Today’s dealership faces ever-rising customer expectations. Across industries, shoppers actively seek out great service, with more than half willing to pay more for a better customer experience — and shopping for a car is no different.
Ironically, it’s artificial intelligence (AI) tools that can provide today’s most personal touch for dealership website shoppers. That’s because AI understands customers’ needs in real-time, and offers superior service.
AI might sound futuristic and even intimidating, but you can use its practical tools today to get better results — both for your customers and for your dealership’s bottom line.
Machine learning — the type of AI that analyzes user behavior and responds to customers in real-time — is today’s best tool for personalization. You have probably already seen it in action.
Consider what happens when you shop on Amazon. You arrive on-site and are greeted with tailored recommendations, based on your previous searches and purchases.
Amazon knows you recently bought some summer beach gear, so now when you log in, it tempts you with sunscreens and sunglasses that make you dream of your next vacation.
As you browse, related products and reviews immediately appear, giving you everything you need right at your fingertips. There might have been a time when shoppers were alarmed by these kinds of behavior tracking and recommendations, but we have turned a corner.
Today, personalization online seems natural — and even preferred. This type of personalization via machine learning is possible for your dealership as well. On your website, the right tools can track customer behavior and make predictions about what each shopper wants to see and do next on your website — whether they are in the early browsing stage, close to buying, booking a service appointment, or just trying to find your address.
With this data, your website can guide shoppers to the content and offers most relevant for them. AI can also improve marketing campaigns by responding to customer interests and buying stages with relevant, targeted ads and communication.
Personalized assistance means all customers can achieve their goals, and realize the tailored digital experience they have come to expect and enjoy.
Many dealerships are already taking advantage of segmentation in automated marketing. With segmentation, customers are grouped based on specific criteria to offer a degree of personalization.
But AI takes personalization much further because it has the ability to account for infinite factors in choosing the response to customers. This degree of customization can address customers on an individual level, creating the experience of talking to a skilled, attentive salesperson.
AI-driven personalization provides an outstanding customer experience for a higher chance of conversion. But it also provides a better — and more profitable — experience for your dealership. Here are some examples of how.
Personalized customer service can be time-consuming: setting up marketing campaigns, fielding calls and lead inquiries, following up with previous buyers, etc. — these important strategies can all drain the resources of your dealership team.
AI developers, however, are creating tools that improve automation and make these processes smoother and faster. A study by Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 85% of customer interactions will occur without a human.
This might sound like a statistic of doom that heralds the end of human customer service, but it is far from the case. Instead, AI will allow your team to spend less time on tedious tasks like data entry and repetitive calls, and more time speaking to viable customers, as well as coming up with strategies and long-term plans for your dealership. Cutting away the busy work with AI can enable creative thinking and enhanced efficiency.
Excellent personalization can be difficult, even impossible, to provide on a large scale. AI tools, however, allow your dealership to become truly responsive to large volumes of customers, offering them the help they need.
As one CMO said in an interview with the Harvard Business Review, “AI tools are the only way I can scale ‘helpfulness’ to a global community of 200,000-plus users with a team of two.” Helpfulness for customers is a key feature of personalized customer service, and AI can offer great solutions.
At the end of the day, your dealership needs tools that will increase your lead haul and sales numbers. With the improved customer satisfaction, increased efficiency, and scalability that AI can provide, you can beat out the competition and earn more sales and retention.
Personalized customer service, aided by AI, keeps your customers happy at every stage of the shopping process so they return to you again and again, boosting your dealership’s bottom line. In fact, companies that excel at personalization see a 6% to 10% increase in revenue, according to a Boston Consulting Group study.
With the AI tools available today, there’s no going back. Stay ahead of the marketing curve by learning which tools can help your dealership now.
Shoshana DuBow is the Sales Operations Manager at AutoLeadStar. She is passionate about helping dealerships drive more sales through digital personalization and superior customer experience online. Shoshana holds an MBA and brings a wide variety of professional experience to her position, including real estate management, teaching, and marketing. She is constantly looking for creative ways to improve sales processes for efficiency and success. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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