A practical guide to AI for car dealers

Artificial Intelligence in the motor trade

AI in the motor trade

AI (Artificial Intelligence) has become a hot topic in recent years, especially with websites such as ChatGPT, ChatSonic, Co-pilot for Windows, and the mainstream media attention AI has been getting. While a lot of the media tends to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of AI, there's not been much coverage on how small businesses, and those in the motor trade could take advantage of it.

What is AI?

What is AI?

In straightforward terms, AI, or Artificial Intelligence, enables computers to handle tasks typically associated with human intelligence. These tasks involve learning from experience, understanding language, identifying patterns, and making decisions. In practical applications, there are websites that use AI to generate images based on you ask it to create. Additionally, AI can rewrite text and generate written content based on what you ask it do write.

Who in the motor trade uses AI?

car production line uses AI

The motor industry has been using AI for a while already. Car manufacturers are using AI to optimise their car production processes, using it to develop the next generation of self-driving cars, and how it can be used to enhance a customer’s overall car-buying experience.

Most importantly, AI is not something that only large companies can use; it's available to businesses of all sizes, including small to medium-sized car, bike, and van finance dealerships. Many AI tools, including ChatGPT, are designed to be user-friendly and some are as easy to use as searching on Google.

You've probably used some version of AI before without realising. Platforms like Autotrader have been using AI for retail valuations and advert attractiveness scoring for a while, so you may have used it if you advertise with them.

Our top tips on how to use AI for your dealership

There are countless ways you can use AI to help you in the day-to-day running of your dealership. So, if you're considering using AI in your dealership, we are on hand with a few handy tips on how to get started, and what you can use it for on a daily basis.

Make your adverts more engaging

make adverts more engaging with AI

If you haven't used AI before and not sure where to start, try asking an AI such as ChatGPT to rewrite the descriptions of your car adverts, so it's more engaging for customers, and then decide if you want to use what it suggests. 

Top tip: It’s worth noting that AI will only produce what you specifically ask them to do. So, if you don’t like what it comes back with, consider changing the wording in what you ask it to do, and try again. Whichever AI you use, remember they are not perfect – so always review any responses before using them.

Reply to customer enquiries faster

reply to customers with AI

AI uses powerful language models, which simply means that they can be used as helpful assistants for rewriting emails and messages that you want to send to customers. AI can analyse what customers are saying and suggest friendly and clear responses. If you copied a customer's email text into an AI, you could ask it:

can you write a supportive, friendly, and professional reply to this email?

This helps ensure that emails are free from spelling and grammar mistakes and always sound professional. You could also use AI to reply to any customer reviews or complaints that you receive. With AI support, your dealership can reply to enquiries quickly, professionally, and give an overall better experience for your customers.

Top tip: Only copy and paste the text of the email itself; never type anything into any AI that is classified as private information or information that could be used to identify a customer.

Social media posts

reply to social media posts with AI

Posting on social media can be tricky at times, especially with all the competition wanting to reach the same customers as you. If you have a post that you're not sure how to word, or make more engaging to your followers, ask AI:

Can you write a post for my dealership's Facebook page, letting my customers know that we have new stock arriving?

As always, you will need to review the answer and make changes, but it’s a great way of increasing customer engagement with your posts, while saving yourself valuable time.

Top tip: AI-generated content requires editing to match your brand's tone. However, it can serve as a helpful starting point and save time if you're struggling.

Email campaign’s

plan email campaigns with AI

Sending emails to your existing customers is an excellent way of keeping in touch with them and letting them know that you are there to help them. However, finding the right tone of voice and content can be tricky and this is a good example to ask AI:

I want to send an email to customers who have previously bought a car from me, advising them to get in touch and that I am here to help when they are ready for a new car. I want the email to sound helpful, supportive, and friendly with a subject line that will make them want to read the email.’

Using AI for your email campaigns can save you time, help when you’re struggling to know what to write, and essentially give you a better chance of customers reading your emails with clever subject lines.

Top tip: A lot of AI websites use American and not English spelling and grammar, so it's best to go through any reply AI gives you, and make sure that its response will work with your UK customers. You can even tell the AI that you are based in the UK and to write the content for a UK audience if you find its responses not suitable.

It’s not perfect, but it can help!

AI isn’t perfect, and you will always need to review what it gives you, but it's still a good tool that dealers in the motor trade are already using, and AI will only get better over time. We must stress that AI is not a replacement for common sense or years of knowledge that have been gained from working in the motor trade. It’s best to think of AI as a tool that can assist your dealership rather than replace anything.

Remember that any AI recommendations should always be reviewed before being used.

Partner with us

Partner with us

If you want to work with one of the best sub-prime finance companies in the UK, First Response Finance is here for you. Our flexible criteria, award-winning service, and consistent recognition from the industry, we are the go-to sub-prime finance company in the motor trade that you can trust.

Partner with us and experience the difference of working with the best subprime finance lenders, dedicated to helping you and your dealership get more deals over the line. If you don’t currently work with First Response Finance and would like to discuss how we can help you and your sub-prime customers, click the button below, fill out the form, and Brad from our team will be in touch to discuss how we can help you sell more cars on finance.

Partner with us

If you would prefer speaking to us directly, give us a call on 01156 711755, and ask for Brad.