At last count, Kia had more than 800 websites where a customer can ask about buying a car.
In November, to try and simplify the process, Kia launched Kian, a Facebook Messenger and chatbot, in order to have a direct source for all the information that users might search for. In the four months since its launch, Kia has gotten three times more conversions through Kian than through its main website, Kia.com.
The conversion rate through Kian is 21 percent, while conversions through Kia.com are at 7 percent, according to Nathalie Choy, national manager of digital, social and CRM marketing at Kia Motors America.
Customers aren’t shying away from asking their questions. Choy said Kia has seen an increase in engagement, mostly thanks to Kian. Kian has exchanged 600,000 messages, resulting in 50 times more engagement through Messenger, according to Choy.
Choy associates the positive results with the fact that Kian, created by chatbot technology platform CarLabs and software firm Ansible, can act as a singular point of contact for whatever customers might need answers for.
“If you look at our site compared to other automotive sites, they are very similar. They showcase the same shopping tools, the same way you can configure your car, all the same information,” she said. “It’s a lot for a consumer to go through because it’s a big purchase for them, so we’re trying to help.”
At the same time, Kian simplifies customers’ searches.
“Knowing how they behave gives us much more insights than studying website analytics,” said Choy. “When people click on things on our website, we don’t know what they’re thinking. We don’t know that they’re trying to find a specific car in a red color, for example. They are clicking everywhere, and we can only guess what they’re looking at.”