It’s all hands on deck at Tesla right now, as every branch of the company braces itself for the Model 3 launch. The launch of a new product will invariably mean there are some bugs and errors, so Elon Musk’s electric car company rolled out a new virtual chat system to help out new owners with all their vehicle’s quirks. Tesla has so far catered to a small group of relatively wealthy car buyers, but with the $35,000 car expected to go into production this summer, the company will have to deal with a far larger audience.
The live chat window links owners up with an in-house expert that can answer questions and troubleshoot vehicle issues. The service appears when a user visits the “My Tesla” page, a page where owners can view and manage a list of their Tesla vehicles.
It’s a service likely familiar to people who have looked for technical support online. Microsoft, Apple, Sony, AT&T, and Verizon are just some of the companies that use live chat to support customers. There’s no need to fumble around with pressing digits to speak to a human, there’s no waiting around for an email response, and the user doesn’t need to give the customer service representative their undivided attention if they’re busy with other things.
But perhaps most importantly, live chat representatives can handle a lot more conversations at once. Some estimates claim that support reps can handle up to eight conversations at once. This increase in support will be vital as Tesla expands its user base.
Expectations for the Model 3 are high. Around 400,000 people have placed a $1,000 deposit on a Model 3, and it’s estimated that the company has sold less than 200,000 cars in total since its founding.
Tesla is attacking this jump in scale on all fronts. Beyond customer service, it’s working on building the Gigafactory, which when complete will be the largest building in the world by footprint. Where Tesla currently makes 50,000 Model S and X vehicles every year, it wants to make ten times as many cars by next year, with the Model 3 accounting for 250,000 of them. It’s an ambitious plan, but it will be all for nothing if the brand is tarnished by poor customer service. Live chat is the next step on the road to getting the company Model 3-ready.