Maximizing sales and profitability in this competitive world of automobile industry sales is being driven more by customer service. With Customer Service being a key differentiator in attracting new customers, deepening relationships with existing ones and increasing service revenues, it is unfortunate that Customer satisfaction on an average typically hovers around the mid 7’s on a scale of 10.(Source JD Power associates).
Social media already was the preferred channel for product and service information followed by call center, email and live chat. Now increasingly “Digital” will play a key role in Customer service, scheduling and inquiry with new age channels available to tap.
As per Lakshmiu Tatikonda writing in the Management Account Qaurterly — a 5% increase in CSAT and retention tends to add between 25% — 85% of the bottom line based on various factors. Investing in customer service hence appears to be a no-brainer.
There are various challenges faced by automobile dealerships looking to compete and differentiate in a crowded marketplace.
Challenge : Staffing
The first one typically is staffing, attrition and availability of humans to be available to staff the customer service functions. Most of the calls taken by the customer service rep tend to be inquiries or scheduling and complaints. These can be easily addressed using automation and 2/3rds of these are being handled in offline ways with social media leverage.
Challenge : Training
Training is a crucial aspect of great customer service. Any customer service manager will tell you that it is never easy to almost impossible to get an even level of training and awareness of process, systems knowledge and consistent always on follow through. Most customer service KPIs tie back to training of the Customer service representative
Challenge : Always on engagement
There are limitations to building a customer service organization that is always available when a customer needs it. Automobiles are driven all hours of day or night and problems can happen at anytime leading for a need to reach out to customer service. Unless an auto dealership is big enough or has many points of presence staffing for a 24 x 7 cycle is cost prohibitive or not sustainable based on seasonality and market ups and downs
Challenge : Spend on technology and infrastructure
Any organization looking to staff a customer service function needs to acquire and pay for hardware and software to run the customer service function. In the current era, costs of customer service scale exponentially based on business growth. So the bigger you are the more issues customer service faces and lower the Customer Satisfaction traditionally measured with metrics like CSAT.
Challenge : Costs
A big issue that automobile dealerships are grappling with are how to contain costs and how to derive a respectable ROI from customer service investments. Costs
Challenge : Deepening relationships
Always on customer service leads to better retention and a way to deepen customer relationships with automated intelligent handovers to affiliate revenue channels making the information and scheduling a breeze. The traditional way is face to face which has proven to be cumbersome to support the volumes faced in the industry. Face — to — face also lacks the consistency provided by automation and digital channels
Challenge : Outbound sales and discounts
A typical issue faced by many dealerships is the communication and marketing of sales promotions and product & service discounts. Chat platforms have the broadest utilization and reach among all interaction channels. Its difficult to match the span of Facebook with 1.4billion people online with any traditional methods to reach, be it TV advertisements which get eliminated while recording favorite shows or be it print media and even door to door newspaper inserts which, in a majority find their place in a garbage can rather than in front of a customers eyes
Challenge : Expanding customer base
Given that social channels now are the most broad based from a customer reach perspective, it pays increasingly to use them for expanding reach. Many potential customers are available and listed as per area codes based on a dealers geography making it much easier to target on a channel that gets used multiple times a day
If you are looking to overcome all these challenges and deepen and expand your customer relationships, bots carried on popular messaging platforms like Facebook messenger, Viber, Link and a slew of others represent a very low cost way in doing so.
Come explore the world of Engati — an exciting new way to approaching customer service, that has been benchmarked to reduce 92% of service costs which solving for all the challenges above. 10 minutes of your time can have your bot working for you and the earlier you sign up for a trial the quicker your bot will start learning (since it is machine learning based) your customized customer service scenarios giving you an edge over your competition.