How are you working your leads—for sales or for service? Most dealers are working their new leads separate from their service leads. Once a car is sold they set-up service reminders and let the automated emails do their thing. Sold customers would be sent automated messages at regular intervals that the service department is available whenever they are needed. The problem with automated messages is the nature of the content, it’s canned and impersonal, worst yet your emails could be blocked by SPAM filters. If your message does get through, are you communicating to your clients in a personal way that lets them know you are listening to their needs?
Communicating effectively with your client base is the most assured method for gaining and retaining service customers and future car sales. One option for strengthening the customer connection would be to have real people to call customers when their car ought to need service. A dedicated staffer might call or email everyone on their list, but are they going to have the persistence to contact every one of those clients every day for the next week until they pick up or reply? Probably not. Let’s face it, communicating effectively with leads you are trying to convert to sales whether it is a new or service lead is a monumental task. Much is riding on your ability to connect with the customer at every stage of their life-cycle.
Luckily, technology is emerging to solve this problem of communication and assist your sales staff. Artificial intelligence (AI) doesn’t sound like something you would expect to encounter at your local car dealership, but it’s the wave of the future that is revolutionizing how dealerships do business. One such business, AVA.ai, which specialize in using artificial intelligence to communicate with leads, assist sales and customer service with their product AVA (Automated Virtual Assistant) is leading this revolution. In one client study they found that 65 service appointments were made in a three month period while the original messaging intent was to determine if the lead was still in the market to purchase a car. The secret is the AI communicates via email to these leads in a highly personable and human manor, most people believe they are communicating with a highly capable assistant. The perception that the dealer has a personal interest in the customer may encourage leads who aren’t in the market for a new car to bring their current car to someone who really cares about them.
Choosing an AI over an auto-responder is a no-brainer. AI messages appear to most filters as normal emails, not SPAM, and therefore make it to their intended recipients. The AI is also capable of pursuing leads for an extended duration, and continuing communication past the initial phase. Your team will have more information about the lead and will come to the table prepared. Best of all, the clients feel like they are receiving personal interest and attention 100 percent of the time.
Maggie Wettergreen is a designer and usability specialist at AVA.ai.