Live engagement has become a vital tool for assisting online car buyers throughout their purchasing process by taking the dealership to the customer. At the moment, 87 percent of shoppers start their journey online which means the first time they’re really going into your dealership is when they enter your website.
More and more shoppers are now hoping to avoid visiting a dealership to negotiate a purchase and are looking for different ways to approach the auto buying process. The current iteration of the auto dealership IS dying. While consumers previously visited an average of seven auto dealers before a purchase, buyers now average 1.6 dealership visits. Traditional in-person negotiations are going out of style, and consumers are demanding flexibility around when and how they initiate and negotiate automotive purchases. Shoppers want to approach dealers on their terms, and those dealerships that can’t adapt won’t survive.
As more employees are working from home for a variety of different reasons – flexibility, health, tending to family members, etc., auto dealerships need to have the ability for their staff to provide customer service from wherever they are located. This online interaction provides an opportunity to put a more flexible approach to meeting customer engagement needs by utilizing a remote customer service support staff. Here are some effective and easy ways that you can prepare your website and equip your employees so they can work remotely to meet the unique needs of your online customers.
Leverage Customer Service BOTs and Live Chat
Dealerships that are flourishing are embracing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and BOTs to create an online customer experience that will build customer loyalty. AI and chatBOTs allow you to service your customers 24/7. BOTs can provide customers with quick answers to FAQs, direct them to specs on specific models, help fill out paperwork, qualify the customer, and pass them off to a live agent at just the right time. Having these questions already addressed can save time for your sales agents and allow them to spend more time with qualified customers.
Collaborate With Your Customers
Customers want to shop on your website when the time is right for them and also be able to ask questions of your expert sales team. This could be early in the morning or late into the evening. Remote agents working from different time zones can use an intelligent conversational experience platform like Vee24 to meet the customer virtually. With live-engagement and co-browsing, your agent can jointly navigate webpages with the customer and guide their buying journey every step of the way. Live agents can chat with customers, co-browse with a customer to configure their perfect car options, or use a mobile camera on video chat to show off the details of leather options for the interior of a specific car.
For customers that still prefer to speak to someone on the phone, you can easily add co-browsing to a phone engagement. This allows your agent to see exactly what the customer is looking at on the website. Especially for complex websites, co-browsing significantly improves first call resolution and average handle time by giving your service reps the information they need to understand the customer’s issue immediately. This has an immediate benefit to your customer service KPIs and results in a highly satisfied customer.
Live agents can assist buyers with paperwork using co-form fill and help facilitate nearly every detail of a car purchase at the buyer’s convenience. This kind of service on demand can help build brand loyalty. A customer who is comfortable through the whole buying experience and served on their terms is going to be extremely satisfied.
A Catalyst for Improved Customer Service Approach
Creating a virtual workforce that is distributed and working from the comfort of their home is a great benefit. It reduces risks since you can now hire employees from all over a geographic area, so if there is an outage or disruption there is slack in your system. Moreover, it reduces your real estate expenses and allows you to have a wider range of payroll costs depending on whether they are in Salt Lake City, Utah or Boston, Massachusetts. One great benefit is the job satisfaction of your employees who can now work remotely, save commute time, and balance personal needs. Remote work with flexible hours for your employees will allow for greater diversity in your workforce.
By providing your employees with tools that allow for screen-share and co-browse they can digitally “hold your customer’s hand.” These technologies will enable your staff to share the screen with customers, and walk them through completing any forms, transfers, or other processes that they may need help.
The automotive industry is in the middle of a radical change as 54 percent of car buyers would pay more for a better experience, and those car dealers willing to provide that experience will have a distinct edge over the competition. Dealerships that embrace new technologies to create a strong, easy-to-navigate online presence serving consumers on their own terms will come out on top and will be able to keep their employees more engaged. AI and BOT technology can provide the 24/7 access that customers demand, and that combined with a text, voice, video based live conversational experience that allows you to create a virtual online showroom with live video walk throughs of a car can provide the personalized service that will keep car buyers coming back.
Did you enjoy this article from Priya Iyer? Read other articles from her here.
Car Biz Today, the official resource of the retail automotive industry.
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