LAS VEGAS -- Brian Benstock remembers the impression Amazon Alexa left with him last year when he first used it to order coffee.
Benstock, general manager of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura in New York City's Queens borough, said the seamless experience left him wondering how he could translate that same convenience to his operations and thus evolve with shifting consumer habits.
Now this same functionality is being beta tested and rolled out for customers who are scheduling service appointments at Paragon Honda. The Acura store will follow.
Google's Assistant builds on Paragon's service operation, which allows consumers to have their vehicles picked up and delivered back to them within 24 hours. Paragon's service crew also works 24 hours, so vehicles can be fixed overnight in some cases and returned before customers head to work in the morning.
When customers summon Assistant, it asks them what's wrong with the car, where it needs to be picked up from and whether they need a loaner delivered. For repeat customers, Benstock said Assistant already knows what vehicles they own because the information is stored in the dealership management system.
The Paragon operation teamed with its marketing agency, Team Velocity, and Google to devise the app.