Service Now Pay Later, a No Brainer in 2023

Posted by Rima Anani in Industry News, MobileCashier | 0 comments


After much spending on the Holidays, paying for car repairs is something most consumers would rather avoid in January. Not to mention the economy makes it so most consumers would rather pay in installments on big ticket items if given the opportunity. In this article we will explain why it is crucial to offer your customers payment options for automotive services and repairs.

The BNPL Advantage

Offering Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options to customers comes with a major advantage to businesses, and the numbers are compelling. Below are some key statics to consider:

The Economy and Customer Expectations

Paying in installments is a rapidly growing trend in all e-commerce businesses and the automotive industry is not any different. In 2023 customers are expected to be much more cautious about their spending. They will prefer to take their vehicles for services or repairs at dealerships and shops that offer their customers the option to service now and pay in installments. Let’s face it, it’s much easier on their wallets and customer loyalty is significantly impacted by their satisfaction with their experience, including their payment experience.

Everyone Wins with Service Now Pay Later

Paying in installments for vehicle repairs liberates your customers from having to make tough decisions like choosing between making a large lump sum payment or driving an unsafe vehicle. When customers can service their vehicles right away and pay in installments, they are more likely to approve the additional services recommended in your estimates. This will minimize your denied services and increase your bottom line and customer satisfaction scores significantly.

First, it can help you attract new customers. The reality is some customers remain hesitant to take their car to a dealership for service or repairs because they fear “higher costs.” Giving your customers the option to pay in instalments for services performed on their vehicles means empowering those customers to afford the services they need while watching your Average Repair Order values soar.

Second, it can help to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. When customers are aware that they can pay for their car repairs over time by servicing at your shop, they are more likely to return to the dealership for future services. This can help create a loyal customer base that will continue to frequent your dealership for all their automotive needs.

Third, it can increase the average Repair Order Values. When customers can pay for their car repairs over time, they are more likely to approve additional repairs and services that they might have skipped, boosting profits.

Choosing the Right Technology

When choosing a BNPL provider, it’s important to look for a technology provider that caters to and understands the automotive industry. Here are the key characteristics to look for when choosing your provider:

  • Tailored for Service. Embedded in the customer journey from booking through follow up
  • Time. Applications approved within seconds, giving customers plenty of time to consider adding to their Repair Order before arriving at your shop
  • Estimate Approvals. Flexible payment options drive higher customer approvals
  • Customer Privacy. Applications and approvals from the comfort and privacy of the customer’s own device Increase Revenue & Retention Higher average repair values & a major reason to return Kind to Customers Considerate of Customers circumstances and needs

By partnering with the world’s largest third-party financing company, VenueVision has created the first Service Now Pay Later technology stack made to meet the specific needs of automotive dealers and their customers. VenueVision’s technology revolutionizes the traditional automotive service experience by immediately providing customers with greater purchasing power early in their service process. Providing customers with the option to pay in installments for their vehicle service is a game changer for dealerships, and its risk free.

In Summary

In conclusion, offering Service Now Pay Later options to dealerships can provide a much-needed lifeline for many motorists, especially those who are struggling to make ends meet. It will attract new customers, build customer loyalty, and increase repair order values and revenue for service departments.

2023 Trends: Focusing on Customer Service Experiences

Posted by Nicole Diemert in Industry News | 0 comments


Congratulations on successfully sailing through 2022. It’s now time to set your sights on the challenges and opportunities that 2023 has in store. A new year is an opportunity to reflect on how your business performed the previous year and consider what steps can be taken in the new year to enhance and strengthen those results.

Grading your company’s success can be based on several aspects, and not all of them are measured in dollars. Of course, you will always want your business to grow financially year after year, but growth can be measured in several other ways.

Has your business grown technologically to keep up with the changing ways your customers prefer to do business? Has your staff grown as a team, working positively toward business goals? Have you increased your customer database or increased the number of returning customers?

Based on growing demand for heightened customer service, 2023 looks to be focusing on the full digital customer service experience. If you are looking for ways to improve some or all the areas mentioned above, this year’s trend in customer service will help you succeed. Here are the top five ways you can improve your processes:

1. Present an Omnichannel Experience

69% of customers want a consistent experience with a company across all physical and digital channels. This requires businesses to use technologies that build more connected environments to handle this level of customer service. Imagine bringing together multiple departments of your dealership and communicating through one channel.

Staff can connect with a customer regarding a vehicle purchase, a parts order, a trade in appraisal, a service update or estimate. Continue to connect all the way through to sending video for review, scheduling a shuttle and final payment. Finalize that journey with service follow ups, satisfaction reviews and timely reminders of missed or deferred service. The streamlined and consistent experience your customers will encounter will be remembered and appreciated.  

2. Getting Personal

Personalized experiences rank at the top with what customers find as an important decision-making factor when selecting companies they want to do business with. And the numbers speak loud and clear. 72% of customers say they only engage with personalized messaging. (Forbes) while 80% of companies report seeing an uplift since implementing personalization (Econsultancy).

Personalization in your messaging and timing of delivery is essential. Connecting at specific moments in the customer journey will increase overall satisfaction, reviews, customer retention and loyalty — and most likely ROI. Automation will be the key to enhancing personalization and increasing its power in the customer service experience.

3. Moving from CX to TX

2023 will see companies thinking about more than just the customer experience (CX) and moving towards focusing on the Total Experience (TX). It will become crucial to consider every part of the experience journey to provide a truly full and satisfying experience. 52% of consumers agree that as digital experiences with brands become more personalized, their satisfaction improves. (State of Personalization)

This level of personalization may require investing in innovative technology. Supplying options to support and engage your staff will make their jobs easier and more productive. Adding technology such as digital signage to inform and entertain your customers will provide an enhanced visual experience. Incorporating solutions and software to simplify processes, communicate in real-time and provide services to customers — regardless of where they are physically.

4. Transparency, transparency, transparency

To provide the ultimate customer experience, your team will need to be transparent in all their communications. 60% of customers say trustworthiness and transparency are the most important traits of a brand (Twilio Segment). Customers genuinely appreciate being kept in the loop regarding status of orders or service repairs. They value honesty and truth.

This can come in the form of timely updates for delivery or being transparent about delays or challenges you are experiencing. It can be a breakdown of pricing or providing videos highlighting areas for recommended service repairs. It is proven that providing information that allow your customers to make informed decisions, while respecting their time, will increase appreciation and loyalty.

5. Respecting Privacy and Security

In 2023 and going forward, businesses will need to keep up to date with providing secure and safe storage of customer data. More importantly, using their customer data efficiently, securely, and correctly. The average consumer is increasingly aware of how their personal data is handled and demands the highest level of privacy and security. Customers want personalized experiences and are willing to provide their data to get it.

Seven out of ten customers are comfortable with personalization, if brands use their own data. (The State of Personalization). Being able to send personalized messaging to mobile devices, with the ability to pay remotely, securely, and efficiently with safely stored personal data will provide the ease and assurance that customers are looking for in these fast-paced, mobile environments.

This year, as in previous years, customer service and customer experience are still top priorities for you as a business. Now, more than ever though, customers have varying levels of trust and expectations when it comes to interacting with businesses. Your dealership will need to ensure that you are putting their security, privacy, experience, and service first.

In summary, developing a strong customer experience strategy in 2023 means fully understanding your customers and their expectations. It will mean embracing and using innovative technologies and software that will provide the all-encompassing level of customer service that will make you stand apart from your competition. And doing so, will also help make it efficient and enjoyable for your staff to provide that experience. Find out how VenueVision’s software and digital solutions can help you stay ahead of the quickly evolving customer service experience trends.

10 ways to text your customers

Posted by Nicole Diemert in autoTEXT | 0 comments


How are you using your texting platform?

We all know that texting is the fasting growing channel for businesses to communicate with their customers. In fact, 44% of customers have stated they won’t do business with a company that doesn’t use their preferred mode of communication — text. (State of the Connected Buyer Report – SalesForce) That could be almost half of your customer database that you’re not reaching or connecting with consistently.

Did you know that 90% of customers read a text message in the first three minutes after receiving it? Contrast that with the fact that only 21% of customers even open their emails (2022 Email marketing Stats – MailChimp). That’s a very compelling statistic to confirm the most successful way you should be communicating and sending information to your customers.

Maybe your business is already using texting to contact your customers. That’s great. Being able to text back and forth with your customers, communicating in real time is very effective. But what and how are you communicating?

Here are 10 tops ways to use texting to effectively target, communicate and inform your customers.

1. Appointment Confirmation

As soon as your customer has booked their appointment, send them their confirmation directly to their phones in a text. It couldn’t be easier for them to add it to their calendar!  

2. Appointment Reminder

Even with dates entered in our calendars, we have all forgotten appointments we have made, especially if they were made some time ago. Reduce no shows and cancellations by sending timely reminders of upcoming appointments a day or two ahead — or even a week before. This allows customers enough time to arrange schedules if needed or give you enough notice if they do need to reschedule. Allowing customers the ability to confirm by text and track those responses provides even better insight.

3. Instant Updates

Your customers, on average, are only 90 seconds away from reading incoming text messages. When you need to reach them quickly or provide updates or information regarding their business with you, why wouldn’t you text? If you’re trying to reach them by email or by calling, that could take hours or even days at the rate some people check their emails or voice messages!

4. Estimates and Quotes

It’s already been established how quickly people will read their text messages. Use this to your advantage when you want to send quotes and estimates. With some digital estimates, customers can approve directly from their mobile device and submit back to your team in seconds. Not only do you have speedy authorizations, it will also provide an easy-to-track history if you need to refer back to the estimate to verify approval.

5. Multimedia

On the subject of digital estimates, why not increase the power of your recommendation or quote with video or images. Using media items sent directly to a customer’s mobile device will add transparency and clarity to anything you are presenting. Customers will have increased confidence in your business knowing you are providing added visibility into their service.

6. Mobile Payments

Your customers are busy and sometimes not able to make it in person to pay for their service, or perhaps need to pay after your business is closed. Providing your customers with an option to pay from their mobile device allows them to make that payment from any location and at a time that’s convenient for them, and allows you to receive that payment instantly.

7. Marketing

Use the power of targeted text marketing to advertise your current sales or service promotions. Provide unique offers and incentives directly to your customers who have signed up for text communication. This can also act as an incentive to other customers and will help grow your customer texting database.

8. Company Announcements

Need to reach your customers quickly with important company updates or last minute news? There is no faster or effective way then by text. With over 90% reach and average of 90 second read time, your message will be connected with your customers as fast as you can send it.

9. Satisfaction Follow up

Every business wants to know their customers are satisfied. But more importantly, they NEED to know when they are NOT. Send timely follow up messages to your customers once your business has been concluded. Follow up with a text that has a simple rating system or links to a more indepth survey. Allow your customers to provide written feedback or use keywords to trigger responses. You can even include links for customers to write a business review.

10. Reconnecting

Sometimes customers get busy. Sometimes they may try another business provider. Sometimes you just haven’t heard from them in a while. Reconnect with customers who you haven’t seen in a few months with a friendly text message. Remind them if they are overdue for any services or if you think there are any upcoming promotions they would be interested in.

As you can see, texting is a means of communication that can do more then just say ‘hi’ to your customers. Your business will benefit greatly if you start to incorporate more text communication and engagement with your customers. And your customers will appreciate the enhanced customer service experience. As with all texting communication though, you do need to remain compliant and provide your customers the option to remove themselves from certain types of communication.

Not all texting platforms are created equal. If you’re looking to add or switch to a texting platform that includes some or all of the above functionality, VenueVision’s autoTEXT solution can do just that. autoTEXT can provide integrated texting with automated messages, bulk texting campaigns, customer follow up and so much more. It also has a dedicated text subscription page which allows customers to customize the types of text messages they want to receive. Give us a call or book a free demo to find out all the details.

The future of the dealership

Posted by venueadmin in autoTEXT, MobileCashier | 0 comments


Dealerships need to embrace mobile technology to stay ahead of the competition

There’s no denying that technology and mobile applications are running the world, and more importantly, the way businesses and their customers interact.

Consumers have grown to expect and rely on the instantaneous results and convenience of digital technology. Things have been drastically changing in the last decade in areas such as retail, the food industry, real estate and business. Now it’s time for the automotive world to catch up.

Stay ahead of the competition

In order to stay ahead of the competition, dealerships today need to fully embrace new innovations and adapt older processes to include these technologies. One of the most harmful phrases in business is “We’ve always done it this way.” Today’s rapidly changing business world is not the place for resistance. It’s not productive to keep using old processes that have always worked ‘just fine’.

“One of the most harmful phrases in business is “We’ve always done it this way.” It’s not productive to keep using old prcesses that have always worked ‘just fine’.”

Dealerships need to graduate from some of the more antiquated processes that hold them back from improvement and modernization. How do you know if your dealership is stuck in the past? If your dealership still has dry erase boards with sales pricing or names for upcoming sales appointments; out of date posters and print material in service; if your staff are leaving voicemails or sending emails waiting for approval (to name a few), then you are guilty as charged.  

Modernize with mobile technology

Modernizing your processes is the first step to building a better dealership. And building a better dealership means building a better customer experience. Embracing digital technology and mobile solutions will get your dealership to that level. Here are some common areas of frustration and delay at a dealership that can greatly be improved with new technology:

PRE CHECK-IN. What are you doing to engage your customers before they even come in for service? Are you providing frictionless appointment confirmation and reminders that allow them to confirm or reschedule an appointment? With over 90% of text messages being read, and in under 90 seconds, sending your reminders by text is the most beneficial way for both you and your customer.

THE CHECK IN. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Welcome and inform your customers as soon as they enter your dealership with branded Appointment screens identifying their appointment time and assigned Advisor. Educate and help upsell your current specials with appropriate videos and promotional marketing on digital screens.

COMMUNICATION. Keep your customers in the loop throughout their service with text alerts for progress of their vehicle or unforeseen repair issues. Give customers a quick and direct line of communication to their Advisor with text messaging to address any questions or concerns they may have.

TRANSPARENCY. Provide full visibility to your service customers with detailed videos and images sent directly to their mobile device. Add further value with itemized digital estimates allowing customers to review all recommended work and choose which items they want to move ahead with. This provides a level of confidence over traditional phone calls telling them what needs to be done and asking for a verbal approval.

SALES OPPORTUNITIES. Your sales team can receive details about customers regarding possible trade in or appraisal opportunities. Digital screens can display Pre-owned vehicle inventory to catch the attention of customers in the dealership.

TRANSPORTATION. Imagine knowing at all times where your Shuttle or loaner vehicles are. With the right technology you can provide scheduling and management of your transportation vehicles and loaner fleets to keep all staff informed and organized. Keep customers in the loop about their transportation requests with text confirmations and links to track shuttle location and arrival details.

THE CHECK OUT. Decrease wait times and frustration at pick up by providing a mobile payment option. Allow customers to pay quickly, securely and conveniently ahead of time, and from any location. Give customers the ability to safely provide deposits or payments for parts, vehicles or warranties without having to come down to the dealership or give out credit information.

BEFORE OR AFTER HOURS. Not every customer is able to work within your hours. You can provide Mobile Check-in options to allow customers to comfortably confirm appointments and provide extra details or concerns the night before their appointment. Provide options to collect after hours pay    

Many new technologies to choose from

It’s easy to see that there is a whole new world of technologies available. Technology that can help increase productivity and customer service. Technology that can elevate your customer experience, and in turn increase CSI scores and ROI. Dealerships who embrace these digital and mobile technologies can improve in two major areas. First, it will make all of your dealership processes run more efficiently and profitably. Second, it will drastically improve the customer experience and let your customers know that your dealership is forward thinking.  

Investing in your customers and improving their experiences with your dealership will ultimately benefit customer retention and loyalty across all your dealership departments. And that is a very good reason to embrace the digital and mobile future!

Transparency matters

Posted by Nicole Diemert in TechVideos | 0 comments


Create transparency, build trust and drive revenue with video​

A customer at a dealership puts their trust in the service department team every time they bring their vehicle in for maintenance or repair. In a lot of cases, it is a blind trust. For years, customers did not often have insight to their repairs or recommendations that the service team was providing outside of the proposed cost.

But times are changing. Customers want transparency — in some cases demand it. Not only in the pricing of the repairs, but transparency into the actual work that needs to be done and why. Dealerships that acknowledge this need will benefit from the trust it generates between customer and service advisor.

If you do not appear transparent with a customer about their repairs, it may look like you have something to hide, which is never how you want your department to appear. It can make your dealership look unprofessional, misleading, or as if you are keeping information from your customer about their vehicle.

Bring vehicle owners under the hood — virtually

With video and mobile technology at the hands of almost everyone, service departments can provide that look under the hood without the customer having to be there. Technology has made it easier than ever for service advisors and technicians to show any issues they find to the customer while explaining to them why a recommended repair is required.

Communication with video will increase the level of transparency in every day dealer-to-customer conversations about needed repairs. The use of video will help customers understand problems and see the reason behind additional service recommendations. It will provide tangible information they can see providing assurance that the issues being identified do exist. This will in turn allow them to make more confident, informed decisions.

Transparency increases CSI scores

Today’s service customer is mobile savvy. They most likely conduct the majority of business and personal communication on their phones. So why not continue that experience for them? Customers will appreciate receiving pictures and videos about their vehicle on their preferred communication channel.

Data shows that the simple practice of using multimedia, especially video, resulted in a 24% increase in ASR conversion rate. Providing options that target your customer’s needs and preferred channels will enhance their overall customer service experience. A positive service experience will in turn generate more positive feedback on Service Experience surveys and higher CSI scores.

Video Boosts RO values

The use of video also increases the likelihood of a service recommendation being approved. This will in turn, increase the overall RO totals for a dealership. According to a recent automotive survey, when dealerships send messages with mult-media, their upsell success rates improved by 6% for messages that contained pictures and by an impressive 26% for messages which included video.

Additionally, the survey showed that the overall dollar value per repair order also increased, with 54% of consumers agreeing to pay more for service when pictures or videos are offered.

Transparency can equal integrity

Most vehicle owners have limited knowledge of their vehicle’s mechanical parts and problems. Any help that a dealership can provide to shed light on these issues is greatly received. The increased transparency of capturing videos to highlight concerns is the most effective way to provide needed information and build the trust. And video communication doesn’t always have to point out areas of concern. A positive walk around video showing your customer that everything is fine under the hood will keep that customer coming back for future service — and build the trust in your team when there are recommended repairs.

Become your customer’s trusted source

A dealership that can educate their customers with picture or video-based communications will only enhance that trust between customer and service department. The video interaction will increase engagement with the customer and elevate their trust in your department and your staff. Your service advisors will receive more approvals for recommended services and increase their overall RO totals. It’s a win-win for both your team and your service customers.