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Are Automotive Dealers Missing the Mark with Online Shoppers?

When it comes to buying a car, most consumers strongly prefer to research and shop online rather than at a dealership. In fact, 54% of customers said they would “love” to buy a car from the comfort of their home and completely avoid the anxiety and discomfort of visiting a dealership. A 2016 poll actually showed that 56% of car shoppers would rather clean their homes than negotiate with a car dealer![1]

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How can automotive dealerships restructure their selling process to meet the needs of their online customers? Consumers are demanding an impactful engagement throughout their car selection and they expect exceptional customer service without entering a dealership. As the entire car-buying journey is moving online, automotive dealers are introducing Live Engagement to their customers. Sytner Group, a prestige automotive dealership headquarted in Leicester, UK, has been utilizing Live Engagement to meet customers online early in the research phase, showcase vehicles in the lot, route inquiries to their experts, and complete financing all without the customer ever needing to step foot in the dealership.

The implementation of Live Engagement on your website will enhance your customers’ experience with your company by providing them with extended hours of customer service, faster resolution time, and long-term personal relationships with your experts. Here are a number of other ways you can utilize a Live Engagement solution to improve your customer satisfaction rates and significantly increase sales:

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1. Most customers who are purchasing a car will spend a significant amount of time online researching various models, comparing prices and reading reviews. It’s important to engage with these customers right off the bat to ensure that they are getting their questions answered and that they don’t leave your site in search of another dealership. Meeting the customer early on in the research phase is the most impactful time to connect, as they are open to assistance and suggestions. 

Vee24’s Proactive NudgeBOTs can be embedded into your website or mobile app to meet and greet the customer at any step of the buying journey, and help complete the sales cycle. “GreetBOTs” are designed to provide intelligent conversation openers that will get your website visitor engaged in a conversation while they are browsing your site. “MeetBOTs” can provide the customer with more information about a feature, inform them about a specific promotion you have or offer to help with a specific search. “CompleteBOTs” can assist the customer with completing a form or application. Once engaged, the ChatBOT can qualify them and transfer the highly qualified customers to an available sales agent. AI based ChatBOTs are very efficient at qualifying and routing your most valuable customers.

2. Mobile cameras can be used to show the buyer any car that you have in your showroom or dealer lot. With live engagement, the car shopper has the option to see the salesperson and also the physical car they are interested in. While this is useful for new car sales, it can be especially impactful for used cars. The customer can see the condition of the car live without needing to go into the dealership. This live engagement feature transforms the online car shopping experience by bringing the vehicles to life for the customer. 

3. You can engage with an online customer with our Co-browse feature during your live engagements.  Your agent and the customer can jointly browse different models, compare specs, add options and configure the customer’s dream car.  If the customer is ready to buy, your financing department can use this feature to co-form fill applications for leasing, auto-loans or simply to complete the purchase documents, thus completing the entire transaction online.  This creates a seamless personal engagement that will leave your customers feeling relaxed and satisfied with their car buying journey.

 4. Live Engagement can significantly help drive your Services & Maintenance business.  Consider a Mobile App with live engagement for your regular maintenance customers.  Provide maintenance reminders and allow customers to schedule their service appointments on the app with video chat.  If your customer has a car issues, they can use 2-way video to discuss the issue with you, showing you a dashboard indicator that they don’t understand or allowing you to hear a noisy engine, and get your advice on the magnitude of the issue. 

5. For luxury car sales, we suggest that you partner with the manufacturer.  Live Engagement platforms that provide this integrated experience allow you to show new releases live from a remote manufacturer showroom. This exclusive experience for you VIP customers to preview new models makes them feel valued and important, and it is an efficient way to build brand loyalty.

Live engagement is key to increasing your sale conversion, but it’s also a very useful tool for improving customer satisfaction rates and building brand loyalty. With the ability to engage online with ChatBOTs, helping the customer make their selection with co-browse, showing them the physical car with a mobile camera, and finally completing the financing with co-form-fill, your customers have no need to visit a dealership and can purchase a new vehicle from the comfort of their homes. Beyond the initial sale, live engagement allows you to stay connected with your customers for maintenance appointments or inspections and build brand loyalty with VIP customers partnering with car manufacturers. With customers strongly favoring online shopping, Vee24’s Live Engagement platform allows you to transform the car-buying journey into one of the best experiences for your customers.



[1] http://www.drivingsales.com/news/beepi-study-finds-the-majority-of-americans-dislike-traditional-car-buying-experience/

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