In a recent report by IBM, “Automotive 2025: Industry without borders”, discusses the future of the automotive industry among OEMs, automotive suppliers, and other auto industry participants. The authors Ben Stanley and Kal Gyimesi ask this question,
“How can you form relationships with newer, non-traditional industry participants to provide the digital relationship and customer experience that today’s drivers and passengers demand?”
The answer, left open for you to do some soul-searching, has one obvious answer:
Invest in live chat.
Live chat is a proven and cost-effective way to provide an always-connected and helpful customer experience on your website. And it’s one of the best ways to exceed today’s consumer expectations for digital engagement outlined in IBM’s study.
Make Digital Communication a Priority
However, the IBM study also discussed that several OEMs have not yet made consumer expectations for digital communication a top priority in their business models, but are instead focusing on offering new product features to create growth. But what we need to realize is this:
Consumers have made digital and connected technologies a priority, and if you are not accommodating your business toward their preferences, you are missing out on growth opportunities and reaching new consumers.
And as a consequence, your dealerships are also missing out on that potential growth.
With that in mind, OEMs, automotive groups, and individual dealerships need to look into live chat services for all stages of the buying process - from research to vehicle purchases, to aftermarket services, and customer service.
“Why Should Live Chat Be Included in Our Growth Plan?”
- Instantaneous Customer Support - With all of the recall issues currently taking place, it's more important than ever to have real-time support when customers use your website to look up recall information. You want a live chat representative who can answer their questions instantly and help alleviate their concerns to ensure the best reputation for your brand.
- Incremental Lead Generation - When shoppers browse your website to look at your vehicle lineup, not all of them are going to want to fill out a web lead form to get the information they need about a car or a dealership. Sometimes, they prefer real-time communication with an actual person. Live chat allows you to engage those shoppers who prefer anonymous digital communication, while instantly recommending dealerships in the shopper’s area so that they can find the vehicle of their dreams and move them closer toward a sale.
- Dealer to OEM Communications - It’s also important to offer chat so that dealers can easily and quickly order parts or submit Warranty claims through your website. Offering chat on all of these dealer support sites provides multiple avenues for a dealer to be able to reach you and therefore improves the service they provide to their customers. Dealer to OEM chat communication builds rapport with your brand by increasing satisfaction at the dealership level and settling the consumer’s parts orders and warranty issues quickly.
- OEM Influence on Dealer-to-Consumer Communications - You can also encourage dealerships to improve their reach to online consumers by offering co-op programs for various digital services including live chat. Let your dealerships take advantage of services they might not otherwise be able to afford due to budget restrictions or lack of time for research.
The benefits of co-op programs include:
- Receive discounts off of a chat provider’s retail rates
- OEM reimbursement entices dealers to add services that drive more sales for the brand
- Save time on researching professional automotive-specific chat providers
OEMs like Audi, BMW, GM, and Ford already utilize live chat in various stages of the buying process to keep up with consumer expectations. Are you prepared for 2025 and the Digital Age?
Start preparing for 2025 by partnering with a progressive live chat provider.