finding that people are transitioning more and more to automated leasing online, and text and chat options let them have a ‘live’ interaction without having to find the phone number, dial it and wait to get a real person on the line. Our team is readily available to answer questions while those consumers are online going through the leasing process. They can get straightforward answers quickly, conveniently…with one push of a button.”

Worthing’s lease results are a strong indication that the consumers who reach out via text or chat are serious about signing a lease and soon,” adds Ryan Lucia, director of multifamily solutions at Contact At Once!. “If you can be there to help them in the moment, you have a better chance of winning.”

ABOUT THE WORTHING COMPANIES
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Worthing is among the most active privately owned real estate companies in the southern United States. Specializing in the development, construction and management of Class “A” institutional quality multifamily properties, Worthing is a vertically integrated company strategically focused on executing new development opportunities in select Sunbelt growth markets. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Worthing has successfully developed over 30,000 units with costs in excess of $2.8 billion. Major target markets include Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Raleigh, Nashville, Charlotte, Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Currently, the company has projects underway in multiple cities and continues to expand its platform with a controlled growth strategy. Discover more at http://worthingse.com.

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with communities and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. For example, the company pioneered the use of mobile text and live chat in multifamily advertising, enabling instant conversations between prospects, residents and property management personnel. Businesses that use Contact At Once! text and chat typically experience a 25 percent increase in online interactions. More engagement translates into more sales, and that’s why 13,000 businesses and some of the most highly trafficked advertising websites rely on Contact At Once!. For more information, visit www.apartmentchat.com.

20 Most Chatted About Vehicles for the First Half of 2014

DealerChat_MostChatted

Contact At Once! released its semi-annual list of Most Chatted About Vehicles today, with the Honda Accord leading the list. Based on about 3.5 million chat conversations generated in the Contact At Once! network between January 1 and June 30, 2014,* here are the top 20 most talked about makes and models:

  1. Honda Accord
  2. Toyota Camry
  3. Honda Civic
  4. Chevrolet Silverado
  5. Ford Focus
  6. Honda Odyssey
  7. Acura MDX
  8. BMW 3 Series
  9. Honda Pilot
  10. Honda CR-V
  11. Jeep Grand Cherokee
  12. Chevrolet Camaro
  13. Ford Escape
  14. Hyundai Sonata
  15. Chevrolet Cruze
  16. Jeep Wrangler
  17. Ford Fiesta
  18. Ford F150
  19. BMW 5 Series
  20. Nissan Altima

The list order depends on the number of times a specific vehicle was mentioned by shoppers as they conducted online chats with car dealers. Auto shoppers have millions of questions (quite literally), and car dealer chat and mobile text help dealers and manufacturers connect immediately to create positive shopping experiences and increase engagement.

*Results based on chats that included the inventory query field, held between January 1 – June 30, 2014.

Contact At Once! Named Atlanta Journal-Constitution Top Workplace

ajc top places to work 2014

2014 marks the 3rd consecutive year employees have recognized the organization’s strengths

Contact At Once! announced today that it has been recognized for the third straight year as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Top Workplace for 2014.

According to Workplace Dynamics, the Top Workplaces designation is a stamp of approval from a company’s employees. This vote of confidence is a powerful indicator to customers and the community that the organization has strong values underpinning its behavior.

Contact At Once! provides a platform used to embed chat and mobile messaging in online advertising, along with website chat for targeted vertical markets and Mobile Text Connect, an innovative product that enables one-to-one texting between businesses and consumers.

Top Workplaces are determined based solely on employee feedback. An employee survey is conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement.

John Hanger, CEO of Contact At Once! says the repeated recognition by employees validates the company’s direction, leadership and values. “We focus on hiring the best of the best and we rely heavily on each other, so it’s vitally important that we all feel a sense of belonging and pride of ownership in our company.

The Contact At Once! team has continued to expand rapidly, underscoring increasing demand for its platform and services; however, Hanger says the company is committed to keeping employee satisfaction and company values front and center.  “Companies that are growing fast can lose a sense of the esprit de corps that made them successful in the first place.  That hasn’t happened here.”

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with businesses and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. More engagement can translate into more sales, and that’s why over 13,000 organizations rely on the Contact At Once! digital conversations platform to build relationships with online shoppers.

Dominion Enterprises Sites Incorporate Contact At Once! Platform in Ads

Chat in Ads

RVTrader.com and CycleTrader.com dealers with “click to chat” option report significant lead increases.

RVTrader.com and CycleTrader.com, divisions of Dominion Enterprises, have partnered with Contact At Once! to offer live chat on dealership listings. In a pilot study, dealers’ leads generated by the two websites have increased 34% and 60%, respectively.

The use of live chat gives RVTrader.com and CycleTrader.com shoppers the convenience and immediacy of real-time contact with dealers, and a mobile-friendly alternative to making a phone call or filling out a lead form. That, said Skip Dowd, senior vice president of Automotive Solutions at Contact At Once!, helps account for the significant increases in shopper engagement.

The easier dealers make it for a shopper to ask questions, the more likely they are to ask. This gives dealers additional chances to provide great service, personalize information and influence that purchase,” said Dowd. “Instant messaging and mobile messaging continue to grow in convenience and popularity. Just look at your own phone and see how many texts you send vs. how many calls you make.”

Consumers visiting RVTrader.com or CycleTrader.com can chat live with any dealer who offers the live chat option in their ad listings. Dealers can receive and respond to chat leads through an easy-to-use app on their mobile device or desktop computer. Thanks to presence-aware technology that tracks dealer availability, the live chat feature will not be offered to consumers as an option if the dealer is unavailable.

RV Trader is continuously looking for ways to assist customers in achieving the highest number of leads possible while building rapport with potential buyers,” said Tim Custer, general manager of RV Trader. “We are confident that live chat will help provide the marketing edge that dealers seek and establish a competitive advantage for them.

RV Trader dealers interested in live chat are encouraged to call 877-354-4068. Cycle Trader dealers interested in live chat may call 866-476-3022.

ABOUT CYCLE TRADER
CycleTrader.com is the leading powersports marketplace, connecting buyers and sellers to new and used motorcycles, ATVs, PWCs and snowmobiles. With more than 232,000 vehicles available, Cycle Trader offers the widest selection of powersports vehicles online. Cycle Trader is a division of Dominion Powersports Solutions, offering high-performing business solutions for the powersports industry with its market-leading web products. For more information, visit www.cycletrader.com.

ABOUT RV TRADER
RV Trader is the largest online classifieds site for RV buyers and sellers in the U.S. RV Trader is a division of Dominion Enterprises, a leading marketing services and publishing company serving the automotive, recreational and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, parenting and travel industries. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., with 3,300 employees in the United States, Canada, England, Spain and Italy, the company provides a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing solutions and more than 45 market-leading websites. Millions of For Rent® and HotelCoupons.com® publications are distributed across the U.S. each year. For more information, visit www.RVTrader.com and www.DominionEnterprises.com.

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with dealers and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. More engagement can translate into more sales, and that’s why over 13,000 businesses rely on the Contact At Once! digital conversations platform to build relationships with online shoppers. For more information, visit www.contactatonce.com.

Contact At Once! Helps Matrix Residential Increase Engagement & Response Time

Matrix Residential Text Chat

All-in-one platform combines software and flexible answering options to boost direct engagement and help provide immediate responses, even during busy lease-ups.

Matrix Residential’s mission is creating exceptional experiences—even online—and they use the Contact At Once! digital conversations platform to add convenience for their multifamily prospects and residents. Contact At Once! allows them to provide secure, tracked text messaging, instant messaging and an “always-on” presence with virtual receptionists for backup answering during busy lease-up periods.

“Property management companies devote a lot of time to both serving residents and increasing occupancy of new developments. The challenge is quickly and effectively responding to all of those inquiries, especially during the lease-up phase,” says Ryan Lucia, director of multifamily solutions at Contact At Once!

While consumers can text or chat directly from the property websites and mobile sites of 12 Matrix communities, seven of their new developments now also use Contact At Once!’s all-in-one platform, which includes the Virtual Receptionist service to handle increased activity during lease-ups. If Matrix personnel are unavailable, prospects’ texts and chats roll over to virtual receptionists from Contact At Once!. All conversation transcripts and lead information are still tracked and recorded in the property management software.

Matrix Residential is always striving to find more efficient, cost-effective technology to best equip our teams. Contact At Once!’s platform has proven to be a valuable tool for engaging with prospects and residents in their preferred environment: online,” says Dana Pate, marketing director for Matrix Residential. “Our decision to partner with Contact At Once! is not only for the great product offering expected of our demographic, but also the quality of service and support they provide.”

ABOUT MATRIX RESIDENTIAL
Matrix Residential, a Pollack Shores Company, is a Southeastern-focused multifamily real estate firm based in Atlanta, Ga. The firm and its principals have managed and invested in more than 35,000 residential units representing more than $3.2 billion in value over the past 30 years. Formed in 2006, senior management has a combined 100-year track record of success in all areas of real estate management, including property management, development, acquisitions, leasing, finance and construction management. Their mission? Creating exceptional experiences for the people who live with them, work with them and invest with them. Led by Managing Director, Tracy Bowers, Matrix Residential’s current portfolio includes over 8,500 units of garden and mid-rise properties in Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa, Orlando, Greenville, S.C., and Charlotte. Discover more at www.MatrixResidential.com.

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with communities and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. For example, the company pioneered the use of mobile text and live chat in multifamily advertising, enabling instant conversations between prospects, residents and property management personnel. Businesses that use Contact At Once! text and chat typically experience a 25 percent increase in online interactions. More engagement translates into more sales, and that’s why 13,000 businesses and some of the most highly trafficked advertising websites rely on Contact At Once!. For more information, visit www.apartmentchat.com.

DMEautomotive Joins Contact At Once! 360 Partner Program to Put Live Chat in Driver Connect

ContactAtOnce_DMEAutomotive_Partner

Leading dealer-branded mobile app with integrated chat streamlines connections with customers.

DMEautomotive (DMEa) has joined the Contact At Once! 360 Partner Program to provide a live chat option for customers who use Driver Connect, DMEa’s dealer-branded, consumer-facing mobile app. In addition to fully integrated live chat, the app also includes other customer-friendly service features like complete new and used vehicle inventory, vehicle ready alerts from Service, and mobile wallet integration, making it easier for Contact At Once! and DMEa dealers to instantly connect with consumers and streamline their service-ownership experience.

“A few years ago, chat was seen as revolutionary for dealerships—a ‘nice-to-have.’ Now, it’s becoming a must-have, especially as the use of mobile devices grows,” says John Hanger, CEO of Contact At Once!. “Today’s customers want two-way communications their way—instantaneous, 24/7 and text-based, which is why dealer chat is such a critical component of this next wave of mobile apps.”

Since 2012, Driver Connect has been helping dealerships keep pace with “mobile-first” consumer trends by offering the first dealer-branded app that marries useful and personalized automotive tools for customers with “keep them spending” features for dealers—like “one tap” service appointment scheduling, robust new and used inventory search, and targeted offers tied to specific vehicles.

“Live chat is a natural evolution for Driver Connect and brings our dealer customers even closer to their service customers,” says Mike Walther, president and CEO of DMEa. “As a leader and pioneer of dealership chat—and one of the highest quality providers in the industry—Contact At Once! is a logical partner to help DMEa dealers increase engagement in sales and service.”

The Contact At Once! 360 Partner Program integrates technologies complementary to its digital conversations platform and provides mutual customers a fast and effective pathway to benefit from more feature-rich solutions.

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with auto dealers and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. More engagement can translate into more sales, and that’s why 13,000 dealers, the world’s busiest automotive classified sites and many automotive manufacturers rely on the Contact At Once! digital conversations platform to build relationships with online shoppers. For more information, visit www.autodealerchat.com.

ABOUT DMEAUTOMOTIVE
DMEautomotive (DMEa) is the industry leader in science-based, results-driven automotive marketing and provides turnkey marketing to the largest and most innovative automotive organizations, from automobile dealerships to many of the largest aftermarket companies in the U.S. DMEa’s uniquely panoramic view of the complete automotive sales and service market, combined with its cutting-edge, science-based marketing programs, increases customer yield, conversion and retention. For more information, visit www.dmeautomotive.com.

Contact At Once! Helps Beazer Homes Connect With Online, Mobile Shoppers

beazer-homes-chat

Beazer Homes USA Inc. has started adding Contact At Once! live chat to its websites, enabling online and mobile consumers to engage in conversations about Beazer communities.

Contact At Once! announced today that Beazer Homes USA Inc. started adding Contact At Once! live chat to its websites. This move enables online and mobile consumers to engage in conversations about Beazer communities and set appointments with Beazer New Home Counselors.

We piloted the Contact At Once! chat solution and received some great responses from consumers,” says Sonja Sims, Director of Marketing, Beazer Homes. “With chat, we’re able to engage prospects and answer questions while they are researching online, helping them navigate the homebuying process.

Although many searches for a home start online now, homebuyers still need help in the research phase. Contact At Once! can make it easier for companies to put a personal touch back into the process via real-time, online conversations.

People are increasingly using mobile devices to visit builder websites and browse available homes. It’s smart to offer them convenience and accessibility, instead of just relying on lead forms or those willing to call,” says Marc F. Hayes Jr., Founder and EVP of Strategy for Contact At Once!.

Beazer Homes rolled out the solution in November 2013 to support all of its markets. The chat option is available on all community specific pages and metro-area landing pages. New Home Information Managers will answer incoming chats and offer to help prospective buyers learn more about the area, the community and their Beazer Homes options.

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with businesses and ask questions at the moment their interest in a product is piqued. For example, the company pioneered the use of mobile text and live chat in real estate advertising, enabling instant conversations between homebuyers and builders, brokers and agents. More engagement translates into more sales, and that’s why 13,000 businesses and some of the most highly trafficked advertising websites rely on Contact At Once!. For more information, visit www.contactatonce.com.

ABOUT BEAZER HOMES
Headquartered in Atlanta, Beazer Homes is one of the country’s 10 largest single-family homebuilders. The Company’s homes meet or exceed the benchmark for energy-efficient home construction as established by ENERGY STAR® and are designed with flexible floor plan options to meet the personal preferences and lifestyles of its buyers, at no additional cost. In addition, the Company is committed to providing a range of preferred lender choices to facilitate transparent competition between lenders and enhanced customer service. The Company offers homes in 16 states, including Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Beazer Homes is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BZH.” For more info, visit Beazer.com, or check out Beazer on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact At Once! Live Chat Receives “Highest Rated” DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Award

highest rated chat

Ranked No. 1 in Dealer Satisfaction in Chat Products Category for Fourth Straight Year

Contact At Once!, leading provider of automotive chat, has received the “Highest Rated” Chat Products Award in the fifth annual DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards, presented at a special event today in conjunction with the 2014 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Expo. Contact At Once! received the highest dealer satisfaction ranking in the Chat Products category, as determined by the thousands of auto dealers who are part of the DrivingSales.com community.

“This is the fourth consecutive year we’ve been honored by our customers with this prestigious industry award, and we sincerely thank all of them—it’s much more than a trophy to us,” says John Hanger, Contact At Once! chief executive officer. “We review ratings and comments carefully and are committed to continually using customer feedback from the DrivingSales community to improve our product and our users’ experience.”

Contact At Once! provides the industry’s leading integrated chat and text platform for automotive dealers, OEMs, third-party sites and technology partners. The company pioneered the use of chat and text in online advertising and oversees a managed network that facilitates millions of such digital conversations each year among online car shoppers, dealers and manufacturers. A recent automotive chat study showed that live chat users are much more engaged automotive shoppers who perform three times as many inventory searches, are three times more likely to request store-specific information and view vehicle detail pages at twice the rate.

“We congratulate Contact At Once! on receiving the ‘Highest Rated’ Chat Products Award, an accolade we consider to be one of our industry’s most important because it comes directly from dealers,” said DrivingSales CEO and Founder Jared Hamilton. “In our fifth year of presenting these awards, we feel especially proud that DrivingSales Vendor Ratings continues to help dealers make smart and informed decisions through thousands of peer reviews that lead them to outstanding service providers such as Contact At Once! live chat. We congratulate Contact At Once! on being recognized as one of the best-of-the-best by the people to whom their services count the most: the dealer community.”

The DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards measure dealer satisfaction with vendor products and services, and are based on cumulative ratings tallied and verified over the calendar year (January – December) at DrivingSales.com Vendor Ratings. DrivingSales.com Vendor Ratings is the industry’s only neutral, comprehensive vendor rating forum featuring real-time peer reviews and honest competitor comparisons, and it provides dealerships with important information from actual customers who have hands-on experience using vendor products / solutions in their stores. Each rating is verified as coming from an actual dealership employee.

Full award results are available online at http://dealersatisfactionawards.com/. Award winners are showcased in the Q1 2014 issue of the “DrivingSales Dealership Innovation Guide” which, in addition to being distributed at the 2014 NADA Convention and Expo, is delivered to every new car dealership nationwide, as well as to the top 100 used car dealerships. For more information on the “Dealership Innovation Guide,” please visit: http://drivingsalesinnovationguide.com/.

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with auto dealers and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. More engagement can translate into more sales, and that’s why 13,000 dealers, the world’s busiest automotive classified sites and many automotive manufacturers rely on Contact At Once! to build relationships with online shoppers. For more information, visit www.autodealerchat.com.

ABOUT DRIVINGSALES
DrivingSales is a professional network serving the auto industry with dealer-driven news and information, online training and performance data, all to enable dealers to make critical business decisions at their dealerships. DrivingSales’ mission is to connect progressive dealership professionals to the people and information they need to maximize their success. Founded by a third-generation car dealer, and opened up to the industry in 2008, today DrivingSales has registered users in over 50 percent of new car dealerships in the U.S. and is active in several other countries around the globe. To learn more about the DrivingSales community, training or performance analytics, visit DrivingSales.com, DrivingSalesUniversity.com and DrivingSalesData.com

DrivingSales Media Relations:
Melanie Webber (melanie@mwebbcom.com), mWEBB Communications, 949.307.1723

Latest Contact At Once! Mobile App Release: Text & Chat on the Go with Full Business Control

Mobile Text App

Highlights include full support for Mobile Text Connect integrated with chat in one app, complete with automated opt-out procedures and more to help with regulatory compliance.

Contact At Once! continues to drive mobile innovation with the recent version 3.1 release of its mobile app for Android and iOS devices, now with full support for Mobile Text Connect, Contact At Once!’s unique one-to-one texting solution.

Mobile Text Connect and the latest version of the Contact At Once! mobile app help businesses address some of the more significant issues associated with employees using personal mobile accounts and cellphones for business-related texts.

Salespeople are going to text with prospects and customers,” says Marc F. Hayes Jr., Contact At Once! co-founder and executive vice president. “Our solutions help businesses reduce risk of non-compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) when it happens.

Employees can still use their personal phones to communicate with customers, but messages are received, responded to and initiated through the Contact At Once! system complete with permission-based rules, automated opt-out procedures and documentation.

These new texting capabilities enhance the mobile app’s already powerful chat answering features, giving customers one app for chat and text. Additional updates include the ability to view previous text conversations and access a company’s “Buddy List” for instant internal communication via chat.

We’ve put the full convenience of chatting and texting in the sales team’s hands,” says Hayes. “Now, they can keep the conversation going or initiate texts to prospects as follow-up right from their own phones—just the flexibility they want. Yet the business can ensure that mobile lead control, quality assurance and regulatory compliance are taken care of, as well.

Automotive professionals attending the 2014 NADA Convention and Expo later this week may see a demo of the new mobile app and Mobile Text Connect at the Contact At Once! booth (#6729).

Contact At Once! customers can get the latest mobile apps at the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

ABOUT CONTACT AT ONCE!
Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with merchants and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. More engagement translates into more sales, and that’s why over 13,000 businesses rely on Contact At Once! to build relationships with online shoppers. For more information, visit www.contactatonce.com.

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