“Fahrvergnügen” — The neologism in the 1990 ad slogan by Volkswagen meaning “driving enjoyment” is perhaps more fitting for cars today than ever before. From turbocharged engines to built-in navigation, heated seats, multiple cameras, automatic braking systems, and so much more, today’s cars are a pleasure to drive.
Cars also have a lot more power, and owners can quickly harness it with a simple click of a button. Comparable to the turbo boost button in sports cars, many of today’s ordinary automobiles come equipped with Sport mode. Activating Sport mode causes the automobile’s throttle to become more sensitive and immediately increases acceleration and responsiveness, thus giving the driver a fun and exhilarating ride.
Looking into the future, new car features and improvements like these will continue to accelerate at a dizzying pace. And buyers will expect many of them to become standard in any new car purchase.
The car-buying journey has changed
Similar to the rapid evolution of the automobile, the car-buying journey has been completely transformed in recent years with the rise of digital. According to Cox Automotive, digital-savvy car buyers are spending a greater portion of their shopping time online and visiting fewer dealerships than ever before. And with the online world at their fingertips, they expect a lot more from dealerships at every touchpoint. So how can your auto dealership keep up?
Maybe you’ve already gone digital to some extent. You’re using both synchronous and asynchronous text chat, for example. But if that’s all your dealership has to offer, you will only be left behind. Today’s online shoppers are looking for more. They want nothing less than a five-star experience. In particular, one that is personalized, effortless, and consistent — wherever, whenever, and however they wish to engage with you.
3 ways to turbo boost auto dealership customer experience
It’s time to move your digital dealership into the fast lane to keep pace with customers’ expectations during their online car-buying journey. Here are three engaging ways to hit the “turbo boost button” for a better ride:
#1: Intelligent chatbots — Keeping the headlights on
Many car buyers conduct their research in the evening when your dealership is closed. Oftentimes, they need to gather more information than your website provides. Leveraging AI-powered chatbots fills this virtual, after-hours void. They can meet, greet, and engage with potential buyers 24/7 with highly personalized customer service.
For example, chatbots can answer common FAQs in real time. They can also gather information to qualify leads and sync that data directly into your CRM platform. Now, when your dealership re-opens in the morning, sales can follow up on a warm lead. A good chatbot can even cobrowse online visitors to the information they’re seeking on your site. And for more complex inquires, chatbots are smart enough to gather the customer’s details and transfer to a salesperson immediately or let them know someone will get back to them the next business day.
#2: Video chat — Adding the “WOW” factor
If you really want to make the customer experience epic, offer video chat. Adding the ability to transfer from text chat — whether it be from a chatbot or live person — to video chat allows the conversation to continue while guiding them further through the sales funnel. Face-to-face engagement builds trust, increases customer satisfaction, and goes a long way in closing the sale. For instance, when the Sytner Group implemented video chat, they enjoyed a 35% conversion rate to test drives and an 85% average net promoter score (NPS).
Seeing a car virtually in your showroom using video adds that “wow” factor that will win over your buyers. Using various wall-mounted cameras, a sales agent can give a potential buyer a 360° view of a vehicle. Then with just one click, they can switch to a tablet or mobile phone camera to take the buyer inside the car to show them even more of the fine details. After the virtual viewing, a sales agent can finish the engagement back at their desk using cobrowsing to guide them to other website information or securely share important documents such as financing details.
#3: Appointment setting — Put them in the driver’s seat
Online appointment setting raises the customer experience bar even further. You can offer customers the choice to schedule a virtual appointment or test drive at their convenience. You can also proactively nudge them to schedule an appointment from any page of your website.
Make customer experience an enjoyable ride
You may never hear your customers say the word “Fahrvergnügen” in your presence but by turbo-boosting the customer experience with these powerful digital engagement channels, you’ll be sure to give them a memorable and enjoyable ride. Or maybe, you’ll unwittingly shout out the word “Fahrvergnügen!” from your driver’s-side window as you speed past your competitors leaving them behind in the dust.