“Smart” Chat vs. Passive Chat: Study of Toyota, Lexus and Scion Dealers Proves New Smart Chat Platform Drives Huge Increase in Website Traffic Conversions

Comprehensive Study of 68 Dealerships using Gubagoo’s ChatSmart Platform Shows 77% Chat-to-Lead Conversion

 

West Palm Beach, FL – October 8, 2014 – A comprehensive study[1] of 68 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers using a next-generation “smart” chat solution versus old-school, passive chat has shown consistently high chat-to-lead conversion rates of 77%. Dealers who had used another chat product reported a marked improvement with Gubagoo’s managed chat solution, ChatSmart.

Unlike first generation “passive” chat, “smart” chat is powered by an “intelligent” platform that identifies website visitors and proactively engages them with relevant, targeted information, rather than simply interrupting and talking at customers with no knowledge of what the customer is actually interested in.

In recent years, dealers have refocused their digital marketing spend away from high-priced, low-closing 3rd party Internet leads to driving traffic to their own websites with SEO, PPC and display advertising. However, these efforts often fall short because of a failure to engage car buyers once they land on the dealers’ websites. In fact, NADA data shows that 95% of the average dealership’s site visitors will defect from the site due to lack of engagement, meaningful information and relevant offers.

“Many dealers have adopted chat tools as a means of stopping the consumer from fleeing their websites but, too often, that chat is ‘passive’ versus ‘active’ – or ‘dumb’ versus ‘smart,’” said Brad Title, CEO of Gubagoo Inc. “This study of Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers proves that smart chat can massively increase the effectiveness of their websites to drive qualified leads to their sales team.”

STUDY’S KEY FINDINGS:

TOYOTA – 74% Chat to Lead Conversion
LEXUS – 71% Chat to Lead Conversion
SCION – 84% Chat to Lead Conversion*

ChatSmart is proven to be more proactive and higher converting because it utilizes click activity, frequency of visits and predictive models to improve the consumer experience. It is the first chat platform to match vehicles of interest to website visitors, as well as serving up relevant incentives, offers and inventory in real time.

“Gubagoo’s ChatSmart is extremely effective at converting chat into leads because of all the data it collects and because, as a fully managed chat solution, it requires minimal staff involvement until a lead is generated,” said Internet Marketing Manager, Jesse Walker of Pembroke Pines Lexus. “Visitors to our website like that our chat operators are ‘smart’ enough to know what pages they are looking at and are then able to suggest relevant offers on both service and sales – it makes for much quicker and more productive chat sessions for our customers.”

Pembroke Pines attributes ChatSmart with 30 incremental car sales a month at an average cost of $33 per sale. “Obviously, we use a lot tools, but for ROI, you can’t beat Gubagoo,” said Walker.

Toyota of Renton/Toyota of Kirkland in Washington switched from another chat company to Gubagoo and, Mark Brushears, E-commerce Director, for O’Brian Auto Group, reports that “Twenty-six percent of our Toyota of Kirkland website sales are now generated by Gubagoo. The results are so good that there’s no comparison with the previous vendor.”

Gubagoo’s ChatSmart is based on an advanced, intuitive behavioral analytics platform called the BEAST (Behavioral Engagement and Scoring Technology), ChatSmart knows what each site visitor is doing, from the exact vehicles they are looking at, to how many times they have visited the site, to how long they are spending on each page. It then puts that rich data in motion: assigning each visitor a unique score based on their real-world behavior and using that score to precisely engage and re-engage individuals with calculated messages, chats and offers/coupons, about the right vehicle at the right time, as well as pushing relevant dealership inventory – and in real time. And, importantly, ChatSmart takes the onus off in-dealership staff by providing a fully managed chat solution and then delivering extremely detailed leads directly to the dealership.

Full case study can be found here: http://www.makingleadshappen.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Gubagoo-Toyota_Lexus-Case-Study-FINAL-09-12-2014.pdf

 

About Gubagoo 
Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and staffed by a team of veteran technologists and innovators in lead conversion, Gubagoo offers revolutionary behavioral engagement and scoring technologies for automotive websites. With a mission to provide a smarter, more cost-effective alternative to the old lead generation model, Gubagoo is the first dealership website solution that successfully makes anonymous traffic identifiable, and converts the 95% of dealer site traffic that traditionally defects. Incorporating smart predictive matching and the best chat technology available – and powered by its proprietary behavioral engagement and scoring engine, ‘B.E.A.S.T.’ – Gubagoo engages new and repeat dealer site visitors with unprecedented relevance. Over 1,000 dealerships, including some of the nation’s largest dealer groups, as well as OEM-certified programs, already have adopted Gubagoo-powered websites. Gubagoo has been named a finalist for the DrivingSales Innovation Cup Award for the Most Innovative Dealership Solution of 2014.

 

Gubagoo Media Relations: 
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (949) 307-1723, melanie@mwebbcom.com

Cassandra Cavanah, mWEBB Communications, (818) 397-4630, cassandra@mwebbcom.com

 

[1] Study included 46 nationally representative Toyota and 16 Lexus dealerships from Jan-June 2014 and six Scion dealerships from July-Aug 2014.

*Scion numbers represented shorter period on the study (two months), and considerably lower traffic.

Gubagoo is a Finalist for Most Innovative Dealership Solution of 2014

‘Gubagoo Behavioral Engagement & Analytics Technology (BEAST), and Chat and Call Centers’ selected by dealers as DrivingSales Innovation Cup Award finalist; Gubagoo to present onstage at DrivingSales Executive Summit

 

West Palm Beach, FL and Salt Lake City, UT – September 22, 2014 – ‘Gubagoo Behavioral Engagement & Analytics Technology (BEAST), and Chat and Call Centers’ has been named a finalist for the DrivingSales Innovation Cup Award for the Most Innovative Dealership Solution of 2014. Gubagoo’s solution was selected by a panel of dealer judges from a very competitive field and will be presented onstage at the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES), held October 12-14, 2014 at the Bellagio Las Vegas.

 

“We are very honored to have been selected as a finalist for one of our industry’s most coveted awards, especially as we were selected by those who benefit from our solution – auto dealerships,” said Brad Title, CEO of Gubagoo Inc. “We look forward to sharing how Gubagoo’s ‘BEAST’ puts a ‘brain’ behind dealership websites, turning them into supercharged conversion zones and identifying the 95% of visitors that are usually lost to dealers.”

Gubagoo is the fastest growing chat and website engagement provider for dealerships with over 1,300 dealership customers. Its technology makes anonymous website visitors identifiable, tracking every website action 24/7 (cars/pages they look at) – and decodes all those URLs/clicks to build an ever-changing visitor score — and then targets visitors with precise/personal offers and inventory displays – and super-informed chat and call center conversations.

“For each of the past four years, The DrivingSales Innovation Cup has introduced game-changing and realistic dealership innovations to our industry, each selected by a dealer panel, and each armed with a solution designed to change our industry for the better. We congratulate Gubagoo for joining this impressive and elite group with ‘Gubagoo Behavioral Engagement & Analytics Technology (BEAST), and Chat and Call Centers,’” said DrivingSales Founder and CEO Jared Hamilton. “We look forward to sharing Gubagoo’s progressive solution with attendees at the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit.”
DrivingSales created the Innovation Cup Awards to recognize solutions introduced or enhanced in 2014 whose innovative approaches have produced significant results for dealers. Dealership solution-providers submitted applications online, vendor names were blanked out, and a panel of dealer judges selected the finalists. Finalists will present their solution onstage for the dealer panel and attendees at the DSES on Monday, October 13th.

 

The Innovation Cup Award competition is part of an exciting DSES line up this year, which includes high-profile keynotes from digital expert and best-selling author Brian Solis; SEO ‘Wizard’ Rand Fishkin; eMarketer’s lead digital auto analyst, Mike Hudson; Kellogg School of Management marketing professor Florian Zettelmeyer, andonline marketing pioneer, Bryan Eisenberg, as well as dealer-selected breakout sessions from industry experts and dealers on topics which offer actionable strategies designed to improve operations, effectiveness and profitability in six distinct categories: Advanced General Marketing, Dealer Operations, Mobile, Search, Website Optimization, and Social Media, and include topics ranging from wearable technology to improving dealership culture.

 

 

For the full DrivingSales Executive Summit agenda and more information on speakers and presentations go to http://drivingsalesexecutivesummit.com/innovation-cup/.

 

For more information about the DrivingSales Executive Summit and to register before the event sells out, go to www.drivingsalesexecutivesummit.com or contact dses@drivingsales.com.  Stay tuned for DSES news as it develops on www.twitter.com/drivingsales and on facebook.com/drivingsales. Participate in the conversation using #DSES as preparations continue throughout the year.

 

About Gubagoo 
Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and staffed by a team of veteran technologists and innovators in lead conversion, Gubagoo offers revolutionary behavioral engagement and scoring technologies for automotive websites. With a mission to provide a smarter, more cost-effective alternative to the old lead generation model, Gubagoo is the first dealership website solution that successfully makes anonymous traffic identifiable, and converts the 95% of dealer site traffic that traditionally defects. Incorporating smart predictive matching and the best chat technology available – and powered by its proprietary behavioral engagement and scoring engine, ‘B.E.A.S.T.’ – Gubagoo engages new and repeat dealer site visitors with unprecedented relevance. Over 700 dealerships, including some of the nation’s largest dealer groups, as well as OEM-certified programs, already have adopted Gubagoo-powered websites.

 

 

 

About The DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES)

The DrivingSales Executive Summit is where the most progressive dealers gather to collaborate and learn forward-thinking trends in automotive operations. DSES features world-renowned experts on marketing, technology and retail operations from inside and outside the industry, who provide the most valuable and actionable insights for today’s dealership professionals.  The DSES agenda is dealer-driven, ensuring the content is 100 percent focused on the needs of progressive dealers.  Only the top 10 percent of speaking applications selected by DrivingSales members make it on the agenda.

 

To protect the quality of the event, seating is limited and always held at a 5-diamond venue.  DSES has sold out every year. For those interested in attending, securing seating as early as possible is recommended.  For more information, visit DSES.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 a registered user in over 50% of new car dealerships in the US 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

 

Media Relations:

Melanie Webber (melanie@mwebbcom.com), mWEBB Communications, 949.307.1723

 

 

Gubagoo’s New TalkSmart Drives ‘Smart’, High-Converting Phone Leads

TalkSmart integrates advanced telephony into Gubagoo’s analytics-driven website chat and communications platform

West Palm Beach, FL – September 16, 2014  Gubagoo Inc.’s new TalkSmartsm is designed to drive ‘smart,’ high-converting phone leads. Integrated into Gubagoo’s analytics-driven website chat and communications platform, TalkSmart closes the loop on customer communications via dealership websites. TalkSmart caters to the large percentage of consumers who say that talking to a live person is still their top communications preference, while also helping dealerships ensure that they never miss a car sale because they have missed a call (research shows that at least 20% of a dealership’s call go unanswered).

“In the rush to make websites function at their best, it is important that dealers don’t forget about the oldest kind of chat – the good old-fashioned phone call. TalkSmart is designed to help transform a dealership website from a ‘dead-zone’ into a conversation-packed, lead-generating arena,” said Brad Title, CEO of Gubagoo Inc.

A 24/7 phone concierge solution with a ‘brain,’ TalkSmart, like Gubagoo’s chat solution, ChatSmart, is powered by an innovative analytics/tracking engine and inventory-matching platform. And, like ChatSmart, which is showing huge conversion, lead and sales increases for dealerships, TalkSmart is already driving significant results.

Larry H. Miller Used Car Supermarket of Sandy, Utah has been utilizing TalkSmart. Says Internet Sales Manager, Doug Webb: “TalkSmart is vital for any store that doesn’t have the proper staffing in place to handle the call volume. Additionally, for bigger stores with BDC’s, it’s an essential backstop tool to make sure you’re able to set the appointment.”

According to research, plenty of customers still want to talk with a real, live person (71 percent of consumers say talking with a live agent over the phone was still the top preference*). And, with smartphones increasingly dominating the digital universe, phone calls are on the rise in dealerships. According to ADP, phone calls are now outpacing e-mail or form leads by a 4:1 ratio (a rise from 2:1 in January). And, in the last two years, phone leads are up 46% versus Internet leads.

With TalkSmart, when a dealership website visitor wants to connect on the phone, he/she will be talking to someone who already knows what he/she wants because Gubagoo agents have a transparent window into the exact cars or dealer services that the website visitor was already researching. The phone agents can then intelligently discuss, automatically display, and send offers / incentives on relevant dealer inventory. Dealerships can use TalkSmart as their first-ring, 24/7 call solution or just for after-hours; either way the U.S.-based agents set sales and service appointments, and after each call the TalkSmart platform seamlessly delivers back to the dealership (CRM systems) these extremely hot, information-packed leads, for follow-up.

 

More on How TalkSmart Works:

  • Before a dealer site visitor dials, Gubagoo’s Behavioral Engagement and Scoring Technology (the B.E.A.S.T.) has already relentlessly tracked that visitor’s site behavior (the exact cars they looked at, pages visited, etc.). So, no matter who takes the call, whether in-dealership staff or outsourced TalkSmart call center agents, that customer’s rich profile is always right in front of them – ensuring efficient, relevant, high-converting conversations out of the gate.
  • TalkSmart also identifies if incoming calls are for sales or service and can screen callers to transfer to the right department. Additionally, all dealership info is baked right into the platform: hours, location/directions, etc.
  • Because TalkSmart integrates Gubagoo’s patent-pending Inventory Control and Vehicle Matching platforms, which predictively match the right in-stock dealer inventory to that customer, dealer salespeople and call center agents can discuss and share online, live, relevant inventory feeds/views (with pictures and vehicle details) all married to the right offers/incentives. This vehicle-matching technology also helps dealers move the oldest inventory, because it puts the relevant, aged vehicles first in line. In general, because agents are informed and can be instantly responsive to consumer questions, the likelihood of gathering contact info, and setting test drive and showroom visits, rises dramatically.
  • During or after the call TalkSmart’s system allows agents to send emails displaying relevant inventory, with the right incentives/offers, with just a click – again, spotlighting the aged inventory first.
  • After every call, the dealership is sent all these highly motivated leads, with the caller’s contact info, the vehicles they’re interested in, and a complete transcript of the call. The TalkSmart platform seamlessly inserts all this data into a dealer’s CRM system to make following up on these sales opportunities easy.
  • Dealers have total flexibility in set-up: they can choose to use the TalkSmart call center for all incoming calls – turn it on for just after-hours – or to take every showroom and service department call after the fourth ring, to protect against missed opportunities and frustrated customers.
  • Every TalkSmart agent is U.S.-based, and for both of Gubagoo’s telephony and chat channels, operators that speak numerous languages are available, and instant translations are built into the platform.

 

About Gubagoo 
Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and staffed by a team of veteran technologists and innovators in lead conversion, Gubagoo offers revolutionary behavioral engagement and scoring technologies for automotive websites. With a mission to provide a smarter, more cost-effective alternative to the old lead generation model, Gubagoo is the first dealership website solution that successfully makes anonymous traffic identifiable, and converts the 95% of dealer site traffic that traditionally defects. Incorporating smart predictive matching and the best chat technology available – and powered by its proprietary behavioral engagement and scoring engine, ‘B.E.A.S.T.’ – Gubagoo engages new and repeat dealer site visitors with unprecedented relevance. Over 700 dealerships, including some of the nation’s largest dealer groups, as well as OEM-certified programs, already have adopted Gubagoo-powered websites.

 

Gubagoo Media Relations: 
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (949) 307-1723, melanie@mwebbcom.com
Cassandra Cavanah, mWEBB Communications, (818) 397-4630, cassandra@mwebbcom.com

 

* http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Editorial/Magazine-Features/Should-Your-Company-Abandon-Phone-Support-88201.aspx

 

Gubagoo study also finds: gradually ramping up value of published offers on dealer websites saves $18,000+ a month

The ROI of Tiered Site Offers: Most dealer websites present a variety of static, unchanging offers, whether a $50 gift card for taking a test drive, or $500-$1000 towards a new or used purchase. And they often present the highest deal value out of the gate. The dealerships studied used the same behavioral tracking software to re-identify each shopper at each visit, so that the value of published offers displayed (initially passed over) could be ramped up over time. (For instance, a visitor that was initially presented with $250 towards a new-car purchase would see that offer rise to $500 on a subsequent visit, and then up to $750 after several visits.) And this strategy resulted in significant cost-savings and more leads: with more people ultimately filling out forms to claim the deal.

The average dealer studied had over 160 different offer claim forms filled out each month, and the maximum value of the offers “on the table” per dealer was $115,000. But by incrementally ramping up offers to returning visitors (rather than displaying the highest-value offer) the average dealer saved more than $18,000.

And the data also reveals that had the dealers not ramped up the offers from their lowest value, they would have failed to incite the majority of visitors to take action. The average dealer had 71 offers claimed at the lowest dollar value, but 98 claimed at a second or third higher increment. The lowest offer proved sufficient for roughly 40% of visitors to fill out the claim form, while a ramped-up offer drove roughly 60% to pull the trigger.

The takeaways: when dealers present static, highest-value site offers they’re just throwing money away. And when they serve up unchanging, lowest-value offers the majority of their site visitors will not fill out the form to claim the deal, and, hence, turn into an actionable lead. The strategic ramping-up of the value of published offers is the only way to squarely hit more people at their personal ‘deal threshold’ – and the only way to make this happen is by putting tracking software behind your site.

Top Offers Redeemed at Dealer Sites: The 1,000 dealers studied used 21 different published offers, and the top 5 most claimed overall were:

1. $500 towards the trade-in

2. $500 towards the purchase/lease of a new vehicle

3. Free car wash with service

4. $25 gift card for test drive

5. $1,000 towards trade-in

Interestingly, one of the most widely used offers on dealer sites, an oil change special, was at the very bottom of the offers-claimed list.

It’s HIGH Time for Chat Metrics THAT MEAN SOMETHING

Online chat for dealer websites is SERIOUSLY being held back by a lack of standard, industry-wide metrics – that get to the heart of actual performance and ROI. This lack of meaningful chat metrics is a key reason that a majority of dealerships haven’t adopted a chat platform. And a key reason that those that have are totally confused about what they’re paying for.

Maybe some of you who have used other chat providers know what I’m talking about. Many will fill their monthly performance reports with metrics like “total number of chats.” Why is this essentially a useless metric? Because much of what they’re “counting” as chats or “conversions” goes like this: Chat operator: “Hi! Can I help you? Visitor: “No thanks.” Or, operator: “Hi, we have a great $19.99 oil change deal. Can I tell you about it? “ Visitor: “No, I’m looking at new cars.” These are dead, go nowhere non-conversations. And it’s this tallying of “number of chats” that leads to another false, inflated chat metric that’s thrown at dealers: “visitor-to chat” rates – with companies claiming absurd numbers like 80%.

And then there are all those other vague but important sounding measures around “engagement.”

You and I both know that these metrics have nothing to do with measuring what a dealer cares about: leads that are captured and can be followed up with – which lead to more sales!

So, I am throwing down the gauntlet to the chat industry. Every vendor in this space should base their performance on – and make public to dealers – ONE, key, performance metric: actionable leads generated. Because a zillion chats, without leads captured/generated, is nothing but empty, idle chat. What is a website or chat generated lead? It means, at the very minimum, getting that site visitor’s name, and either email or phone number, recorded and poured into the CRM. Whether that person’s key contact info got captured during an online chat, by filling out a form to redeem a published offer, or at the call center.

A lead means capturing real contact info so follow-up can happen.

At Gubagoo we go way farther: our chat agents and analytics technology aims to provide 27 (!) information points for every lead: yes, name and phone and email – but also key info points from what vehicle make/model/year they expressed interest in – to what exact pages they viewed – to a complete transcript of the chat. A chat platform must drive leads, and then populate that lead with rich info that makes follow-up communications relevant and personal – so high converting. And we make sure a service lead goes to the service department, and a used-vehicle lead to that department, because, doesn’t that make sense?

Every marketing investment a dealer makes deserves clear, meaningful metrics, so they can judge vendors against each other. And the metric that matters to dealers is LEADS and SALES.

Insist on a new chat metric: real leads.

Not so hard, right? That’s what we expect our customers to measure us on. And every dealer has the right ask that from our competitors.

Stay tuned…we plan to make some noise about this in the months ahead!

Brad Title, CEO Gubagoo