May 18, 2021

Best sales strategy: GM now sells cars through its conversational bot

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Clearly, e-commerce has grown exponentially in recent years, especially during the pandemic.

Always a step ahead, General Motors doesn't just sell cars from their website, but also quotes and generates leads through its conversational bot. To learn about this process, Martín Frascaroli, CEO of Aivo, spoke with Ana Merlo Almeida, Digital Marketing Coordinator at the company. This is our interview.

The new sales assistant

Do you think the digital channel is the main sales channel for today?

The pandemic totally accelerated the adoption of technology trends. In the next few years we'll see firsthand how organizations are going to integrate them to handle the crisis.

In 2021, digital technologies will play an increasingly important role. And the challenge is to find new ways for vendors and customers to interact while avoiding public spaces. It's not that business stops because customers can't go to a showroom, just that as salespeople we're the ones who need to reach the customers.

Do you think these changes in habits are here to stay?

Yes, I think people have changed their consumption habits. I don't think we'll return to a reality like the one we had before. This new normal is here to stay. Things are going to stabilize, but everyone's life has changed. We've got to adapt to these new conditions.

Did there used to be a lot of online vehicle purchases in South America?

Traditionally, people want to go see the car. It's a product people really love; it takes time to compare, research performance and make a decision. Of course, sales on-site in the showroom are still the largest part of the sales pie. But in this time now, digital sales keep growing and we're seeing there are faster and more efficient ways to reach customers.

Related article: A true sales driver: General Motors leverages its digital channels thanks to Aivo

Let's talk about sales. General Motors was a pioneer in incorporating a virtual assistant in 2015 to take a lead, and take it to the right place. What strategy is the chatbot used for? What's the main focus?

We've been with Aivo for many years. At the beginning we saw it as a tool that answered questions simultaneously and it helped find what users were looking for. But like everything, it was a progression.

We started with our website in Ecuador and then duplicated that on the Colombia, Chile, and Peru websites. Later it reached the dealer platforms, and finally applied it to WhatsApp in the four countries. This whole process had us realize that the chatbot's most important contribution is generating leads through a quote form.

When a person shows interest in a product, the bot recognizes that purchase intent and shows them the form. Then the person submits their info on the form, the data is sent to the CRM, and it's assigned to the appropriate dealer. The goal is to serve all those stakeholders the best possible way and in real time.

That's fantastic, because it's a 24/7 salesperson, it pre-qualifies the lead, and sends it to the right place. And plus, they shared that experience with all dealers. Not only could you take advantage of it, but you spread that knowledge.

Yes, once we saw that the strategy worked on the brand's website, that it was approved, we knew how it worked, and what the potential problems were, we passed it on to all the dealers.

To conclude, you were saying that it's essential to answer in the moment, to be where the customer wants you to be, and to take the inquiry to the right place. Do you have any other recommendations?

Yes, that's basically it. And if we're not willing to generate the required quality, to change, innovate, guarantee the product, and create that trust and that value, then new markets can't be accessed in today's world.

Do you know about our standout customers of 2020?

Check the complete list of Aivo Awards and learn the story behind their conversational bots. If you want to implement our technology into your customer service strategy, schedule a call with one of our representatives.

Are you looking for new ways to improve your CX?

Our customer service solutions powered by conversational AI can help you deliver an efficient, 24/7 experience  to your customers. Get in touch with one of our specialists to further discuss how they can help your business.