From Sales to Service, Messaging Helps This Director of eCommerce Improve Conversions

It’s great to find a solution that helps your sales team sell more cars. It’s great to find a solution that helps your service team get more appointments. When one solution can do both (and help provide a better experience)? That’s LivePerson’s automotive division, Contact At Once!

Arron Tauss, Director of eCommerce at Sames Ford/Nissan, shared how he’s started to put this into practice at their three dealerships: Sames Corpus Christi Ford, Sames Kingsville Ford and Sames Kingsville Nissan. The Sames dealership family offers a true hometown feel from a family-owned dealership, and they make it a point to get to know each customer individually. Contact At Once! (CAO!) messaging is one method they use to build those relationships. Tauss says it has led to an increase in conversations, leads and conversions for auto sales and service.

Q: Why has Contact At Once! messaging been an important communication option?

Arron Tauss: Before I got here (as Director of eCommerce), we had no messaging solutions. But I know that people don’t want an email; they don’t want a phone call. They want an answer immediately.

CAO!’s conversational commerce platform lets us provide real-time answers to customers at all three dealerships…in a way I know they and our sales and service teams prefer.

They like text messaging. They like it, and they prefer it over phone or email conversations, just like when texting with friends or family.

Q: How have you integrated messaging into your communication strategies?

Tauss: CAO! provides an access point to bottom-of-the-funnel shoppers for sales, oil changes and questions for our service department advisors. Sixty percent of our business is mobile, and customers can chat or text us from our websites, or message us from our Facebook and Google My Business accounts. The CAO! integration enables conversations in all those areas to come through in one platform, and these messaging options have improved our eCommerce immensely. Our conversions are as high as they have ever been year to date.

We are looking forward to using the messaging solution to its absolute fullest potential in the days to come, especially in areas like our service department (to help with turn times and where we are handing off work to service for recalls). Text messaging already has helped with our Quick Lanes at the Corpus Christi and Kingsville locations. With it, the teams can answer questions immediately and share information—like making customers aware that there is no appointment needed and that they can come in for Quick Lane service as needed. We can even send them specific information like a map link to guide them.

Q: You mentioned an increase in conversations, leads and conversions. What are some of the things that have led to the success of your CAO! messaging use?

Tauss: Conversation tracking is something that I have been doing to review message transcripts with the dealership owner and team. We then make decisions and improvements in our eCommerce conversations. For example, we had someone inquire about service, but they didn’t get the information they needed—instead, they got a phone number to call. A text conversation would have helped them make a service decision right then.

I believe conversation tracking is important for all areas of business because it holds people accountable and serves as reminder for what we talked about. (I use it to talk with vendors about vehicle inventory, too.) If a customer is upset, tracking conversations helps us look back and see how we can improve. Plus, it provides a time date stamp, which gives us clarity.

We also use CAO!’s Live Advisors to back up our teams as needed. They have been doing a great job handling calls after service. We also refer to Live Advisor conversation examples (via transcripts) to show dealer team members how to follow up with consumers with a text message immediately after a conversation is initiated.

Q: Can you share any numbers around the increases you’ve seen after implementing CAO! messaging?

Tauss: In November, we had a total of 28 leads come to the CRM from Contact At Once! at one of our stores, and we closed 5 of them (for a 17.9% closing percentage). That’s the highest closing percentage of any of our third parties. Plus, you can’t always measure walk-in traffic. With the walk-in traffic, the attribution is probably even higher. Year to date there we have had 368 leads through messaging, and we’ve closed or sold 29. That is a 7.9% closing ratio year to date, which is still above our average closing rate for all leads (overall it’s at 7.3%). We’ll continue to get even better at responding to our customers, too!

For the price, the service and the performance, I couldn’t ask for a better partnership with a third party.