Visit the service drive at Volkswagen Pasadena in suburban Los Angeles, and you will likely be approached by one of the dealership's five service advisers. But if it's a busy day, you can check in with one of the virtual advisers at the service department entrance, in the form of two gray kiosks.
Using software from GoMoto, a kiosk confirms your identity and your appointment if you scheduled one. It notifies you of open recalls related to your car or truck, shows the service specials of the day, asks what repairs or maintenance your vehicle needs, may recommend added work and solicits other requests or comments. Finally, it arranges transportation if required, updates your phone number and email address, poses several survey questions and gets your signature.
"It is the next level of service," Steve Ross, Volkswagen Pasadena's service manager, told Fixed Ops Journal. "It gives customers something they didn't expect at a dealership."
Virtual service advisers are increasingly popular offerings by software suppliers to new-vehicle dealerships. While the technology can vary greatly among vendors, the pitch is the same: to provide digital products, based on artificial intelligence, that enable human advisers to focus on working more efficiently with service customers.