14 Jan

Service Departments, Get Ready for the future of Voice!

Consumers are all about convenience. The Internet has opened access to instant information and new technology continuously enables consumers to accomplish goals faster, access information more easily and organize their lives — all without the help of a single live person.
In fact, the most influential new technology may well be voice assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, which were by far the hottest selling technology devices this past holiday season.


These powerhouse companies continue to add functionality and other technology businesses are working feverously to ensure their products can integrate and work with these devices. Consumers can now order groceries, laundry detergent, you name it – all without even looking at a computer screen. Not only that, but they can play music, games or, more importantly, access information instantly without having to touch a keyboard or turn on a computer.


Well guess what — now, this technology is coming to a vehicle near you.


The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) saw plenty of announcements about automakers adopting and integrating these technologies. Not unlike the adoption of Apple and Android by OEMs via CarPlay and Android Auto, soon a consumer will be able to schedule a service appointment simply by asking Alexa. In fact, Toyota/Lexus announced that Amazon’s Alexa will be integrated into some of its 2018/19 models.


So why is this important?


Currently, with Amazon Alexa, when you notice you are low on laundry detergent you can simply say “Alexa, order more laundry detergent.” And Alexa will. But how does Alexa know what brand or size of detergent? You set it up in advance. Amazon certainly doesn’t randomly choose what to send you!


Imagine once this technology is integrated into vehicles and is adopted by consumers on a broad scale. What will happen when a customer asks Alexa to schedule a service appointment? How will Alexa know which dealership to make that appointment for? Well, as with the laundry detergent, where Amazon/Alexa was previously notified which brand to order, the customer will have set up a preferred dealership for Amazon/Alexa. Now, when they request a service appointment, that’s where Amazon will schedule it.


My bet is that this will soon be part of the delivery process for sales and service; where you set up the in vehicle integrated voice assistant to identify your dealership as the customer’s preference.


Of course, if you don’t treat the customer right they can easily change that. But, if you do, consumers will have a very easy way to continue to do business with you, make service appointments and receive communications – all without picking up their phone.

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