Customer acquisition and customer retention are the current contemporary topics in the retail automobile industry. Car dealerships are trying their level best to shift from the trade-oriented one-time business strategy to focus more on dilating various ways that can be incorporated to attract new customers and retain them.
If you look at the functionality aspect of the car dealership business, Customer retention can be considered as one of the prime factors that proliferate the revenue over time. A recent study on the automobile retail showcased a relatively higher customer acquisition cost when compared to retention costs involved. The figures held strong at 60-70% of the customers willing to make a secondary purchase as opposed to the mere 5-20% who were new customers.
It's an understood fact that building up a brand loyalty can't happen overnight. And with the advent of advanced forms of communication and technology, most of the car dealerships are integrating apps into their customer retention strategies. One of the greatest examples of this was the Honda Dream Garage Sales Event carried out by Honda in 2015. The highlights of this ad campaign was that :
- It made use of mobile wallets as a medium for the customers to tap on to the banner ads.
- This would enable them the option to save the sales event on their apple or google wallets.
- Once the users saved the content, Honda got the permissions to send them regular updates about the upcoming sales events and promotions
- This ultimately helped them in refining the two-way communication with the customers.
Now, imagine a situation where this technology can be taken to the next level that includes automation and guaranteed exponential results. Enter AI (Artificial intelligence) and chatbots. We can already feel and see the presence of AI in almost every part of our lives. Everything is powered by AI these days. Starting from the entertainment industry to web apps like Netflix and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, the application of AI and chatbots are being enhanced by every passing minute.
Basically, Chatbot is the concatenation of AI into a user-facing platform such as messaging apps, that interacts with people using human-like patterns for speech and chat responses. And due to the automated nature of these chatbots, they form an ideal instrument for moving the customers down the sales funnel. When compared to other mediums of customer interaction, chatbots stand high with the following USPs :
- They're available round the clock 24/7
- They work flawlessly on mobile platforms
- They are capable of providing personalized responses
- They hold the potential to cater the instant gratification that's being expected by the customers in today's scenario.
But the question is: Should these chatbots be made an integral part of a Car dealership's Customer acquisition and retention strategy?
It's a proven fact that Chatbots offer an unsurpassable capability to interact with the customers on their own terms. It's a service that cannot be compared with the one that's offered by the conventional sales teams. So in this blog, we will be taking you through the various factors that advocate the necessity to include the chatbots in your car dealership's Customer retention and acquisition strategies:
1. A 24/7 Availability:
People in today's age are more inclined towards the use of messaging apps as their prime mode of communication. Almost 50% of the customers would prefer to get in touch with a business through messages, than making a phone call or drafting an email. This itself reflects slight statistics, which reveals the importance of chatbots in the customer acquisition process. For example, Bob is a loyal Toyota customer who owns a Lexus Lx 470. During his regular routine of browsing through facebook late at night, the latest model of a Lexus sedan unexpectedly caught his attention. An urge to know more about this model built up in Bob's mind. So what does Bob do? Bob heads towards the Lexus facebook messenger page and starts enquiring about the details of the latest sedan on sale. A chatbot from the other end responds to Bob's queries in the most efficient manner.
This unique ability of the chatbots to be available 24/7 is the factor that makes them provide anincomparable trait even beyond the usual functionality of solving problems and resolving queries.
2. The immaculate presence of mobile devices
On an average, a normal human being spends almost 5 hours on their smartphones. And this is a perfect place for the conversational Chatbots to reside in as the messaging apps are an excellent medium for targeting the potential customers. The car dealerships can send out various offers and promotions to their existing customers via chatbots. The customized chatbots for Car sales and the Chatbots for Car service can even send out initiation links for the new users to accept, which would take them through a short ride of the existing line up of product portfolio.
3. Personalized responses
People tend to respond in a more interesting way towards the content that has been specifically customized and created for them. And this is where the Chatbots play its game. The AI infused chatbots for customer retention make use of Natural Language Processing that results in delivery of a human-like conversation with the end user. This makes the customers interacting with the bot, even more unique. And the more unique people feel about themselves, higher are the chances for them to show interest in your product.
Chatbots are definitely unlike any other forms of Computer technology that can be used to retain your customers. They can effortlessly make recommendations based on the context of the ongoing conversation with a customer. They can help the customers book a test drive or a door pickup and drop for car-servicing. You also get the leverage to offer a personalized assistance in all the aspects that a customer expects from you. And the most important of all, a chatbot that endears your brand facilely removes all the existing barriers to entry. And this is what lures in new customers: A streamlined customer interaction process.
So, it's critical to understand that a triumphant dealership's customer retention strategy strenuously depends on the way the customers are being treated. So, if your dealership is still making use of the legacy customer retention and acquisition strategies, it's high time that you switched to the use of chatbots.