"Hey CarMax," the new way to buy cars

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Facilitating an autonomous "hands-on" experience

The agent features and capabilities

The personal guide

"Hey CarMax" is an intelligent guide here to facilitate a fun, contextualized "hands-on" experience for customers. It has an intimate knowledge of cars' features, history, and operation and is here to answer any related questions.

While intelligent, it is also empathetic towards customers trying to navigate such a large, stressful life decision. It focuses on assuring the customer without providing any pressure to purchase. It guides and facilitates without taking away the customer's autonomy to operate on their own terms.

It simply seeks to understand what the customer needs and provides information that is relevant and valuable in a comforting way.

Assistance in the palm of your hand

"Hey CarMax" can be easily accessed and used on your smartphone. In addition to communicating via voice, the agent provides visual feedback to help you understand the system status and learn more about the car you are looking at.

Kicking the tires

"Hey CarMax" helps you navigate the process of kicking the tires (walking around the car and exploring it) by allowing you to ask any questions about the car's history or features. It can even contextualize information for you to help you better understand whether the car is a good fit for you.

The test drive

The agent also allows you to ask questions about the car while you are on your solo test drive and even proactively engages you about contextually relevant information that you may be interested in. If there's a question it's unable to answer, no need to worry! The agent will refer your question to a sales consultant who will provide you with an answer after your test drive.

The future: Extending across contexts and modalities

Take a look at how the agent extends beyond the "hands-on" experience to help you in your end-to-end car buying journey

Phase 1

The first portion of our envisioned future for Hey CarMax takes place when a shopper first starts looking at CarMax’s website. The agent, in this portion of the journey, intercepts the customer to help them find cars based on their preferences and assists them in scheduling a visit to the store.

Phase 2

The portion that follows the initial research phase is the time that falls between scheduling an appointment and actually visiting the store. In this time, Hey CarMax will communicate with shoppers via text to confirm their appointment time and gather the documentation that will be necessary for their in-store visit, a common pain point we observed throughout our research.

Phase 3

Next comes the day of the shopper’s appointment. Hey CarMax will, again, communicate via text to prompt the shopper to download the CarMax app. Following that, the shopper will now interact with Hey CarMax on the app, and can use it to check-in for their appointment. While this is happening on the shoppers’ end, the sales consultants in the store will be able to prepare the car they are planning to test drive and leave their keys for them to pick-up upon arrival.

Phase 4

Now that the customer has checked-in and arrived at the store, it’s time for their solo test drive. The customer continues to interact with Hey CarMax on the app as they are assisted on the kicking the tires and solo test drive experience. While the customer is out on their test drive, their assigned sales consultant is receiving live SMS text updates on how the test drive is going and their customer profile is being updated. The sales consultant will then meet the customer after the test drive to help with unanswered questions and move the sales process further.

Phase 5

Finally, after having purchased their car, Hey CarMax will continue to follow-up with shoppers via text. First, they will follow-up within the first 30 days of purchase and then will continue to remind customers about maintenance. The data gathered in these interactions will be used to update their shopper profile and the agent will continue to assist them in scheduling for CarMax service appointments.

Learn more about our design process