Vanarama has launched iVan
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VANARAMA has launched iVan, the first artificial intelligence chatbot in use by a UK automotive company.

He’s been designed to help customers find the perfect vehicle, match them with the perfect leasing product and get them behind the wheel.

He’s now live on the main Vanarama site and on his own site.

Stats suggest that by 2020, chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions, which means iVan is ahead of the curve. Even today, he’s capable of handling limitless customer conversations simultaneously on a range of different subjects, from financial products and vehicle models all the way to completing a sale securely.

He’ll even be making the transition to Facebook Messenger exposing him to the platform’s 1.2 billion users, in a world where 47% of consumers are open to buying items through a chatbot, and 37% would buy items from Facebook.

Vanarama has always understood that running a small business is time consuming, and businesses may find themselves struggling to find the time to visit dealerships and look at different vehicles, let alone work out which type of finance to choose. And as communication technology develops, Vanarama’s customers are demanding that the business keep pace with these developments and be there to help whenever they’re needed.

Those companies that operate in the retail sector are constantly under pressure to provide access to more sales channels as they become available, and Vanarama has always made it its mission to keep up. Enter iVan.

Vanarama’s CEO and founder Andy Alderson said: “The leading-edge technology we create and deploy is all aimed at helping our customers find the perfect vehicles and financial products as easily as possible.

“They include Deal Wizard (lead management platform), Live Quote (integrated price aggregator), My Vanarama (customer self-service portal), and now iVan the Chatbot.

“He’s an incredible addition to the team, giving customers another way to interact with Vanarama. If they want to talk to iVan, they can. And if they want to talk to a person, our sales specialists and customer service staff are still here too.

“He’s not a replacement for our sales people, he’s here to provide customers another pathway to getting behind the wheel of a brand-new vehicle.”

India Pride, Vanarama’s digital marketing manager, adds: “iVan can answer customer questions quickly and efficiently on whichever device is the easiest for them.

“He can help find information about the vehicles and deals we have available, and answer questions on financial products and leasing in general. For example, if you like to do research before you pick up the phone, you can ask iVan for help. He’ll show you the vehicles available at your target budget, and help you to work out the best finance product for you and your business.”

Moving forward, iVan is a continuing development project, with multiple new areas of the business for him to become an expert in over the coming months. They echo Vanarama’s recent business expansion with iVan set to become an expert and sales specialist in short-term leasing, vehicle insurance and – most excitingly – making the hop across the Atlantic to support the team in Atlanta, Georgia, who are busily launching Vanarama in the USA.

Andy explains: “Wherever our customers are, and however they want to work with us, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

“First it was telecoms, then lead management software, a customer-focused website, massive investment in mobile tech, and now an artificial intelligence chatbot armed with the deals and vehicle knowledge that Vanarama’s team is known for.

“Today it’s chatbots, and who knows what the next major technological development in communication and retail will be? But you can guarantee we’ll be right there looking to make it work for our customers.”

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