CBT News spoke with David Marod, senior vice president of sales at Conversica on the stage at NADA this year and discussed artificial intelligence in the dealership, and employing a virtual assistant in the day-to-day operations that can alleviate the tedious tasks.
For more coverage from the 2019 NADA Show, visit us here.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Dave, welcome to CBT News.
David Marod: Thank you.
Jim Fitzpatrick: For the people that are watching us right now, the dealers that are watching us, and their managers that are not as familiar with Conversica, give us the one-on-one on what you guys do and how you help dealers.
David Marod: We started as basically an artificial intelligence assistant. What we end up doing is replacing what humans don’t have the bandwidth to do, like task, mundane task. We figured out a long time ago, it takes a lot of contact points to try to get ahold of somebody. Five or six, seven, eight phone calls, seven or eight emails. Let’s call her, for example, you can name her anything you want, but Rachel, she’ll do those tasks and automate them until they get ahold of somebody.
What we found is, it really, really allows the dealership to have a higher contact rate, and what we call an engagement rate. Able to engage a customer through multiple attempts, and bring him into the dealership.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Awesome. And it’s like one of the saying the future is here now, right?
David Marod: Yeah.
Jim Fitzpatrick: When we talk about AI. This is an area that dealers are very focused on ’cause they don’t want to miss any deals, right?
David Marod: Right.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And then oftentimes the human element is what loses the deal or the sale or the opportunity, right?
David Marod: And so what we’re after is consistency. One of the bad parts about any sales team is you’ve got leads that you get from certain aspects that engage at a higher rate, and some that engage at a lower rate. But you’ve got to use the same intensity when we want to get ahold of somebody. And what happens is you don’t use the same intensity. You want to get ahold of the website lead early, and if it comes from the OEM, maybe not as much. But that cadence is something that we want to keep consistent, and that’s what the assistant does.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, phenomenal. And this is something that really could be used at any sized dealer group, right? This isn’t for just the big public companies out there, or some of the, like, the Hendrick Group or what have you that’s got a 150 … this is also applicable to the dealer that’s got one store, two stores.
David Marod: 100%. Some of the big Top 100 groups like it because it creates an efficiency with their personnel. The smaller stores like it ’cause they don’t have to devote a person that’s just trying to get ahold of somebody. It ends up being a value-add to everyone.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Is this something that you find better results from a generational standpoint, or this is very millennial-friendly it sounds like, or generation Z, that say, “this is just the way we want to do business.”
David Marod: Really great question. We started out, it was trying to not spoof the customer, but you want to think that it’s a real person. People still do. However, nowadays, it’s okay to let them know that it’s a virtual assistant and be upfront with that. It goes both ways. The bottom line is, though, the customer gets taken care of. The dealership ends up getting a better customer and a better experience. Everyone wins.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And that’s what it’s all about.
David Marod: I call it the win-win-win.
Jim Fitzpatrick: It really is. For dealers that are not able to be here, check out Conversica. You’re at conversica.com. This is something that I think every dealer, if you aren’t familiar with it, needs to become familiar with it. Go on conversica.com, set up an appointment to learn more about this, ’cause this is the future, it’s here now, and Conversica is –
David Marod: And it’s not going away.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. And Conversica is driving that bus. Thank you so much for joining us.
David Marod: My pleasure.