Avi Benezra: How Automotive Chatbots Are Disrupting the Car Industry

Snatchbot platform
Photo : Snatchbot platform

When Artificial Intelligence (AI) is spoken about in the context of automobiles, images of self-driving cars and robots building car parts may come to mind. However, more car companies are taking on AI in their operations for other uses such as sales, customer support and providing in-car services.

With more and more consumers using their messaging apps to access and share information (rather than via the internet) it is vital that businesses hop on board- particularly with WhatsApp. One of the ways in which car companies are optimizing on this channel is with the implementation of automated chatbots. With the release of the new version 2 from SnatchBot, the company shares its vision for the chatbots: to disrupt the car industry by implementing the most advanced features and algorithms to date.

Factors that influence the car industry

In the ever changing industry of cars, companies need to keep up or risk going down. A range of factors can contribute to making sales increase (or decrease). This can include things like: newer models being built to last longer (and therefore no new car purchase is needed), the moving away from diesel cars, or consumers interested in purchasing electric or hybrid cars.

On top of this, consumers may have trouble with purchasing a car due to factors such as: a poor car sales experience or they are experiencing buyer's remorse if the car does not live up to its advertised expectations. Consequently, more potential buyers scan forums and reviews before buying cars.Today, more buyers are purchasing cars online (or arrive armed with a list of questions for the sales representative).

One way in which car sellers are combating this is by providing access to information before potential buyers even step on the showroom. This can be via their websites, social media channels, and most popularly- WhatsApp.

How can chatbots increase car sales?

Chatbots have advanced far beyond stagnant, automatic (and often useless) replies. Through advanced algorithms, consumers are made to feel like they are speaking to a real person who is providing value through their online conversations.

Additionally, chatbots are a way for sellers to experiment with a softer sales approach. Sales techniques implemented in the showroom are typically harder and more aggressive. Bots can use imagery and video to sell the lifestyle features of a vehicle. This communicates information about the car in a manner more accessible, familiar and enjoyable to the potential customer (rather than a brochure, for example).

Additionally benefits of bots include the ability to build personalised customer relationships- at scale. Through this, you will increase both engagement and effectiveness. This is because studies show that campaigns with personalised messaging have an effective 80% open rate. Sellers are also able to send their customers real-time information or updates directly to their smartphone lock screen through AI.

Implementing chatbots improves sales techniques

SnatchBot's CTO, Avi Benezra, commented that, "The new version 2 provides an avenue for improved seller and buyer communication which increases the likelihood of a sale. This is because communication can start and end with one channel (WhatsApp) with the help of our chatbots."

Chatbots improve sales techniques in a number of ways. The chatbot can meet the growing market for online sales, using templates to address the values, benefits and attractions of each class of vehicle they sell. The bots are intuitive and fast-learning. Additionally, they can be updated easily as new car models join your product line. Moreover- seeing as though bots do not sleep- their ability to sell around the clock provides a better opportunity to close the sale.

Henri Benezra (of SnatchBot) also stressed that Artificial Intelligence in bots can also help push the customer to a model better suited to their lifestyle. Bots can also be used by marketing for the car industry, helping to direct them to more personal adverts. With the inclusion of more realistic scenarios in these adverts, the bots help build trust between the buyer and seller to provide a more enjoyable car purchasing/selling process.

Car companies that use chatbots

Not only was Ford the first car company to make cars accessible to the masses, but it was one of the first brands to invest in a bot. It operated with Kate answering service questions for US-based customers. On top of this, Vauxhall in the UK recently adopted Apple Business Chat to help customers book test drives with their local dealers. Numerous other dealers have implemented bots as well to much success.

SntachBot is offering a free version of their new version 2 platform. To get started: pair a number (your own or a customer's), set up your Webhook to send and receive Whatsapp messages, and send, receive and reply messages through Whatsapp using the API.

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