Knowledge Base Topic

How Visual AI is a Game Changer for Dealerships

Written by: Mark Queen
The best managers in the world have one set of eyes, which means they can’t be everywhere, at every moment, monitoring every employee to ensure that critical, revenue-generating activities are being done.

But Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do all of these things. By tapping into an auto dealership’s existing camera system, AI technology can monitor video footage 24/7 and send alerts to managers when certain activities happen—or don’t happen—in the dealership.

Let’s break down the ways Visual AI is a game changer for your dealership.

Critical Activities

Image of Surveilance System

Dealerships have processes in place for a reason. When followed correctly, processes are proven to work. Employees are trained to correctly perform the steps on the road to the sale, as well as service write-up and multi-point inspection. But how well do your employees execute these critical, revenue-generating activities?

If you ask your employees, you may not get the full story. You can check the data in your DMS, CRM and other systems, but data isn’t always accurate. Reports can tell you what happened after the fact, but they don’t tell you why.

Video footage doesn’t lie. Visual AI sends alerts with small video clips, so managers can view critical activities happening in real time. This allows them to quickly identify where breakdowns occur in the following processes.

  • Customer meet and greet
  • Test drive completion
  • Presentation of figures
  • Manager negotiation turnover
  • Service advisor tire inspection
  • Service menu presentation

When a manager sees a breakdown in processes, they can immediately step in to keep things flowing smoothly.

Additionally, SKAI is designed to send alerts when employees go the extra mile. Did Joe in sales conduct test drives that turned into sales? He understands the theory behind process and therefore has management potential. Has Mary in Service been cross-selling tires? She goes the extra mile and deserves recognition this month.

Transaction Times

Transaction times at auto dealerships are one of the biggest obstacles to an improved customer experience. According to J.D. Power, consumers spend an average of 3.2 hours onsite to buy a vehicle. Many dealers want to reduce this time but have difficulty identifying bottlenecks.

On the service side, Express Lanes are designed to compete with shops that offer oil changes in 30 minutes or less. Yet, at many dealerships, this process still takes over an hour. Why?

Visual AI identifies the bottlenecks in every process. The Skaivision app records the exact time elapsed per transaction and for every transaction phase. Imagine the benefits of knowing in real-time how long it takes for the following processes to occur:

  • Total time to buy onsite
  • Time to greet the customer
  • Test drive
  • Presentation of figures
  • Service write-up to tech rack
  • Tech time at the parts counter
  • Oil changes

When managers see bottlenecks occurring in real time, they can immediately intervene to help facilitate a faster, smoother process.

Image of Surveilance System

Security, Fraud and Theft

Image of Surveilance System

When something bad happens, your dealership’s current camera system can tell you what happened, but only after the fact. Visual AI sends real-time alerts as soon as it spots any security threat. Examples include:

  • Unauthorized access to private rooms or server rooms
  • Person with gun
  • Known bad actors, such as vehicle larcenists
  • Activities related to theft, such as key molds and solo test drives using a fake driver’s license
  • Vehicle exiting the lot with no license plate or dealer tag

Visual AI can also help customers and employees who need help. Recently at one dealership, a customer fell out of his vehicle and suffered a heart attack. Nobody noticed for an hour. Visual AI would have sent an immediate alert. Conversely, AI can be used to exonerate dealers when faced with customers who falsely claim they fell and injured themselves on the dealership’s property.

One of the best things about Visual AI? It leverages and helps to monetize an existing data source—your camera system—that currently serves little purpose. AI technology does not require any employee training. Alerts are customizable, allowing dealers to choose as few or as many alerts in different categories as they would like.

Many big box retailers have invested tens of millions of dollars to develop their own visual AI systems. The ROI is clear. AI technology can help auto retailers to manage their employees and processes better while improving the customer experience.