The restrictions on retail openings, global lack of supplies – including a shortage in microchips - and an economic downturn meant that the automotive industry took quite a hit the past two years. However, things are starting to look up. According to Statista, global car sales grew to around 66.7 million automobiles in 2021 - up from around 63.8 million units in 2020.
And with a worldwide shift to sustainable technologies, the electric vehicle sector, in particular, is on the rise. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported the sale of electric vehicles doubled in 2021 from the previous year, taking it up to 6.6 million. It states: ‘Global sales of electric cars have kept rising strongly in 2022, with 2 million sold in the first quarter, up 75% from the same period in 2021’.
Automotive manufacturers and sales staff now have to shift their approach when engaging with potential buyers, meeting them where they already are – on chat. Here’s a look at how chat, and solutions like the WhatsApp Booking System, are driving engagement and increasing ROI for the automotive industry.
With billions of people using WhatsApp and SMS every day, it’s quite clear that these mobile platforms are the best way to engage with new and potential customers who need automotive assistance. Here are some of the ways chat provides such automotive solutions.
1. Test drive a car
Customers still want to test drive a vehicle before they decide whether it suits them or not, and this is where chat can help. Using this platform, dealerships can share brochures and other multimedia content that showcase the available vehicles for test driving. Customers can book an appointment with a specific dealership without any need for a customer service agent. All the relevant customer details can be shared via chat and kept on record for future marketing promotions.
Not only can customers use this chat platform to choose a location, date, time and car they would like to test drive. In fact, customers can even go on virtual tours of the car and showroom by clicking on links shared via chat. Reminder notifications can be sent regarding the appointment time with follow-up checks to see if they liked the car or want to test drive other models.
2. Replacing car tyres
When customers need car tyres replaced, rotated or a wheel alignment done, they can actually book the appointment via the WhatsApp Booking Platform. In areas where there’s snow, then businesses can better facilitate a sudden increase in customer queries through the platform.
Using chat, the suppliers can share all their services and prices. While a customer might be looking for new tyres, you can use chat to cross-sell by suggesting a wheel alignment or rotation as well. Or up-sell them on a better tyre at a higher price. Appointment reminders can be shared, and once the customer is in the system, you can use this platform to remind them when their tyres need replacing or rotating again. The commercial chat platform also allows customers to make a deposit ahead of time to prevent no-shows.
3. Car service
Your car should be serviced at least once a year, or every 10 000 to 15 000 km, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. This is vital for changing oil, and checking that everything is in working order. However, with every car needing an annual service, the waiting lists can be quite long. That’s where chat helps!
Customers can simply book their annual service ahead of time on the WhatsApp Booking Platform so that they’re not scrambling to get an appointment last minute. They will then be reminded about the appointment ahead of time, and the agent can communicate with the vehicle owner during the service. There might be additional expenses if extra replacements are needed, which can immediately be shared with the customer for approval. Once in the system, reminders about future car services can be shared.
4. Booking with a driving school
Before even owning a car, there’s potential for automotive solutions through chat. Driving schools will find this WhatsApp Booking Platform incredibly useful.
Driving school instructors are generally too busy with customers to take new bookings, which is why chat is so useful. New students can book their appointments using this service, get reminders, tips and advice on driving, as well as assistance in getting their actual license.
Chat facilitates increased engagement and ROI for the automotive industry, but there are so many additional benefits for companies considering this communication platform.
Integration: The chat platform should integrate with your existing software so that customer information can be shared and leveraged for promotional offers and reminders. This is a great way to identify leads and use analysis for better business decision-making in future.
Flexibility: Using the WhatsApp Booking Platform, customers can also communicate any queries and, if a live customer service agent needs to intervene, an alert will be sent to them.
Automation: Your customer service agents will no longer have to constantly field calls looking for information and bookings. The chat service can respond to frequently asked questions and make these bookings, freeing up your agents to focus on driving sales and helping customers in-store.
Real-time notifications: You can remind customers about their appointments, but also alert them to promotional deals, special offers and discounts that you’re running throughout the year.
Faster turnaround: You’re going to enjoy increased customer satisfaction through a WhatsApp Booking Solution as there’s less waiting and faster resolution time.
Scalability: Because your operations are effectively streamlined, then you’re able to take on more clients and grow your business.
To find out more about Automotive Solutions through the WhatsApp Booking System, get in touch with Clickatell today. The industry leaders will be able to provide you with an integrative solution that drives your business to greater heights.
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