One thing I heard when meeting with digital phone assistant vendors at the NADA show in Las Vegas last month was how tools can ease dealers’ hiring and staffing challenges. staff.
And that doesn’t necessarily mean having fewer employees.
My article on the subject this week explores the role of technology in taking calls after hours or during peak hours: improving the consumer experience on the phone and helping dealerships avoid losing business to missed calls.
But the creators of the tools – some of which take on human names, such as Stella and Brooke – say having a machine that answers phone calls can also have a positive effect on employee retention by taking on certain responsibilities. business, such as scheduling service appointments and answering questions about store hours.
“It really helps reduce the churn you see at BDCs,” or business development centers, said Tiffany Peeler, vice president of sales and operations for Proactive Dealer Solutions, who introduced her virtual assistant, Brooke .ai, last summer.
“Their performance is measured a lot on the inbound [calls]but they’re more motivated for outgoing calls — but they’re terrified of making outgoing calls because they’re going to miss incoming calls,” Peeler told me. “By putting Brooke as a safety net in place for them, where they know they can pivot now and make their outgoing calls, and if they miss an incoming call, it’s okay because they have that help, that additional layer of support, we see these BDCs becoming better environments, and people staying longer and ultimately making more money because now they’re outbound.”
In today’s job market, it has become more difficult for dealerships to fill vacancies and retain employees. Certainly, dealers can choose to reduce their overhead, like at BDC, by bringing in a digital assistant that uses artificial intelligence technology. But using one can also allow dealerships to reallocate their teams to make more outbound calls to drive appointments and pay more attention to customers who need extra help.
“There will always be people who won’t want to talk to an AI,” said Hunter Swift, vice president of product at Telepathy Labs, which launched its Stella Automotive AI tool in February. “There are still people who are going to ask questions that Stella can’t answer, and we forward them and pass them on. And those are the customers who usually need the extra attention. But we take it easy.”