Car Dealership Live Chat: Turn Website Browsers into Buyers

January 30, 2024

Team ACV




Car Dealership Live Chat: Turn Website Browsers into Buyers

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A car dealer is responding to a customer online via chat

An effective sales strategy keeps the customer in mind and can meet them where they are. Today’s customers are increasingly found online—and these digital solutions are helping businesses too. With the ability  to connect with a precise customer base and streamline operations, car dealerships are boosting their online presence with great success. But one feature of that strategy that more dealerships should consider is a car dealer live chat on their website. In this article, we will explore why these tools matter and best practices to keep in mind. 

What Is Live Chat? 

In today’s world, more than half of car buyers are interested in doing their shopping online rather than at in-person dealerships.1 Within your online car dealership, you can incorporate a chat widget—a pop up window that appears on your site when a visitor enters your page. The widget will prompt the visitor to interact with a sales agent to ask any questions they may have.4 

How Live Chat Software Works

While you can choose from various chat software providers, most of them work the same way. You or your developer will embed a chat widget on select pages of your website, and then you will have the ability to set yourself as offline or online. When a customer starts a chat during online hours, your agent gets notified and can engage just like any other messaging or texting program. When you’re offline, customers won’t be able to chat, but their text in the widget will give them the option to send your team an email. You can also set the number of chats that can happen at a time to be sure every customer gets the attention they need.⁴ 

What Does a Car Dealer Live Chat Offer? 

Live chat allows you to emulate the in-person buying experience. Most customers walking into your dealership immediately interact with a salesperson who guides them through their shopping experience and can help ensure they find what they need, resulting in a sale. But, without that salesperson to talk to your site visitors, they can quickly browse online and then move on to a new site without having made any purchasing decisions. That’s how live chat can help—it can act as a stand-in for that salesperson and support and guide customers through their online shopping journey. Some of the added benefits of offering a live chat on your website include: 

  • Increasing conversions: 79% of businesses have said that live chat has increased their sales and revenue.2 When you track customers visiting your website, you can begin to clearly understand the customer’s intentions and behavior, and therefore engage with them on products that you can see they are interested in. You essentially have a pool of warm leads that you can talk directly to—and often that leads to sales.
  • Improve the overall customer experience: Customers who find it seamless to engage with your business are more likely to return. The chat option brings an advantage because you can remove frustrating delays in communication, answer customer questions right away, and help them from the comfort of their own home without even having to make a trip to the dealership.  
  • Boost personalization: Narrowing in on each customer’s exact needs can help a business land sales without as much wasted effort. Chat functions can help you increase these levels of personalization by using account data to match customers with their interests. 

Features to Look For in Your Car Dealer Live Chat

1. Customizable Design

Choose a software provider that enables you to match the appearance of the widget to your site. This will help it visually fit into your overall branding and avoid looking like an external application. 

2. Automation Tools

Many software options will come with tools to automatically keep your chats organized through various workflows, pre-written replies, FAQ click-through buttons, or conversation tagging to keep track of previous customer interactions. 

3. Integrations

Choosing a software that can interact with your other programs will help you keep your processes streamlined. Some chatbots can link to Facebook Messenger and other tools you may already be using to keep your customer interactions organized in one place. 

4. Transcripts

Live chat software that offers the ability to save transcripts are essential if you want to provide the best customer service. This will help you keep track of each customer’s needs and questions. 

5. Proactive Messaging

Some live chat software allows you to begin a conversation with customers who meet specified criteria, like if they are in a certain region or are clicking a particular link. This can help you target customers at individual parts of the buying journey. 

6. Mobile Accessibility

Make sure your chat solution works for customers engaging on their phone, not just the browser. Most people use their mobile device for browsing the internet, so this customer experience needs to be seamless.4 

Work With ACV Auctions to Boost Sales 

Our online auctioning platform makes it simple for car dealers to access the best inventory on the market. Each vehicle gets inspected by a detail-oriented member of our team and comes with an itemized report so you can be confident in the products you’re bidding on. Fill your lot with the cars your customers want. Learn more and get started today


  1. Ventoniemi, Jade. “The Best Way to Use Live Chat for Car Dealerships (With Case Examples).” Giosg. Retrieved on January 15, 2024. 
  2. Talkative. (2022). “Car Dealership Live Chat: Drive Your Online Sales.” Talkative. Retrieved January 15, 2024. 
  3. Schlesinger, Eric. “5 Tips for Starting Out with Car Dealer Live Chat.” ActivEngage. Retrieved January 15, 2024. 
  4. Short, Jesse. 2023. “9 Best Live Chat Widgets for Your Business.” Help Scout. Retrieved January 19, 2024.