In today’s retail automotive industry, there is no shortage of issues that plague the phone processes and systems of American dealerships. Respected research institutions and call analytics firms have spent years documenting the results that stem from faulty telephone processes within car dealerships.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these data points.

69% of service appointments are made over the phone.
Customers want to call dealerships to schedule vehicle appointments. Unfortunately, when they do reach out to their local dealerships, they are typically met with complicated IVR systems, long wait times, or a dealership’s voicemail box.

The average hold time for a caller at a dealership is 3 minutes.
This is the same length of time that it takes to listen to “We are the Champions” by Queen, except you don’t leave a dealership call feeling like a champion. Is keeping your customers on hold for 3 minutes or longer a winning experience for your dealership?

28% hang up before speaking to an employee.
What happens when your customers sit on hold when they try to contact your store? These customers get frustrated and hang up. According to CarWars, these numbers are only increasing each year.

41% of inbound calls to dealerships are never completed.
While most callers are currently able to complete their call objectives, an unacceptable number of calls are never completed. Call volumes are increasing, and existing dealership phone processes are simply unable to accommodate the growth.

Dealerships have tried a multitude of solutions to solve these problems. From the creation of internal call centers to outsourced BDC teams to relying on sales and service advisors to answer the phone, nothing has worked. None of these solutions are flexible enough to match dealerships’ daily fluctuating call volumes. And none of them are consistently available after hours or during holidays.

There is a new solution available to car dealerships that addresses these very roadblocks: conversational AI. This intelligent technology can answer inbound phone calls – regardless of the number of calls or time of day. Conversational AI seamlessly and simultaneously answers hundreds of inbound service center calls every day. Each call is handled professionally: questions are answered, calls are transferred when necessary, and service appointments are quickly booked.

The implementation of conversational AI saves your existing staff from extra time and redundant work. For each call that a conversational AI voice assistant handles, your team can save ten minutes. This means your team just saved ten minutes of answering and processing requests, listening to voicemail, and returning calls, and sorting through the software needed to schedule an appointment. Every minute gained can be put towards handling in-person customer needs, or in the case of a call center, making outbound business development calls.

Most importantly, with conversational AI voice assistance, no call goes unanswered in a dealership. With a true conversational AI assistant, every call is answered on the first ring, regardless of whether it occurs at 8:30am on Monday morning or 9:00pm on Sunday night. Simple calls are handled, services scheduled, and voicemails reserved only for more complicated issues.

The availability of new technology means that car dealers have new options to improve in-person customer experiences. Conversational AI voice assistance is one such option. This new realm already delivers customer service wins to dealerships nationwide. The only question is, ‘Will your dealership be one of these winners?’