What to Know About Conversational Assistants In the Automotive Retail Business?

25 February, 2021

When Conversational assistants are put into the context of the automotive industry, the opportunity for the dealers is exponential. Harnessing that power that offers a significant boost in sales and customer retention is the main reason behind dealers leaning towards conversational AI and AI assistants. 

Today’s customers expect instant gratification. In particular, instant gratification resonates with today’s audience. As customers start their vehicle buying journey online, they crave immediacy and have become fast adopters of “click and get the response”.

These conversations take place in various channels like email and text. Proper technology enables dealers to reach out to the right customer at the right moment with the right answers. By being persistent, customer communication is the focal point of the vehicle purchasing process, and the importance of being available when the lead comes in is vital. Which brings me to the first point:

Customer Support and Sales Still Lag Behind

Dealerships struggle to train and retain competent support and sales teams to timely provide customers with good quality responses. Scaling conversations is one of the pain points that conversational assistants tackle to overcome. Being customer-centric is the foundation of a long term relationship for a dealership. Conversational assistants provide effective outreach and engagement that dealerships need. It is the most powerful solution for 2-way communication that has tremendous benefits for both parties. 

I believe we should all agree that the longer you wait to respond after a lead comes in, the less likely it is that the lead will convert. Moreover, maintaining exceptional CSI is highly dependent on the initial outreach and engagement that the dealer has with the lead. In most cases, there is a tradeoff between speed and the quality of the answers that a sales representative faces. But why would one choose one over another?

Dealerships should be acting fast to engage with the lead in a timely manner, but the responses sent to customers should be answering their questions, all of this within five minutes. The hours of operation are limited, 24/7 messaging coverage isn’t feasible and there are only so many employees available to respond to leads. So the solution, in this case, is using conversational assistants to provide 24/7 high-quality service.

Customers Demand Constant Accessibility & Don’t Like to Wait

Our goal at Pulsar is to help dealership sales reps with tedious tasks that Conversational AI is particularly well suited for. The idea is to supplement and enhance dealership team efforts. And when it comes to responding to leads as quickly and as efficiently as possible, 24/7, there’s no denying the effectiveness of intelligent virtual agents. Having a virtual agent means keeping the dealership open day/night and on weekends – whenever a customer needs it. Conversational assistants help you manage conversations, schedule appointments and nurture leads alongside the team during working hours and also when the dealership is offline. 

Sometimes people are just looking for quick and accurate answers. So instead of forcing them to wait until a sales representative becomes available, virtual agents can deliver the experience and provide the information leads are looking for. With the right configuration, Virtual Agent can collect the information and redirect the question to the right sales representative. Once the sales representative becomes available, it can easily jump in and take over the conversation.

Conversational Interface – Much Easier for Customers

For automotive dealerships, we see that scheduling test drives and appointments in a conversational manner have been the best way to move leads through the funnel. Our conversational AI analyses whatever the customer says and uses natural language processing to decide how to move forward with the conversation. Pulsar uses its proprietary technology to understand what the customer is saying. It then asks questions and extracts all the necessary information it needs to drive the conversation to the goal – an appointment, a test drive, lead information collection, etc. In parallel, it updates the lead in the dealership’s CRM to let the team monitor and act when necessary.

See Pulsar In Action!

When a lead comes in from any source, Pulsar reads the question, generates a response using inventory data and sends it back to the customer.