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In this Executive Insights video supported by Sinch, Nikola Aschoff, head of extended digital services at Mercedes-Benz, explains how bots are giving drivers fast and convenient answers to hundreds of questions.…

“How do I turn on the air con?”

It’s an important question for the new car owner. Especially if she is driving off the forecourt in the height of summer.

Should she thumb through the user’s manual? Call customer support? Press random buttons and hope for the best?

Drivers of Mercedes-Benz E and S-Class vehicle have a much more convenient option. They can consult ‘Ask Mercedes‘.

Ask Mercedes is a chatbot that covers about 100 of the most commonly-asked questions about how to use a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. It can be downloaded as an app or accessed via Facebook and other messenger services. There are even plans to embed this AI assistant in the vehicle itself.

The project indicates the value that Mercedes-Benz places on bots – and messaging in general – as a tool to help customers get answers quickly.

Our customers are using social media channels, web, apps and so on, and we want to be where our customers are. So we are using chat and voice bots on every channel Mercedes-Benz is offering.”

Nikola Aschoff, head of extended digital services at Mercedes-Benz, says this is a simple matter of choice and convenience: “Our customers are using social media channels, web, apps and so on, and we want to be where our customers are. So we are using chat and voice bots on every channel Mercedes-Benz is offering.”

Aschoff was speaking to MEF exclusively at Chatbot Summit in Berlin, at which Yoav Barel, the founder of the event, described how chatbots could save enterprises trillions of dollars.

But, of course, chatbots will only succeed if they make customers’ lives easier. This is the priority. Happily, the evidence suggests that consumers like them. According to a study by messaging provider Sinch, 61 per cent of consumers have had positive experiences with bots. Only six per cent report a negative experience.

Aschoff says Mercedes-Benz customers value the bot most for the control it gives them. “They use it for self-service so the customer can inform him or herself, or they can get in touch with an agent through live chat or complete a transaction such as booking an appointment,” she says.

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