Paragon Automotive, the largest Honda and Acura dealer in the nation, is utilizing technology to make it easier for customers to shop, buy, and maintain their car. They have collaborated with Google, Team Velocity, and Red Cap Technologies to reinvent the customer experience and to create a frictionless future for consumers.
“Time is the new currency so we’ve got to move at the speed of the customer,” says Brian Benstock, general manager and VP at Paragon Honda, “If we don’t disrupt ourselves, the customer will do it for us.”
To attract and serve their customers better, Paragon has partnered with 3 technology providers to make it easier for customers to do business with them. Paragon uses Team Velocity’s Apollo platform to attract more customers for less by delivering personalized offers to in-market buyers through a personal website that is dynamically built for each consumer. After the sale, Paragon is making it easier for their customers to communicate with them through its Google Assistant app, which allows customers to use their voice on Android, iPhones, speakers like Google Home and more to schedule appointments with the dealership. Through their partnership with RedCap, Paragon also offers a free pick up and drop off service so customers can do business with Paragon without visiting the dealership.
“The modern consumer doesn’t want to be sold, so we help them buy, by talking to them about what is relevant to them,” said Benstock. “Instead of advertising what we want to promote, we deliver personalized offers that are relevant to each individual customer.”
Paragon utilizes Team Velocity’s Apollo platform to create and deliver hyper-personalized offers to in-market consumers via multiple advertising channels. When consumers click on the offer, it links them to a personal website that has all the offers that are relevant to them, their car and where they are in their ownership cycle. Paragon utilizes hundreds of Apollo’s ready-to-go campaigns that promote all of the dealerships profit centers and they use Apollo’s Automated Intelligence to monitor and optimize campaigns to maximize ROI, by automatically spending more where the dealership makes more, and less where they make less.
“We are working diligently to build technology that improves every aspect of the consumer experience, with both OEM’s and dealerships,” says David Boice, Co-Founder and CEO of Team Velocity. “It has been great to collaborate with Google, RedCap and Paragon to make buying and maintaining cars easier for consumers and we look forward to further integrating this technology into Apollo.”
Paragon is also leveraging technology to make it easier for customers to service their vehicle with the dealership after they buy. Car maintenance is an inconvenience that’s amplified when it requires visiting a dealership during working hours. In an industry first, Paragon has teamed up with Google, Team Velocity and RedCap to build an app for Google Assistant that makes it easy for customers to use Google Assistant to contact the dealership or schedule service with the use of their voice. With a few words, customers can contact the dealership, book an appointment, and schedule a service. The app guides consumers through a series of voice assisted prompts, resulting in scheduling a service appointment without having to speak with a person.
Paragon began working on the project with Google, Team Velocity and RedCap in August of 2017. After months of working with Google’s automotive team to develop the application, the persona became known as “Paul”. Work on crafting responses for possible user interactions was completed in early 2018, with a pilot program for the assistant launching in early February. Paragon revealed the new app at this year’s 2018 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention on Saturday, March 24th.
“We are humbled to be first dealership Google worked with to create an app for the Google Assistant,” said Benstock. “Their technology is everywhere and our integration makes it much easier for customers to do business with us.”
Paragon’s Google Assistant integration also allows customers access to ParagonDirect, a free service to pick up, service, and return customers vehicles to their home within 24 hours—without them having to visit the dealership.
“The whole notion of having to come to a dealership for service is outdated, If a customer doesn’t want to set foot in the dealership, they shouldn’t have to,” said Benstock. With ParagonDirect, the dealership has multiple cars being delivered daily, and it can be very difficult to manage all the drivers, customers and the communications between them.
To manage all the activity, Paragon uses RedCap’s technology platform to monitor and optimize their deliveries and the customer experience.
“RedCap makes it easy for our customers to communicate with our drivers for pick ups and drop offs,” added Benstock. “The redcap mobile site functions similar to Uber, in that our customer can track where their car is and can dynamically communicate with the driver to let them know if they are running late.”
David Zwick, Managing Director of RedCap, added, “The best service experience for the customer is that the customer does not have to experience the service at all.”
With most consumers being able to experience seamless and frictionless experiences in other aspects of their lives, it is obvious to the consumer when the slightest bit of friction enters their transaction.
Paragon is using technology to remove friction from car ownership, which makes it easier for customers to do business with their dealership.
“Our customers don’t have time to waste when buying or servicing their car. Technology has changed their expectations so we have changed our approach to meet and hopefully exceed those expectations.”