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3 Best Applications of Chatbots in the Automotive Industry

Written by Jensen Lo

· Case Studies,Chatbots

1. BMW’s Workshop Customer Service Chatbot

(Note: This use case was written based on the case study provided by MessengerPeople)


The BMW headquarters in Munich encountered a drastic increase in customer appointments when summers and winters were approaching as the customers would like to change to summer or winter tires according to the season.

During these peak periods, the number of customers who were directed to a central call center to book their appointments skyrocketed. This has resulted in a rise in the request for a callback from the responsible service consultant. The appointment booking procedure has caused delays in the communication between customer and service consultant.


BMW deployed its “Follow Now” chatbot to inform customers about the service status of their vehicle in real-time. The customers could just type “#follow now” in the WhatsApp chatroom and they would be updated with the service status of their vehicles. Then, the service consultant would intervene and provide the required information if the inquiries couldn’t be answered by the chatbot. Finally, the service consultant could also communicate with the customers on WhatsApp and eliminate the need of the customers requesting for a callback and being directed to a call center.

Photo: MessengerPeople

How did the application of chatbot provide the solution?

  • Designs around customer’s preferred or most used platforms

Instead of requesting the customers to download a new app for the service updates, the customers could receive updates from the messaging app they are using already. As WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform in Germany, a WhatsApp chatbot allows the customers to book an appointment with an app they use on a daily basis. This also decreases the resources required to encourage and educate the customers in using a new app to book appointments.


  • Designs a simple and concise conversation flow 

The conversation flow in WhatsApp should be designed to be as simple and concise as possible. The pain point of the customers in scheduling an appointment is the need to go through a complicated communication flow. For example, they are directed to the call center, then they would need to select the correct directory and they might even need to request for a callback at the end. In this example, all the users would need to do in prompting updates of the service status is to opt in to receive the updates on WhatsApp and type “#follow now” anytime they wish to be updated.


  • Offers real-time updates 

The status updates guide the customers through each stage of the service and allows the customers to track which stage of the service their vehicles are in. This minimizes the uncertainty customers would feel after sending their vehicles for service and allows the customers to receive immediate updates when they could pick up their vehicles.

2. Prestige Malaysia x Mercedes Benz Event Chatbot

Our founder and CEO, Carliff (right) and his wife, Niney (middle) attended the event. Photo: Chatbot Malaysia


In 2018, Prestige Magazine Malaysia, one of Asia’s leading luxury lifestyle magazines partnered with Mercedes Benz to organize a suit-and-tie event, Prestige Magazine KK Ball, in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The event organizers needed a communication platform to welcome the attendees and provide the required information to them without a physical check-in counter. Moreover, Mercedes Benz was searching for a solution to capture leads from the event with personalized interactions. However, asking the event attendees to participate in surveys would interfere with the engaging and entertaining flow of the event. Therefore, Prestige Magazine Malaysia and Mercedes Benz would like to achieve their goals and objectives of this event with minimal human intervention.


To heighten the level of engagement of the event attendees, Chatbot Malaysia designed a Messenger chatbot to welcome the attendees and provide guidance and directory to them during the event.

Photo: Chatbot Malaysia

Furthermore, to promote the then new launch of the Mercedes S-class, Chatbot Malaysia designed an interactive quiz for the event attendees using the Messenger chatbot. Upon registering for the event in Messenger, the attendees were directed to a personality quiz. Based on the results of the personality quiz, the chatbot would recommend the most suitable Mercedes Benz S-Class model to the attendees.

Photo: Chatbot Malaysia

In addition to improving the engagement of the event and promoting the new S-Class launch, the Messenger chatbot helped Mercedes Benz to capture valuable leads during the event.

How did the application of chatbot provide the solution?

  • Captures leads and collect data of potential customers for retargeting purposes

In a promotional event, it is effective to capture leads from collecting the personal information and preferences of potential customers besides promoting a product launch. The data collected could ultimately provide value in future marketing campaigns.

  • Allows segmentation of leads

From the questions of the personality quiz, in addition to providing an interactive exercise and acquiring data of the potential customers, the chatbot allows the potential customers to be segmented into different groups based on their answers to the quiz.

  • Imitate a human interaction based on the occasion or event

It is important to imitate an interaction or conversation a person would normally have in designing a chatbot. To further improve the engagement of the chatbot conversation, the context, occasion or event should be taken into account in designing the interactions and determining the language used. In this example, as the event was a suit-and-tie event, it is appropriate that the chatbot would ask the attendees how they would like to be addressed, exactly like how a waiter or waitress would.

Photo: Chatbot Malaysia

  • Asks interactive and engaging questions

While chatbots have been widely applied in conducting user surveys, not all of them are engaging and personalized for the users to actively participate in. In this example, the questions were asked using conversational language. The replies after each question are personalized. This resulted in an engaging interaction to encourage active participation from the users. Lastly, recommending a specific vehicle model to the users based on the quiz result reinforced the connection between the users and the brand.

  • Provides multiple functions

The Messenger chatbot was used to achieve more than one goal. Besides promoting the product launch and capturing leads, a Messenger chatbot can be used effectively to direct the users to the right place where they could obtain useful information. During the event, the chatbot was deployed in guiding the attendees to their specified seats. To further garner the interest of the attendees after collecting their information, the chatbot offered them the option to book a test drive session immediately or find out more about the brand and products.

Photo: Chatbot Malaysia

3. Mercedes Benz’s Test Drive Chatbot


This brings us to the challenge of a customer in scheduling a test drive session. There are many car dealerships which sell Mercedes Benz vehicles in a just city, let alone in the entire country of Malaysia. Customers who are interested in scheduling a test drive session were required to locate the closest car dealership and the correct contact person before they were able to call and schedule a test drive session. This has led to a certain degree of friction in the test drive scheduling process. And, we haven’t even mentioned the high probability of miscommunication or failure in following up with customers who have shown interest.


Chatbot Malaysia designed a Messenger chatbot to provide a single platform for customers from different locations to schedule a test drive session. The chabot sends an update of all of the information required such as the available dates and times, the closest location of the car dealership and the key contact person. Lastly, a confirmation message and email would be sent to the customers to assure them that the booking has been confirmed and remind them to attend the test drive session.

Photo: Chatbot Malaysia

How did the application of chatbot provide the solution?

  • Single platform for communication

Instead of going through the complicated process of scheduling test drives where customers would need to locate the car dealership and contact person before calling to confirm the booking of the test drives, a chatbot could assist the customer to identify the available dates, car dealership location and available car model, all in one conversation. Single platform for all forms of communication and information ultimately minimizes the probability of miscommunications with the customers.

  • Provides confirmation across multiple channels

After the scheduling process, the chatbot would send a message to confirm the details of the booking with the customer before finalizing it. Moreover, an email is sent to ensure that the customers would be updated with the confirmation and reminded of the scheduled time of the test drive outside of Messenger. While the single platform allows efficient and convenient communication process, confirmations and reminders should be sent to the customers across different channels for customer’s convenience.

  • Provides contact information of a human agent or consultant

It is essential to provide the information and details of a human agent for the customer to connect if they were to have more complex inquiries or urgent requests. This allows the team to take over the inquiries from the chatbot agent and resolve the customer issues efficiently.

Photo: Chatbot Malaysia

These are the three of the most well-executed applications of chatbots we’ve observed amid the rising trend of digital transformation in the automotive industry. However, there are more areas of the automotive industry where you could utilize chatbots creatively to solve your users’ problems. For example, our team has successfully proposed fully integrated chatbot solutions for the Pre-Sales and Post-Sales stages in a car buying process.

Stay tuned to find out more about these solutions.

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