Engage Service Customers With Artificial Intelligence

A tireless automated assistant keeps customers tied to the dealership throughout the ownership cycle

The ability to engage service customers—and keep them engaged—is critical to a dealership’s revenue and, more importantly, its ability to retain those customers through to the next buying cycle.

And that buying cycle is worth a lot more than just one or two cars; according to dealership executive and author Carl Sewell, every customer is worth $517,000 over his or her lifetime. NADA’s December 2015 stats report that, although the average new car sale yielded 3.58% gross, the average service yielded 72%. So it’s clearly worth the effort.

But contacting and engaging service customers takes time, effort, and close monitoring, and that’s just not possible for the typical service team when there are hundreds or thousands of customers to work. Not surprisingly, good opportunities get dropped.

But now artificial intelligence (AI)–based solutions are emerging that can take over that engagement process economically, and at far greater scale than is possible by the typical service staff, freeing your service people to do what they do best—provide excellent service. The typical service advisor, assistant, or business development center may send a handful of emails or place a few phone calls to a potential service customer before moving on.

In contrast, an AI-based service assistant engages potential service customers in natural, two-way human conversations, and continues to engage and nurture them until they either express interest or specifically opt-out—which could be in one day, a few months, or even a year. The automated assistant tirelessly keeps customers tied to the dealership throughout the ownership cycle.

Furthermore, an AI solution can also deliver valuable information about potential service customers to your service department. With details from the AI conversation, your advisors will be prepared to engage each customer when, where, and how that person prefers. Best of all, an automated service assistant always engages, always responds, and always ensures your service team has followed up with every customer that demonstrates interest.

A good example solution is the new automated service assistant from Conversica. Conversica has already helped hundreds of dealerships convert more sales leads into opportunities with its namesake product, and now is expanding that capability to the service department. The Conversica automated service assistant easily and effectively handles situations such as:

  • Engaging leads in real time when they come in through website service tab
  • Engaging new car buyers to make their first service appointment
  • Engaging new car buyers later who have never scheduled a service
  • Reengaging customers who have been in for service but not returned
  • Querying customers regarding declined services that were recommended
  • Following up to gauge customer satisfaction after a service visit

If your dealership depends upon service customers for revenue and future car sales, an AI solution will increase your ROI on each one. That’s because an automated service assistant is always persistent, always polite, never has a bad day or gets sick, and—best of all—hands over service customers at the very time they are ready to engage, so your service people can focus on providing excellent service instead of chasing dead leads.

Gary Gerber is senior director and head of product marketing at Conversica, provider of the first lead-conversion software that uses an artificial intelligence persona to engage prospects in natural, two-way email conversations to qualify every single lead before turning it over to sales. He has headed product marketing, product development, and product innovation at multiple companies, and is the inventor of record on seven international patents. Visit Conversica at NADA 2016 at Booth #3843C.

Gary Gerber


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