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Dealers with Quick Response on Mobile Chat See Better Lead Success

More consumers are moving toward using chat as their preferred way of communicating with businesses.


Did you know waiting even an hour to respond to a chat can cost you 25% of your leads?

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More consumers are moving toward using chat as their preferred way of communicating with businesses. According to a recent national survey, more than half of all Americans prefer to message rather than call a business, and six out of 10 reported an increase in their business messaging.

Buyer Response Time (minutes)

To capitalize on these trends, dealers are posting their inventory to online and mobile markets that utilize chat messaging. There are a variety of digital tools to aid dealer and buyer engagements but a key driver of dealer success is how quickly they respond to chat leads. 

Data gathered from our dealer network demonstrates how dealers can use chat technology to help keep more leads. Data shows that many dealers are underestimating the value of being responsive in chat.


The Buyer/Dealer Median Response Time chart shows that lead quality deteriorates rapidly as the dealer response rate slows. Dealers who respond to leads within one minute enjoy high lead retention, however dealers who take over an hour to respond lose 25% of their leads and the remaining leads’ response time drops drastically. Dealers who wait longer than 24 hours to respond will on average lose 77% of their leads.

Dealers (names abbreviated)

Interestingly, dealers vastly overestimate how quickly they respond. Our sample response times chart shows that most dealers believe they are answering inbound inquiries in about an hour, though in reality it is between six and eight hours. This will typically cost them 40-60% of their leads.

What can you do about this? There are several key things dealers should implement to take advantage of their chat features:

  • Assign a dedicated chat leads manager to make sure inbound chats to your team are answered and assigned in a timely manner.
  • Make good first impressions by being helpful and courteous when responding to inquiries.
  • Be upfront and set expectations if you don’t immediately have an answer to a question. Let the customer know that you will get back to them shortly.
  • Track your response rates and make improvements as necessary.

Steven Woody – Director of Sales for Offerup

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