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Chatbot 101 for Auto Dealers

by
Anna Mayer
January 6, 2022

Chat is emerging as one of the most popular forms of communication between businesses and customers today. And it makes sense. We’ve all witnessed it, as in-person traffic at dealerships have suddenly and quickly disappeared into online traffic over the last five years. These days, Millennial buyers (who account for the largest consumer segment by generational standards) would rather spend the majority of their time talking to a virtual chat than they would to a salesperson.

So what are the next steps for the automotive industry? With chat becoming a popular communication tool, dealerships are scrambling to adopt it -- but there’s no reason to panic. Chat is a simple solution that’s meant to make your life easier. Here’s what you need to know.

A chat feature and a chatbot are not the same thing.

What is a chat solution? Often basic chats are simply manually controlled by a human either inside the dealership or located anywhere in the world. The downside of a human-run chat feature for your website or Facebook page is that:

  • Limited availability (not 24/7)
  • Human-to-human experiences for personalized conversations
  • Delayed response times - even 30 seconds of wait time can cause customers to leave the chat
  • Information is not always accurate or accessible to third-party chat respondents
  • Qualifying leads is typically not part of the chat experience
  • The convenience factor is lost -- and so your potential customers

How is a chatbot different?

  • Available 24/7
  • Led by a pre-programmed bot (static decision trees)
  • Instant responses, anytime
  • Lack empathy and flexibility
  • Collects data on customer interactions

Knowing the basics about chatbots is the first step, but if you really want to improve business for your dealership, you need an intelligent chatbot.

What is an intelligent chatbot?

  • Available 24/7 with the ‘always on’ benefit
  • Led by machine learning and/or AI bot
  • Chat flows are pre-programmed into the bot and automated so there is no manual intervention required
  • Leads receive information in real time, including inventory, FAQ, pricing details, service specials, etc.
  • Answers sound human, often incorporate empathy and flexibility
  • Using Natural Language Processing (NLP), conversations are steered by the lead and your dealership’s responses are agile enough to delight potential customers.
  • Collects data on customer interactions

With a series of different features and capabilities, finding the right chatbot for your dealership depends on how much time and resources you want to offset with your chat solution. Dealerships who prioritize maximum efficiency would likely gravitate towards the intelligent chatbot that not only automates online communications with potential customers, but also creates a human-like experience for the highest customer satisfaction.

At WinnowPro, we understand that intelligent chatbots are critical for dealers in today’s digital age where the time value of money determines success. So to save your dealership time and critical resources, consider an automotive-specific intelligent chatbot from WinnowPro. Contact us today for an intelligent chatbot demo and to learn how your website can benefit from smarter customer experiences.

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