Auto Service World
News   April 12, 2024   by Adam Malik

How AI can help with those mundane tasks

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Those mundane digital tasks automotive aftermarket leaders hate doing can likely be taken care of by artificial intelligence.

A panel discussion explored ways that tasks like responding to customer reviews, sending out surveys and posting on social media can all be handled by an AI system.

This lets those in the business take on other, more important work, David Brondstetter, CEO of SureCritic, observed at the recent MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Aftermarket Technology Conference.

As a reputation management company, his team sees value in letting AI at least at first provide suggested responses to customer reviews. That means someone reviews the AI response and, if approved, they click the button to make it go live.

“The No. 1 complaint from our clients? ‘Why do we have to click a button?’” Brondstetter reported during the panel discussion, ChatGPT & AI Applications for the Aftermarket. “They loved the responses and they wanted it automated. So we automated that process and then we moved that on social media posts as well [and] actually creating social media posts and memes for them to push out.”

So the job could be given to AI could then tell customers about specials in the repair shop or jobber store has ongoing instead of an employee putting it together. It’s tasks like these that businesses don’t have enough time for, Brondstetter noted.

“And they know they need to do it and know they maximize their reputation; they have content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. But those are the things that fall on the ground,” he said. “And your choice at that point in time is either throw people at it or throw technology at it.”

There are also those shops and retailers that don’t even acknowledge when a customer leaves a review. Even when someone is tasked with responding to a review, it’s a canned response like, “Thanks for coming in. See you next time!”

“And it [feels] kind of a little bit like a slap in the face to the customer who took this extra time to go and write a review or to respond to a survey,” Brondstetter observed.

What AI can do is give a more human-sounding response and even vary its tone. So even if the response is coming from the same business and the same AI response generator each one can sound a little different.

AI also helps guard against what Brondstetter has seen often is a business owner not responding kindly to a negative review. “That’s never good,” he said. Maybe the shop owner feels the need to defend the business but other customers and potential ones as well will see the response and perceive the business negatively no matter what.)

“No matter who’s right, the shop owner loses,” he added. “So AI really in that respect, can help with customer satisfaction and help them to do business.

Importantly, Brondstetter noted, no jobs are being replaced — people are being moved to more important tasks around the business.

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