• August 5, 2019 at 4:46 pm#91926
    Rob Infantino
    Participant

    Artificial intelligent (AI) powered applications are transforming the way automotive service businesses engage online consumers and as a result, realizing an increase in service revenue.

    It’s official: artificial intelligence-based applications are here to stay. It’s time to focus on the right applications that are proven to help grow your automotive service business.

    This means moving away from traditional customer acquisition methods and embracing a new wave of technology better equipped to meet the needs of the modern-day consumer. AI-powered tools are able to take action in real-time, regardless of operating hours, when consumers are engaging with businesses online, whether it’s via desktop, tablet or mobile device. These digital consumers strive to get personalized information to meet their individual needs, and they expect it without any delays.

    When it comes to artificial intelligence, one size does fit all. AI can be incorporated into the strategies of small and large businesses alike. Whether it’s a single location independent repair shop, a multi-location operation, a large regional business or even a national chain, AI will contribute to increased service revenue by turning online visitors into paying customers.

    Not convinced that AI will contribute to tangible growth? According to a study from Forrester Consulting, 76% of businesses who incorporated artificial intelligence into their customer experience reported higher revenue growth over the last 12-months versus the previous 12-months.

    How to Enhance the Customer Experience with Artificial Intelligence 

    In addition to profitability, customer satisfaction is a top priority for most companies, particularly in the automotive service industry. From start to finish, you want the customer journey to be seamless in order to convert leads into lifelong customers. It’s becoming more of a challenge for businesses across all industries as the number of customer touch points continues to expand (text, phone, email, social media, forums, website). It’s hard enough to attract customers, but even harder to deliver an exceptional customer experience if you don’t have the right tools.

    First impressions are everything. Online visitors will assume that the customer experience with your business is in line with their online experience visiting your site. Adding the right online digital tools requires strategic thinking and a deep understanding of your customer. But success doesn’t just come from knowing your audience. It’s about knowing what your audience is struggling with, what they want to learn more of and what they really need. Let’s apply this to the automotive service industry:

    What do consumers seeking automotive services struggle with? Getting quick answers on their schedule.

    • 52% of U.S. adults will likely abandon an online purchases if they can’t find quick answers to their questions.

     

    What do consumers seeking automotive services want to learn more of?

    Through a study*, the company surveyed over 700 vehicle owners who booked an automotive service, requested a service quote or asked a question using an AI-powered virtual service advisor on an automotive service business website. When asked, “What is the primary ask of an AI-powered Service Advisor?”, here’s a breakdown of their responses:

    Legend Notes:

    • Ask Basic Questions: Business hours, contact information, if the shop performs the service needed, if the shop can service their specific type of vehicle

     

    The study* also asked “What is the primary benefit you received from using the AI-powered Service Advisor?”, here’s a breakdown of their responses:

    Legend Notes:

    • Efficiency: Time saved, ease of use, instantaneous response
    • On Their Schedule: Ability to multitask, 24/7 access, available on weekends and afterhours

     

    Further proof: 

    • More than 30% of consumers seeking automotive services engaged with an AI-powered conversational application outside of normal hours of operation.
    • By 2020, 85% of consumers will engage with a business without interacting with another human being.
    • Millennials are your largest pool of potential customers, and 75% of millennials prefer texting over talking on the phone.

     

    Automation and artificial intelligence offer the solution to help your business give the customers what they want, when they want it.

    A Win-Win for Your Business and Your Customers

    Numbers don’t lie. In just 90 days, the team at Hollenshade’s Auto Service saved nearly 17 hours of their time by adding an artificially intelligent virtual service advisor to their website. Why is that? Because their new AI-powered online digital tool, which is tailored specifically to the automotive service industry, automates time-consuming tasks. Rather than employees taking time out of their busy schedules to create personalized service quotes, book appointments or answer basic questions about the business, their new AI digital tool handles it all for them. Plus, it works around the clock.

    Before Hollenshade’s installed the AI-powered virtual service advisor to their website, the team was burning half of their time simply seeking the additional information they needed to fulfill a customer’s request. Now, “one of the greatest efficiency gains is reducing the amount of back-and-forth conversations with customers. Phone calls result in a quality engagement with the customer but are very time consuming. It provides a similarly high-quality interaction DIGITALLY between consumers and the auto shop’s brand,” says Tim Hollenshade Jr.

    Hollenshade’s new AI-driven service advisor not only saved them a significant amount of time, but it also led to a quick positive return on investment (ROI). Their new automated service advisor started bringing in high intent, high quality leads without having to spend thousands of dollars on marketing. Within a few months, Hollenshade’s saw a 2x increase in closure rate. That’s because it was bringing in better leads and delivering an exceptional first impression of their customer experience. After just 2-3 completed services per month, Hollenshade’s saw that their new virtual service advisor quickly paid for itself.

    What Are Customers Saying about Artificially Intelligent Interactions?

    The study* also asked users their initial reaction and level of satisfaction when engaging in a conversation with the virtual service advisor:

    Q: What is the primary benefit you received from our new online representative?

    The study* ask for free form information on the benefits delivered – here are a few quotes from users:

    • “Much faster to schedule appointment than calling! and very easy.”
    • “Time saver.”
    • “I could ask questions at a time convenient to me”
    • “Natural like a conversation.”
    • “Instantaneous action.”
    • “Booking an appointment without playing phone tag.”
    • “The flow of the questions were intuitive and natural like a conversation.”

     

    Takeaways

    We know that:

    • Modern-day customers prefer a digital experience rather than a phone call.
    • Quick answers around the clock are top priority.
    • Artificial intelligence is proven to contribute to revenue growth.
    • AI saves you time by automating time-consuming processes.
    • AI works 24/7.

     

    * 2019 Study conducted by Openbay. More than 700 users surveyed. Openbay offers an AI-powered tool called Otis for automotive service business websites.

    For more information or to learn more about Otis, please visit Openbay.

     

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