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The Future Is Now: Adding Artificial Intelligence to Your Dealership

When the movies iRobot (2004) and Ex Machina (2014) premiered, people widely feared the capabilities of artificial intelligence, but public perception of artificial intelligence has dramatically changed in the past few years. In 2019, consumers become frustrated if their credit card information does not auto populate or their iPhone X does not respond based on facial recognition. 

Artificial intelligence has become critical to delivering on the personalized shopping experience consumers demand. In fact, 90 percent of consumers say they prefer a unique car-buying journey that enables them to shop and buy in a personalized way, according to the Cox Automotive Future of Digital Retail Study

However, creating this personalized experience requires the right technology, data and strategy. Many approaches to artificial intelligence are more about flash than improving a customer’s car-buying experience. Yet dealers should look to use artificial intelligence to help create relevancy in an instant between them and the consumer. 

Relevancy is successfully executed through personalization that leads to a better understanding of a customer’s preferences. Artificial intelligence assists with relevancy by accessing existing dealership data across platforms and providing new insights on this data. Without artificial intelligence, dealership staff would have to manually search for data across multiple platforms, a time-consuming and difficult task for any person to handle. 

To take full advantage of this new technology, dealerships should utilize artificial intelligence in their CRM systems to forge the best relationships with their customers. For example, they should explore ways to use artificial intelligence to analyze customer profiles, text messages and online shopping behaviors to best predict profitability opportunities. Their artificial intelligence-enhanced system should integrate multiple facets of the dealership, aggregating and analyzing all data to present a better view of what specific customers want. The end result should help dealership staff create a personalized shopping experience for each customer. 

To maximize personalization, dealerships should log in-store and online activity to ensure they have the most recent customer data. Staff should also make note of customers’ personal details such as hobbies, careers and passion points to utilize as enhanced talking points during discussions as well as marketing sales opportunities. While artificial intelligence aims to help sort and personalize this data, this technology is only as good as the data living within the system. If a system is populated with dirty, duplicate and outdated data, dealership staff will have a more difficult time creating a personalized experience. 

A comprehensive view of customers, filtered through artificial intelligence, provides dealership staff with new ways to improve the customer car-buying experience through an easy-to-use and technologically advanced system. This information creates a more personal, powerful and positive customer experience. 

Artificial intelligence is no longer a scary future among consumers. It has transformed to become the new norm. Adding artificial intelligence to your dealership has now become a necessary and powerful tool to protect your bottom line and stay in competition with the dealership next door. 

This article originally appeared in AutoSuccess.  

Learn more about VinSolutions' new artificial intelligence-powered product.

Lori Wittman

Senior Vice President

Lori Wittman is senior vice president of Dealer Software Solutions at Cox Automotive. In her role, Lori manages the VinSolutions, Xtime and Dealer.com business units, overseeing all aspects of operations and business performance for these businesses based in Kansas City, Kansas; Redwood City, California; and Burlington, Vermont, respectively. Lori has a long track record of driving business results. Prior to joining Cox Automotive in 2013 as VP of VinSolutions Operations, Lori worked for over 10 years leading large technology projects for Accenture. In addition to her role as Accenture Associate Partner, she also previously held positions as Vice President and GM for Rockwell Transportation (a division of Freightquote.com), Vice President of Service Delivery for Freightquote.com and Sr. Director of Field Technology at H&R Block. In 2015, Lori was recognized by Automotive News as one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry, a prestigious list compiled every five years that recognizes top female executives at automakers, suppliers and dealerships nationwide. In 2016, she was also recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal as a “Women Who Mean Business” honoree. Lori holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from the University of Kansas. 

Connect with Lori Wittman on Linkedin or shoot them a note.

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