Streamlines Service Operations

New artificial intelligence technology answers calls, schedules appointments, freeing dealership staff.

Alysha Webb, Contributor

January 29, 2024

2 Min Read
Brooke can match technician skill sets to a vehicle’s needs.Getty Images

As the retail automotive industry comes down from heady days of low inventory and high profit margins, dealerships will lean more heavily on their service departments to boost the bottom line.  

A business development center (BDC) specialist firm is leveraging its experience and data to help dealers streamline service department operations and improve customer experience using artificial intelligence software.  

“We can help a dealership deliver a better customer experience and take cost out at a time when the industry needs both,” Pat Reininger, CEO of Proactive Dealer Solutions, tells WardsAuto. is a digital voice assistant using artificial intelligence that answers 100% of a dealership’s service calls and schedules appointments. Some 30% of those calls are lost when using live agents, based on Proactive Dealer Solutions’ mystery shopping and research, says Reininger.  

“AI in and of itself is not the solution,” he says. “It is only powerful if you have the data set to teach it.” 

Proactive Dealer Solutions has helped create more than 4,000 dealership BDCs and logged hundreds of millions of customer calls, Reininger explains. It wanted to mine all that data, and artificial intelligence could do that. Thus, was born.  

Beyond answering calls and scheduling for a multi-rooftop group, can match technician skill sets to a vehicle’s needs, he says.  

Using the Vehicle Identification Number, it also can recommend vehicle-specific services based on mileage by cross-referencing the owner’s manual and alerting the owner to any recalls.  

Those recommendations are “perceived as more credible because the interaction is so vehicle-specific,” says Reininger. “It is more sharing info with you than trying to convince you to buy additional services.”  

He says that results in some 85% of customers showing up for their self-scheduled service appointment made through also recognizes when it can’t handle a call and transfers the call to a live agent through its integration with a dealership’s BDC.  

Overall, handles about 40% of service department scheduling calls, saving 90,000 hours of labor, “repurposing those agents to deal with more complex issues,” Reininger says.  

Branding is important, and can be configured to reinforce a dealership or group’s brand messaging, he says, including making outbound calls related to recalls. handled over 2.7 million calls in 2023, and “those customers experienced a consistent brand experience,” Reininger says.  

The “intelligent” voice assistant works with any dealer management system – “we are not looking to compete with those technologies,” he says. There are different pricing tiers depending on what services a dealership wants.  

Launched in 2021, now is in more than 560 stores, he says, including an agreement with Stellantis allowing its dealerships to receive discounted rates.  

“We think over the next 18 to 24 months there will be continued downward pressure on dealership profits,” says Reininger. “They need solutions to help them.”   



About the Author(s)

Alysha Webb


Based in Los Angeles, Alysha Webb has written about myriad aspects of the automotive industry for more than than two decades, including automotive retail, manufacturing, suppliers, and electric vehicles. She began her automotive journalism career in China and wrote reports for Wards Intelligence on China's electric vehicle future and China's autonomous vehicle future. 

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