Let’s face it: technology is no longer a luxury for most of the world; it’s a necessity. Every industry has experienced drastic changes due to rapidly evolving technology in the past few decades, and the automotive sector is no exception. At the forefront of recent advancements stands Artificial Intelligence (AI), a revolutionary tool that is actively changing the game for dealerships and customers alike. In this article, we will debunk some AI myths, explore its role in the dealership ecosystem, and discover why striking the right balance between AI and the human touch is essential.
AI: Beyond the Myths
When you hear “AI”, what do you think of? Perhaps you picture futuristic robots replacing human workers, or even a dystopian future where Skynet has taken over. While entertaining, these misconceptions stem from sci-fi tales— the reality of AI is much different. AI isn’t about replacing humans, it is about empowering them. According to the Forbes Advisor survey, businesses are using AI across a wide range of areas. The most popular applications include customer service, with 56% of respondents using AI for this purpose, and cybersecurity and fraud management, adopted by 51% of businesses.
Goldilocks and The Three Dealerships: How Much AI is Just Right?
It’s no secret that online chat is essential for your dealership; online communication is key to any business’s survival in today’s market. Recently, there has been an influx of advertisements from companies that offer chat services that are 100% reliant on AI, and even some that rely 100% on human replies. This conflicting marketing leaves dealers with more questions than answers.
So, what should your dealership actually look for? We recommend a provider that falls somewhere in between these two extremes. Think about finding the “Goldilocks” of chat services.
To further illustrate this point, let’s look at three fictional dealerships and the services they use:
Big Bear’s Motors— this dealership uses a chat service that is 100% reliant on AI.
While the service is available at a low cost through their website provider, it is actually run through an integration with another popular AI tool. Whenever the popular service is down or has an issue, it is reflected on the dealership’s chat services.
By analyzing customer data and understanding preferences, AI tailors responses, making customers feel seen and valued. The AI responses are quick and sound great, but that changes when a customer asks a question outside of its programmed capabilities. For example, discussions of vehicle pricing or financing can be complex. Additionally, if a customer asks a question that is unrelated to automotive, the responses can be unpredictable.
Mother Bear’s Motors— this dealership uses a chat service that is 100% reliant on human chat specialists.
The chats provided by this service are highly personalized and welcoming, if not a bit slow. Humans can only handle so many conversations at a time, and they also make mistakes. People have off days and cannot always perform at 100% efficiency, which can be reflected in the chat.
Response times can be longer with this service, as it takes time for someone to look up the answer and type it all out. This can cause delays in the conversation, giving the customer more opportunity to divert from the conversation or website.
Little Bear’s Motors— this dealership uses a chat service that utilizes a balanced hybrid approach between AI and human chat specialists.
The chats provided by this service are very efficient and personal, thanks to both AI and human skills. Simple concierge-type inquiries are handled by AI (i.e. providing your hours of operation and booking service appointments) and the more in-depth conversations are handled by human specialists. While AI ensures rapid responses, it’s the human touch that adds warmth. Complex inquiries or emotional connections often require that personal interaction only a human can provide.
The connection between AI and the human chat specialists is seamless and undetectable from the customer’s side— when an inquiry goes beyond the capabilities of the AI, it is immediately connected to a chat specialist behind the scenes.
With Big Bear’s Motors using too much AI, and Mama Bear’s Motors using too little, the winner is clearly Little Bear’s Motors, which uses a nice balance of AI and human interaction.
The Solution— Gubagoo leverages the latest advancements in AI technology, such as natural language processing and ChatGPT to train our chat to quickly deliver accurate responses to customer inquiries. AI is also used to assist our live chat specialists when they are handling a chat to make collecting lead information and finding vehicle recommendations even easier. This gives your dealership your dealership the best of both worlds where you can enjoy the benefits of AI and human connection.
Balancing AI and Chat Specialists: Not Too Little, Not Too Much
Picture this: AI teams up with human chat agents to create a dynamic duo. This partnership isn’t just about improving efficiency; it’s a holistic approach to transforming the customer experience.
If your dealership uses too little AI, you’re allowing more room for human error, and if it uses too much AI, the experience will sound robotic and lack any personal touch. In essence, you want to look for a provider that uses AI to amplify human capabilities to enhance customer experiences.
Embracing AI isn’t about surrendering to machines; it’s about embracing progress. By integrating AI into everyday operations, dealerships can elevate their offerings, making the car-buying journey smoother, more informed, and ultimately more enjoyable for customers.