Dacia UK recently launched human "Guides," an online version of dealers. They aim to provide expertise on products and financing for potential online buyers. I've called this function "Digital dealerships" before, a must-have for any car manufacturer serious about selling online.
It's important to note that Dacia isn't the first carmaker to do this. But what sets them apart is that they put real names and faces online. This means they would be genuine Dacia personnel, not agents borrowed from Dacia's outsourced contact centre.
However, this is also why this initiative may not become a full-fledged sales channel anytime soon. Let me explain why.
Firstly, finding people who excel at delivering live video car demonstrations is not easy. On top of that, they need to be successful online salespeople and have technical know-how. It's a tall order. Secondly, training them to have in-depth product knowledge and keeping it up to date takes time and effort. They also need financial training and accreditation. This whole process is time-consuming and financially demanding.
Dacia has managed to accomplish all of this with their three Guides. However, challenges will arise if buyers find their services helpful. Either the booking times will get longer, which won't make buyers happy, or Dacia will need to expand their team.
Expanding the team means finding, training, and retaining more of these Superhumans and eventually filling in a big warehouse with enough cars for them to walk around.
When the operational challenges and costs start to grow, Dacia may question whether they should not go back to the business of making cars instead of managing and expanding contact centre operations.
They might consider outsourcing it to a BPO partner. The problem is that they rent people, not sell cars, so they can't match what Dacia has built in-house. This will result in a decline in customer engagement and sales conversion rate.
So, what's the solution? I don't have the answer, but I hope Dacia does. They're creating what today's buyers need, and it would be a shame if they were to become victims of their own success.