Why we need chatbots in Automotive retail

If you are a vehicle sales executive you would have heard it a thousand times. We need to change and move with the times.

We need a new strategy. Where is your next customer going to come from.

Management continuously reminds us of these things and some even tell you that they are at the forefront of innovation.

But how innovative are they really? Have they really looked at new things to try out. I am willing to bet that that’s not really true. The only marketing they know is advertisements in the local paper and listings on a paid website.

Oh, and don’t forget that Facebook is the new thing and that you need to focus on social media marketing.

Which brings me to the reason for writing this. Not much has changed in the last 20 years I have been selling cars. We Facebook and do a couple of free OLX adds etc. But now there’s something new.

Something different and exciting. In fact, don’t just take my word for it. This new tech is even taking the US by storm.

Lets look at some facts. Business Insider reports that 44% of US buyers prefers speaking to a chatbot over humans and this is expanding at a rapid pace.

Ubisend said that 69% of people interviewed prefer a chatbot to get instant answers BUT that an amazing 19% said that human interaction is not important.

So why would people prefer chatbots for automotive transactions? Here’s why:
1) Chatbots never sleep.
For the night owls out there this is good news. Should you get the urge to search for a car online and find one, the chatbot will be awake to assist with FAQ’s and even booking a test drive should you wish. The salesman will not be to happy if you ask him for a test drive at 1 Am in the morning. These bots are workaholics like you have never seen.
2) Chatbots never lie.
This is especially true for used car sales people. The stigma that used car salesman are,well, not always honest still sticks around. For that reason the auto bot is gaining in popularity. It will only answer you with the correct answers and script it has been programmed with. Just the facts and nothing else.
3) Chatbots are focused and precise
The bot will focus at the task at hand and will not get distracted. It will get the info needed and log the data without mistakes. It also does not have moods like a human and therefor treats all customers equally. If programmed your bot can also display a sense of humor just to keep things interesting.
4) Masters of lead nurturing.
Lets be honest. As sales people we forget to look after our old customers. We forget those important follow up calls and birthdays. We don’t even call on a vehicle anniversary anymore. The bot does not and will never forget. They are masters at keeping that relationship going.
5) Accurate marketing agents.
The data which is collected by the chatbot can be used to build laser focused audiences for your marketing campaigns. This is turn means better return on investment for your advertising budgets.
6) Lead qualifying.
The bot can actually do your lead qualification for you. The time saved will allow you to focus on closing the hot leads first which means more moola in your pocket. No more wasting time with a customer who will only buy at a later stage.

The points mentioned above are just a few of the many features of chatbots. There are many more. Basically your whole sales process can be automated. As these chatbots develop, they will in the end just safe you more and more time and ultimately you will be much more effective and successful at selling cars.

Although these bots will actually be able to take over the whole sales process I don’t see them replacing the good old salesman any time soon. People still want some human interaction and after all. Who will they call when that very used car breaks down?

In my opinion the next new and big thing in automotive sales has landed. Its still early days but I would suggest that you jump on the wagon now, otherwise you might just get left behind.

The next guy with an AI assistant who never sleeps will grab more and more sales while you sleep.

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