Paragon Partners with Google, Team Velocity and RedCap to Create a Frictionless Experience for
Paragon Automotive, the largest Honda and Acura dealer in the nation, has experienced significant year-over-year growth in market share and profitability every year over the last 10 years. The dealership has continued to reinvent itself in an effort to pursue constant, never-ending improvement. “We are always pursuing perfection in every area of our dealership, especially the areas that affect our customer experience,” said Brian Benstock, general manager and VP at Paragon Honda. “Time is the new currency so we’ve got to move at the speed of the customer. If we don’t disrupt ourselves, the customer will do it for us.”
In an effort to improve the customer experience, Paragon is utilizing new technology to make it easier for their customers to shop, buy and maintain their car. Paragon has partnered with three technology providers — Google, Team Velocity and Red Cap Technologies — to reinvent the customer experience and to create a frictionless future for their consumers.
Paragon is making it easier for their customers to communicate with them through Google Assistant, which allows customers to use their voice 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 having to visit the dealership. Paragon uses Team Velocity’s Apollo platform to manage, measure and optimize their omni-channel marketing campaigns to acquire and retain more customers for lower cost.
“The modern consumer doesn’t want to be sold, so we help them buy,” said Benstock. “We do this by talking to them about what is relevant to them. Instead of advertising what we want to promote, we deliver personalized offers that are relevant to each individual customer.” Paragon creates and delivers hyper-personalized offers to in-market consumers via multiple advertising channels through Apollo, Team Velocity’s omni-channel marketing platform. 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.
“Customers appreciate offers that are relevant to them, and they convert much higher,” Benstock said. Paragon utilizes hundreds of Apollo’s ready-to-go campaigns to promote all of the dealerships profit centers, and they use Apollo’s Automated Intelligence to automatically optimize campaigns to maximize ROI by spending more where the dealership makes more, and less where they make less.
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 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 and how it works at this year’s 2018 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention.
“We are humbled that Google chose Paragon to be first dealership they worked with to create this new application of Google Assistant and Google Home,” Benstock said. “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,” Benstock said. “If a customer doesn’t want to set foot in the dealership, they shouldn’t have to.” 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,” Benstock said. “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,” Benstock said. “Technology has changed their expectations so we have changed our approach to meet and hopefully exceed those expectations.”
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