Dowdy’s Automotive’s Online-to-Offline Customer Acquisition Strategy Includes Advanced Online Chat | Openbay Overdrive
Dowdy’s Automotive is a multi-location automotive repair and maintenance service center located in the Boise Metro area and a NAPA AutoCare member. Under the leadership of President and CEO John Davis, Dowdy’s Automotive has successfully grown to 5 locations across two states, with plans to expand even more in the Boise, ID market.
From the inception of Dowdy’s Automotive , it established a mission to provide customers the level of technical expertise and technology used by new car dealerships combined with the value and personalized service and relationship a customer deserves from a family business. John values Dowdy’s Automotive independent operator status and the objectivity it provides to serve their customers best.
It’s a Digital World
John understands consumers today start out in the digital world and then switch to the physical while moving through the shopping journey for automotive services. This trend is accelerating in recent months with now more generations than ever before becoming “digital first” consumers. Being able to create awareness for Dowdy’s Automotive’s brand at the start of the consumer’s shopping journey and then carry it forward with an enjoyable experience is the ultimate goal for John’s marketing team.
Time to Deploy Automated Chat on Website
John believes in digital advertising in order to create awareness for his business and to drive consumer demand. He also understands the importance of meeting consumer expectations once they land on the Dowdy’s Automotive website. Today’s digital consumer expects the information they seek to be personalized to their needs and delivered quickly and accurately. To address this consumer need, John deployed Openbay Otis on his website. Otis is an advanced online chat platform designed specifically for the automotive service market. It operates 24/7 and handles most inquiries by consumers including appointment setting, service quotes, and general questions about the business.
“We spend thousands of dollars each month to increase brand awareness and keep our service offerings top-of-mind for all of our locations. If we don’t have an internal resource to respond expeditiously to consumer inquiries, 24/7, we will not achieve a positive return on our digital marketing investment,” explains John. “Additionally, we cannot expect our staff to respond after hours. Openbay Otis is a 24/7 solution that gives our existing and potential customers a platform to engage with and get answers from when we aren’t available in real-time. We are giving our business a voice when we’re not physically at work.”
Openbay Otis — the right solution for an Automotive Service Business
John considered many options to enhance his website’s ability to engage customers. He found Otis’ ability to engage in personalized conversations the best fit for Dowdy’s Automotive business model. In John’s view, “Most online chat offerings are nothing but a fancy answering service or a messaging machine — and it’s not very authentic. Consumers try to engage but there’s no interaction. And human interaction often doesn’t happen until 10–12 hours later.”
Otis advanced online chat creates a more complete customer experience for Dowdy’s Automotive website visitors. “Otis is different,” states John, “It interacts and helps a website visitor make a buying decision. Our website visitors have specific questions — ‘how much will it cost?,’ ‘when can I get my car repaired?’ Otis solves people’s desire for instant information, and it helps Dowdy’s Automotive deliver the customer service we’re known for.” Research supports John’s point. Personalization and immediacy is more important than ever. In fact, a Salesforce study revealed that 80% of respondents indicated that immediate responses to inquiries influence their loyalty to a business.
Online Interactions that Generate More Online Quotes
Once installed on Dowdy’s Automotive website, John discovered Otis’ ability to grow appointments and car count. “What we’ve noticed with Otis is the volume of online interactions and quotes have gone up in a magnitude once we installed it.”
John also finds Otis helps the Dowdy’s Automotive team get more business out of each day. John points out that “when the team arrives in the morning they can get started interacting with interested customers who have engaged with Otis overnight. We can call them, get them ready for their appointment.”
John offers advice to automotive service business leaders looking to modernize their customer experience. “We looked at a lot of competitors and everyone had something to offer. Otis gives us the best solution to engage our customers and help them do business with us. We live in a world where we want info right now. Otis lets my customers take action instantly, and it’s personalized to them. We’re growing because we engage our customers in the way they want, when they want.”