6 ways to improve your Dealership’s Customer Service performance in 2020
It’s 2020 and your dealership should be looking forward to the new year. With a new year ahead of you, your staff is most likely reviewing the way business was being conducted last year and considering options for improvement and growth in the new year.
Keeping up with current technologies and staying ahead of your competition can be a bit challenging, but very necessary. Staying competitive and current will help keep your dealership strong and your customers happy. A new year should bring fresh ideas, better processes and new ways to enhance your automotive dealership.
With that in mind, here are 6 great ways to improve your dealership’s communication, enhance your overall customer service experience and customer ratings, as well as streamline your processes and productivity.
- TEXT, TEXT, TEXT
Customers have indicated for years that their preferred method of communication is through text messaging. If you’re not offering texting as a form of communication to your customers, you may not be listening to what they want. Did you know that 98% of text messages are read compared to only 22% of emails? The numbers aren’t much better for voice messages, with about 33% of customers listening to business related messages, and that number dropping down to only 18% from phone numbers that customers don’t readily recognize.
If you want to get a hold of your customers quickly and relay timely service updates, the best communication method is text messaging. And giving your customers the ability to send a quick text to their advisor to communicate with them will add to their customer experience and satisfaction.
2. MOBILE PAYMENT
Your customers are busy, on the move and work irregular hours. It’s important that you offer them payment options that work with their schedules and time lines. Giving your customers the ability to pay ahead of their vehicle pick up can alleviate that 5pm rush. This can free up both the customer’s and the advisor’s time, allowing more time to discuss the repairs and next maintenance recommendations. Providing a mobile payment option also allows customers to pick up their vehicles after hours or make a down payment without having to come down to the dealership. Plus, providing a secure way of making that payment keeps both your staff and your customers safe and compliant with strict privacy laws.
“Providing a secure way of making mobile payments keeps both your staff and your customers safe.”
3. REWARDING YOUR CUSTOMERS
A happy customer is a returning customer. As you know, it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. An increase in customer retention of merely 5% can equate to an increase in profit of at least 25%. This is because repeat customers are more likely to spend more with your brand -- 67% more, to be exact -- which results in your business having to spend less on operating costs.
A great way to ensure your customers are happy and keep coming back is to provide loyalty rewards and incentives. Reward dollars can be earned as a percentage based on customer service spending, or you can reward dollars to customers as a thank you, incentive or adjustment. With dollars waiting in their account, customers will be sure to book future service visits or purchase their next vehicle with your dealership to take advantage of the savings.
4. EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
Providing seamless and pain free transportation options for your customers is no longer a dealership perk, but a necessity. With today’s increasing busy schedules, customers need to be able to get on with their day and still be productive, even without their vehicle. Keeping your shuttle and loaner vehicle departments organized and running smoothly can be an overwhelming job, especially during peak hours and busy seasonal times. It’s wise to invest in the proper software to track and schedule your shuttles and reserve and book your loaner vehicles. Communicating transportation details to customers in a quick and straightforward manner is key to keeping everyone organized, on time and happy.
“Communicating transportation details to customers is key to keeping everyone organized, on time and happy.”
5. INFORM AND ENTERTAIN
Digital signage is the easiest and most effective way of modernizing your facility, keeping your customers informed and providing a level of entertainment — and all while staying environmentally friendly. With various options allowing you to showcase current sales and service promotions, display digital menus for pricing or appointments, provide information on dealership services and events, and more, your dealership can keep your customers informed, entertained and up-to-date, all in real-time. The cost and environmental savings by not having to print and reprint posters and signs is an added bonus. The immediacy of being able to change digital content and messages on the fly is also more in tune with today’s busy lifestyles and customer viewing consumption practices.
6. CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT OPTIONS
Your customers are busy and can have very demanding schedules, so dropping off their vehicle for service needs to work with their timing and their deadlines. Dealerships that can provide before hours check in and after hours pick up solutions will definitely stand out from their competition. Providing self-led check in kiosks allow customers who are in a rush, or know exactly what they want, a faster, less stressful option to bringing in their vehicle and getting the repair process started. Secure key lock boxes and kiosks will speed up their check in times and allow a safe and secure way of bringing their vehicle in for service with as little interruption in their day as possible.
“Providing self-led check in kiosk allow customers a faster, less stressful option to bringing in their vehicle for service.”
Review your processes
The start of a new year is a great time to review your dealership’s processes and practices. Doing so will help you to identify any areas where your dealership may have been lacking or areas that definitely could use some improvement. The customer service experience is what will keep your customers coming back and referring you to their friends and colleagues.
Today’s customers are busy and only getting busier, making it more important to ensure proper communication and fast and efficient service options that are convenient and flexible. Make sure your dealership and your staff are ready to embrace and tackle these challenges in 2020 with the proper tools and solutions.
For more information about VenueVision and our full line of dealership solutions, call 866.401.1300 or Book a Demo to see them in action!
VenueVision and GoMoto improve customer experience with streamlined dealership operations and end-to-end customer communication
GoMoto, a developer of progressive technologies for automotive service lanes that modernizes the dealership experience and drives customer engagement, proudly announces their Virtual Service Advisor Platform has been integrated with VenueVision Integrated Dealerships Solutions, the leading automotive communications platform in Canada.
GoMoto’s Virtual Service Advisor is kiosk technology for the service lane that provides streamlined, self-led customer check in and check-out. GoMoto kiosks significantly reduce the customer’s check-in and check-out time while providing a consistent experience that improves customer satisfaction and revenue. GoMoto’s turn-key, cloud-based hardware and software solutions can be dynamically tailored to any dealership process or operation.
Integrating VenueVision with GoMoto dramatically increases customer convenience and improves communications between the dealership and its service customers. Customers will be able to check in faster, authorize additional repairs faster, receive real-time status updates and checkout faster by viewing and paying their invoices ahead of arrival with Mobile Cashier. Additionally, during the repair VenueVision’s fully integrated Shuttle Tracker and Loaner software provides more efficient scheduling and dispatching, reducing frustrations for all.
“When you improve efficiencies and reduce frustrations for the customer, you give them valuable time back in their busy day and in return they reward you with greater retention and better CSI scores. A win for everyone.” - Dave Hooper, President, VenueVision.
“Working with VenueVision, the market leader in Canada, was an easy decision.”TODD MARCELL, CEO, GOMOTO
“Automotive dealers are looking to improve their dealership experience, profitability and end-to end solutions,” said GoMoto CEO, Todd Marcelle. “Working with VenueVision, the market leader in Canada, was an easy decision.”
The pairing of VenueVision CX suite with GoMoto’s Virtual Service Advisors enables us to provide an entirely new level of premium experience for dealership customers.”DAVE HOOPER, PRESIDENT, VENUEVISION
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with GoMoto for the Canadian market. The pairing of VenueVision CX suite with GoMoto’s Virtual Service Advisors enables us to provide an entirely new level of premium experience for dealership customers.” - Dave Hooper, President, VenueVision.
GoMoto was started by seasoned automotive and technology entrepreneurs with a simple passion to develop and deploy the dealership experience of the future. GoMoto creates comprehensive dealerfocused solutions that drive sales and provide customers captivating interactive technology in-store. Their flagship product, The Virtual Service Advisor, is indoor and outdoor Kiosk technology that streamlines service check-in and increases profitability by intelligently offering customers vehicle-specific product, service, and trade equity offers.
For more information about GoMoto or the Virtual Service Advisor please visit http://www.gomoto.com or call 773.844.5382.
VenueVision Integrated Dealership Solutions' platform transforms automotive dealerships into modern digital dealers, providing a premium customer experience that drives loyalty and retention. VenueVision enables dealerships to deliver high impact, time sensitive information on customer facing screens (Digital Signage), mobile devices and by text messaging (autoTEXT) with real-time snapshots from DMS, CRM and third-party sources. Mobile Cashier, Integrated Shuttle Tracker, e-Loyalty/Rewards and Loaners/Rentals solutions are proven to increase CSI and drive greater retention and profitability for dealers.
For more information about VenueVision call 866.401.1300.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not just a Digital Signage company anymore!
If you work in a dealership you might know us as that ‘digital signage company’, but you may not know that we have grown into a full dealership solutions provider. Or maybe you are aware that we have a texting and an e-payment tool, but you might not be aware of just how far we have grown. With that in mind, we wanted to provide a quick overview of our new tools and some advancements over the last few years. But first, let’s start with a little history.
VenueVision Integrated Dealership Solutions, based in Oakville, Ontario, has been in business since 2001. The company originally started as VenueVision Media Systems with the focus primarily on Digital Signage in the automotive industry. Since the start, our main objective was to help clients implement turnkey solutions to improve communications with customers.
In the area of Digital Signage, we are not just installers and hardware providers. VenueVision creates and manages fully branded, high-quality digital content for every OEM. Our Content Management service is one of a few differences we offer that sets us apart from other digital signage companies. Our innovative Integration technology is another feature that helps make us unique. With DMS and other dealership software integration, you can display data on dealer-branded dashboards to provide a premium customer experience.
The team at VenueVision has always been focused on helping dealerships improve their communication with their customers. That is why, over the years, the team has been listening and observing the day to day functions of dealerships, specifically their service departments. This has enabled our developers to assess areas of frustration and department processes which could use streamlining. With this knowledge, our team of designers and software developers have been hard at work building additional tools and solutions that can help dealerships improve their functionality, customer service and enhance the overall customer experience.
So, what have we been up to at VenueVision? Here are some of the additional solutions we offer and some of their recent upgrades.
Although not new to the suite of VenueVision solutions, as it was originally launched in May of 2017, our texting solution is always developing to keep up with changing needs and demands. This powerful two-way, cloud-based desktop texting solution provides all the functionality any sized dealership could need. A centralized texting solution that all staff can use and oversee all customer conversations in real time. Our autoTEXT solution has always been capable of capturing and storing full customer conversation history, sending updates with DMS integration and automated messaging, attaching images or videos for faster repair authorizations and so much more. Some of the newly added features and functionality are:
- Multi-language translation to let you communicate to and from in any language
- Enhanced Customer Consent capture to work with CASL compliance
- Marketing Campaigns for bulk messaging or promotions
Mobile Cashier and Loyalty Rewards Program
Similar to autoTEXT, Mobile Cashier has been around for a little over 2 years since its original launch in April of 2017. The main functionality of providing secure payment links to capture mobile payments for service invoices has always been streamlined, efficient and simple, and still is. You can also create payment links to send to customers for any department in the dealership. This allows staff to collect down payments for Parts or Vehicles, payments for F&I products or even for collecting payments from your own third party vendors — all in a safe, privacy-regulated process that keeps your customers’ data safe and your staff protected from privacy law stipulations.
One of the most recent additions to our dealership solutions that ties in directly with Mobile Cashier is our Loyalty Rewards Program. Show your customers you appreciate their business by providing a program that lets them earn loyalty dollars on every Service invoice they pay using your Express Payment option. They can build and use these Loyalty Dollars on future service visits, providing great customer retention. Plus, use the program as an incentive or a way of showing more gratitude, but topping up their balance or adding to their account as for a new vehicle purchase incentive.
Shuttle Manager and Shuttle Complete
VenueVision has offered Shuttle Tracker, a GPS-based tracking system for visibility and analytics for a few years. Our continued drive for advancement has led to the recent creation of a powerful set of Shuttle Solutions. Shuttle Manager works within our main dashboard and provides the perfect centralized map view to keep a dealership’s shuttle and transportation department organized. Combined with the real-time visibility of Shuttle Tracker, and you have Shuttle Complete. All staff can see at a glance who’s been scheduled, what time and where they need to go or be picked up from. With this solution you can assign riders to specific shuttles, send text confirmations and notifications to customers and Shuttle Drivers. Use it to schedule Shuttles in advance when booking service appointments so you can staff accordingly, create efficient routes, print off current route sheets or trip history, and so much more.
More changes to come
Things have definitely been busy with our team at VenueVision. To date, our digital and automotive solutions are used in almost 500 dealerships across Canada and the U.S. to promote products and services and communicate relevant information. We are always in development and looking for ways to improve or create new solutions to help dealers and their staff. Launching soon will be tools and features such as:
- Repair Estimate tool
- Loaner and Fleet Management
- Virtual Service Advisors / Check in Kiosks
- After Hours Service Lockboxes
- Vehicle Trade-In Appraisal
So, keep your eye out for more additions and updates to our growing powerful suite of dealership solutions. All of our solutions are designed to be flexible, adaptable and work in various combinations with all of our other solutions. Our tools will greatly enhance your customer communication and customer experience — whether your dealership is small or large, run by a multi-store BDC, or under an entire Automotive Group service initiative. Our focus is to connect all stages of service, sales, marketing and communication and provide your customers with an experience unlike anything they’ve had before. Contact us any time to get more information or book a free demo to see what’s new.
A Case Study of Applewood Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC
Applewood Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC in Mississauga has been servicing the surrounding areas, including Oakville, Toronto, Burlington and Brampton since 1959, when they originally opened their doors as Denny Motors. They have since moved into their current location in the Erin Mills Auto Center and continue to pride themselves in delivering their customers with the highest level of quality service.
The Applewood Chevrolet dealership came on board with VenueVision as part of the Humberview Group, one of Canada’s largest automotive groups. The Executive team at Humberview, signed on with VenueVision at the end of 2018 and launched the suite of innovative solutions at their dealerships across the GTA and southern Ontario. Applewood Chevrolet was one of the first in the group to start the rollout.
The management and staff at Applewood are no strangers to providing a customer service experience that stands out from the rest. Take for example their restaurant-style customer café and lounge, with full complimentary meals for waiting service customers and unlimited hot and cold drinks. Adding VenueVision’s dealership solutions to their daily communication processes and functions enhances this level of specialized customer service even further.
Service department notices benefits right from the start
Paolo Glorioso, Fixed Operations Manager at Applewood, saw the benefits of these tools instantly. “Overall, a very positive change. It’s straight forward and easy to follow along and adapt to the new processes.” Paolo comments that the staff were able to quickly learn the new tools and integrate into their daily functions and communication with the customers.
Applewood’s Service department, managed by Phil Glorioso, has 30 service bays managed daily by 7 advisors, 5 Service Consultants and 2 Appointment Coordinators. All of these employees have access to the full set of tools, which include autoTEXT, Mobile Cashier and Shuttle Manager, to help them increase their level of Customer Service communication. Phil was really excited about the addition of Shuttle Manager and Shuttle Tracker to help with the daily coordination and transportation of the busy dealership’s Service customers. Applewood chose to also implement tablets with the Shuttle Manager system to give their drivers even more visibility and control when they are out on the road. “Shuttle is working fantastic! The Shuttle drivers are really taking to the tablets. I also like all of the information that I can pull from Shuttle Tracker, regarding Idling, seatbelt, speeding, etc. Great to help monitor the vehicle usage and driver activity.”
Dianne and Nicole, who work as Appointment Coordinators at the dealership, are sometimes the first point of contact that customers have. Once appointments are scheduled, customers will receive an Appointment Reminder notification by text the day before their appointment, and if they book ahead for a Shuttle, they will also receive a confirmation of that Scheduled pick up. “Customers really like it, they like being notified.” Says Nicole. “This Service Department is really busy, so this helps keeps everyone organized.”
Managing Shuttles has always been a challenge
As Appointment Coordinators, Nicole and Dianne also work closely with the Shuttle drivers to coordinate the trips to and from the dealership. Applewood has 3 Shuttles and 5 Shuttle Drivers who all drive throughout the day on varying schedules, so keeping them all organized can be a tough job. The Scheduling screen, which is located behind the Appointment Desk, helps the drivers and staff see right away when a customer’s shuttle request has been added. And with each driver paired with their own Tablet, they can use this device to assign and claim the passengers they will be taking. Everyone can see who’s been assigned or if there’s anyone still waiting, and all changes are shown in real-time.
The Shuttle drivers like the addition of the Scheduling screen. “The scheduling board is a good visual, helps you see the quickest route based on the markers.” says Shuttle driver Russ. He also likes the advantage of having the information on his tablet. “I have found with the tablets that there are a couple of ways to do things, which is great. I can find out what works best for me. I can add information like ‘closest intersection’ in the notes field, which also makes it very easy.”
Russ points out that the information that you need is all in one place. “Sometimes I need to know what advisor that customer has been working with in order to tell them something, and it shows it all right there.”
Sue, another of Applewood’s Shuttle drivers, was really looking forward to the addition of a management tool. “I think it’s a great way to go and to stay ahead. It’s better than the note paper and the dry erase board that we have been using. It was doing the job, but this will definitely be so much better. Being able to see the jobs pop up when I’m out on the road will be great.”
Texting speeds up customer communication and repair authorizations
With the new solutions, the Service Advisors at Applewood now have the ability to text customers throughout the day, right from their desktops. Customers also like the consistency of the automated messages that go out to welcome them in for Service or to let them know their vehicle is complete. And the option to pay ahead of time on their phone is a great advantage for busy customers. Service Advisor Zeljko, has found autoTEXT has been really beneficial for getting quick repair authorizations. “It’s much easier to show the part or area with a visual then trying to explain it over the phone. This allows the customer to see it in real-time, and they are more agreeable to go ahead with the additional repair.”
Similar to Russ, Zeljko has found the tools to be really flexible and have multiple uses and benefits. “I used it to help order some third party rims for a customer. I was able to add the Supplier as a customer and he could send me images that I could then forward on to our customer. It was a perfect set up and everyone was happy, and the transactions happened quickly.”
“I also like that we can schedule a Shuttle for even the next day, ahead of time,” Zeljko continues. “I might forget to do that the following morning, but, for instance, today, when I logged on, there was the Shuttle request for 9 am that I had scheduled the day before, and my Shuttle driver was already on it!”
Service Advisor James Foley, is really glad they can now text their customers, and without having to use their personal cell phones. James points out that the customers like receiving the texts, with customers letting him know they find it very impressive and modern. “I love the texting. It’s so quick for the customer’s replies to questions or information that we needed to send. Being able to schedule their shuttle right from autoTEXT is great as well. Very helpful.”
Mobile payments provide a great benefit to all the dealership departments
Not only can customers now text the dealership and receive service updates and notifications by text, but they can now also pay by text. With the addition of Mobile Cashier, customers have the option to view their invoice online and pay for their services through a secure and quick payment page. This can really speed things up at the end of the day when they’re picking up their vehicle. But the benefits of Mobile Cashier don’t stop there.
Any department in the dealership can take advantage of creating and sending secure payment links for any dealership service. The Parts department at Applewood uses it to collect down payments for large parts orders. This allows them to receive the down payment first before they order the part, and it saves the customer a trip down to the dealership to make the payment.
Kezro, a pre-owned vehicle sales advisor, has been using it almost daily to collect vehicle deposits. He says it gives his customers confidence, and the ability to secure a vehicle over the phone without having to come down. “It’s really efficient, quick and streamlined. It gives my customers peace of mind as they don’t have to give their credit card information over the phone or email it in, as they would have done in the past.”
When it comes to reconciling the payments, the Accounting Department at Applewood has only positive things to say about the system. “I absolutely love it! It’s so effective and quick. There’s a lot of information that is there, all of the info that you need for accounting.” says Dorothy, the dealership’s Accounting Manager.
System is very user-friendly
Dorothy noted that the Accounting department has also benefited from having Mobile Cashier. She now uses it to collect her monthly invoices from suppliers and even for overdue accounts. “It’s very smooth to use. The vendors that I send the payment links to really find it easy and safe, and very user-friendly. They used to want to pay by credit card over the phone, but were still wary about giving their details over the phone – they would always reconfirm that I was going to destroy any paper that I had written the credit card number down on. Now they don’t have to do that. I let them know I don’t see their credit information, only they do, and they control it all. They love it.”
Overall, the implementation and transition to the new tools at the Applewood dealership has been quite seamless. “When we had a couple of questions at the beginning, the support team at VenueVision were fantastic. They were very quick to respond and very helpful,” concludes Paolo. The whole dealership is really starting to see the benefits of these streamlined customer service tools and new processes.
VenueVision is extremely honoured to have been featured as an Innovator in the automotive industry by Auto Remarketing Canada. Their most recent November/December 2017 edition, the ‘Innovation Issue’ showcases North American innovators.
Our interview with author Sarah Rubenoff discusses how mobile trends are pushing innovation across all dealership departments. From Sales Departments to F&I to the Service Bay, technology is driving success rates. We discuss how VenueVision is developing some of today’s top technologies and innovations to help dealers stay ahead of the competition and provide the best customer experiences.
“Every step is customized to be fully dealership branded so all communications the customer receives and all payment links they touch in the secure payment process look and feel like they are an extension of the dealership, giving greater confidence in the mobile payment.”DAVE HOOPER, CEO, VENUEVISION
Solutions like autoTEXT and Mobile Cashier allow dealerships and their staff members to communicate and conduct business easily and quickly with their customers. This in turn provides an increased level of customer service that ultimately puts time back into the customer’s hands.