Is it possible to sell cars through the Internet? See what Fiat came up with.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is one of the biggest automotive groups in the world. They have various car manufacturing subsidiaries, including well-known brands such as Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep besides sports luxury brands Ferrari and Maserati.
Selling a car is not an easy task. Customers have many decisions to make and many factors to weigh, not to mention all the style and color options. The price, of course, is also a major potential barrier to achieving a sell, as for most customers, buying a car is one of the highest value personal investments they can possibly make. This results in a long sales cycle, with many potential deal-breakers scattered along the way.
The internet plays an interesting role in this process. Cars are not usually sold online, but the web is where most customers actually start their search. For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, this means that lots of different potential customers browse through their websites day by day, but only a small fraction of them make it to the end of the funnel: the car dealership. They wanted to provide a more informative and helpful initial contact in order to hold on to that initial interest and drive quality online leads to the showrooms, to eventually be able to close successful deals.
The company also understood that they can only achieve this by delivering an effective, customized customer experience in today’s omnichannel environment. So the question was: how would they manage to offer web visitors a more personalized, interactive first approach as opposed to the brochure-like, passive experience the web had previously offered?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles decided to implement Whisbi Sales Booster, our flagship Software as a Service solution. This has not only provided them with the most advanced, integrated way to enrich the interaction between sales representatives and potential customers across channels, but it also included powerful tracking and lead nurturing functions to help them better qualify leads and optimize lead generation.
How does it work?
Previously, visitors exploring cars on Fiat’s websites only had the option to call a simple hotline number if they had a quick question or wanted to know more about offers. They may have called the number, talked to the sales rep as usual; nothing more, nothing less. With Whisbi, this has changed in a disruptive way.
Now, whenever potential customers go to the Fiat brands’ product pages (i.e. those of Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat Professional and Jeep), they have the opportunity to conveniently reach out to sales representatives any time they have a quick question about the cars and offers. This is encouraged by a well visible, floating call-to-action button that invites the visitor to contact the company at any moment, being accessible but non-intrusive. The button only appears when a sales rep is available to serve the customer, eliminating unnecessary waiting times and bounces.
The potential customer has the freedom to choose between calling the company’s usual hotline number (Inbound-To-Whisbi) or requesting a free callback (Click-To-Whisbi). In the background, Whisbi also registers this person as a Lead in its tracking tool called the Whisbi Deck, recording which online source the person was originally coming from.
In either case, the Whisbi experience starts automatically, in less than 5 seconds, synchronizing the inbound or outbound phone call with an interactive online experience in real time. Thanks to our patented technology, the Fiat sales representatives became able to:
On the whole, Fiat has been a pioneer in realizing a ‘virtual car dealership’ concept, where the customer receives a surprisingly rich, impactful first experience when reaching out to the company over the phone, bringing the interaction closer to that of physical showrooms. Thanks to their new ability to provide the potential customer with a truly personalized offer through remote channels in real time and build enhanced engagement and trust, Fiat has managed to drive more leads to the dealerships, improving their pre-sales process in a vertical where the road leading to sales has traditionally been a long and bumpy one.
On top of this, they have also learned what sources and campaigns drive more quality leads, helping them optimize the ROI of lead generation and evaluate the performance of sales representatives.