Revolutionizing Automotive Dealership Staffing with Telepresence Robots

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Articles, Content, Telepresence

One company is utilizing telepresence robot technology to meet the changing staffing demands of car dealerships.

In the competitive landscape of car dealerships, staffing has emerged as a formidable challenge. The automotive industry’s demand for qualified employees often exceeds supply, leading dealerships to contend with fierce competition for talent. DealerXT recognized this ongoing struggle and introduced a groundbreaking solution called Remote Dealer Staffing (RDS). RDS leverages international talent to provide cost-effective remote staff to dealerships across the United States. However, DealerXT aspired to elevate this concept even further and asked themselves What if these virtual assistants could transcend the virtual realm and gain a physical presence within the dealerships? This question can be answered with telepresence robot technology.

Car Sales from Across the Globe with a Telepresence Robot

DealerXT had a vague idea of hooking up “an iPad to a pole and then connecting that pole to a little remote-controlled car.” This technological concept may have been planted by a bit of pop culture. “There’s one episode of Modern Family where the dad isn’t there, so he gets one of these robots to be in the house and it’s really funny. So maybe that was in my subconscious when I was thinking about the idea,” said the DealerXT team.

Ohmni Telepresence Robot

This idea inspired DealerXT to reach out to OhmniLabs, the visionary developer of Ohmni Telepresence Robots, with a clear objective: to merge innovation with practicality and provide a seamless blend of remote work and in-person interaction. DealerXT described the sales process with OhmniLabs as “wonderful” and, being local to the Bay Area as well, DealerXT representatives went to the robotic company’s headquarters for an in-person visit.

The collaboration between the two companies, announced earlier this year, integrates cutting-edge telepresence technology into car dealership customer service processes, redefining their recruitment strategies and operational efficiency. DealerXT’s RDS solution had already gained substantial momentum within the automotive industry, offering dealerships a cost-effective, efficient, and geographically agnostic staffing alternative. By harnessing the potential of a telepresence robot, DealerXT allows dealerships to amplify the reach of a globally diverse pool of skilled talent.

Car dealership that could use a telepresence robot for remote staffing

Driving Innovation on the Showroom Floor

The synergy between DealerXT and OhmniLabs accelerated at a Bay Area new car dealership. The implementation involved deploying an Ohmni Telepresence Robot in the showroom to serve as an in-person virtual assistant. Operators who live and work outside the country drive the robot within the showroom, interacting with customers, and handling customer service duties. Crucially, the remote staff maintain a live connection, ensuring they are always ready to engage with customers who walk in.

Initial reactions to the robots were like the rumble of an engine firing up for the first time, echoing the blend of excitement and uncertainty that accompanies any novel technology. While some customers were initially dubious about the robot, upon realizing there were genuine individuals behind the screens, their skepticism transitioned from doubt to curiosity and eventual celebration. The company even further humanized the robot by simply introducing it as a person — e.g., “Meet Frank!”

The remote staff themselves found the Ohmni Robot remarkably user-friendly. Operating the bot became second nature, akin to shifting gears in a familiar car, allowing them to seamlessly cruise through the dealership, connecting with customers and expertly navigating their roles with the efficiency of a finely-tuned automobile.

New Roads Ahead with a Telepresence Robot

The list of advantages of a telepresence robot doesn’t stop at the showroom doors. The next destination involves utilizing Ohmni Robots and remote staff within service departments. Positioned strategically, these assistants will extend warm greetings to customers, seamlessly act as receptionists and guides within the dealership, and provide exceptional customer service, paving the way for an enhanced dealership experience.

Additionally, DealerXT has already received interest from one owner who happens to have two dealerships. He’s always wanted to find a way to support his staff and interact with customers at both locations, and with the help of a telepresence robot, he can effectively be present at both dealerships at the same time – a concept that would be impossible without this technology.

And while telepresence provides obvious value as a customer service tool, DealerXT sees how the benefits go beyond the sales process. “There’s also a marketing element. You’ve seen how used car dealerships have the balloon thing out front or the gorilla on top. Every dealership is trying to come up with quirky ways to draw attention to themselves.” Having a robot on the floor holds a lot of potential to attract customers to the dealership to check it out.

Shaping the Future of Car Dealerships

In the ever-evolving landscape of the automotive industry, DealerXT and OhmniLabs showcase how collaboration and innovation can reshape traditional practices. By introducing in-person remote staff through Ohmni Telepresence Robots, DealerXT is transforming dealership staffing, offering customers a unique and memorable experience. As DealerXT continues to lead the way here, the case of in-person remote staff stands as a testament to their commitment to pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations.

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