Transparency matters

Posted by Nicole Diemert in Media, Texting | 0 comments

10.09.21

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.

The Pandemic: One year later

Posted by Nicole Diemert in Industry News, Mobile Payments, Texting | 0 comments

12.03.21

How it started and where we are today.

Yesterday marked the official one year anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a Pandemic. At this time last year, businesses around the world were shutting down or moving to work remotely if they could. Businesses deemed as 'essential services' were allowed to — and in some cases required to — remain open to provide those necessary services to the public.

But where did the automotive dealership fall? There certainly were a few weeks of confusion and uncertainty. Provinces made official statements within days of the pandemic declaration to clarify what were essential businesses. (Here are some articles on individual province circumstances: Ontario Dealerships Deemed Essential, Quebec Dealerships Pivot to Online Sales, BC Automotive Association pushing for Essential Service Declaration.) Soon enough, it was announced that car dealership Service Departments were considered essential.

Good and bad news

Being considered an essential service meant you could keep your doors open for business, and keep your staff working, which was great news. BUT, in order to do so, many safety protocols had to be put in place to be compliant, and that could be a bit of bad news. Some of these changes were fairly extensive, and in some cases, needed to be implemented almost overnight.

Dealers had to install acrylic or plastic barriers between customers and staff members. Every inch of work space, including customer's vehicles had to be routinely and properly sanitized and protected. Work spaces had to allow for 6 feet of space between each person and a limited amount of customers and staff could be in the building at the same time to ensure minimal contact and interaction. On top of that, all staff were equipped with face masks and shields, gloves, hand sanitizer and sanitizing spray. Yet somehow, dealerships still needed to provide a level of service to their customers that they had grown to expect. That was a tall order.

Communication

One of the first things dealerships needed to do was communicate to their customers. First and foremost, dealerships had to let their customers know they were 'open for business'. Then came the new Covid Protocols. Most dealerships had an updated process for booking appointments, revised vehicle drop offs and pick ups and payment methods — and it was important to get this information out to customers. A lot of dealerships turned to their texting systems to reach their customers. Confirming or rebooking cancelled appointments, sending appointment reminders with details about where to park or drop off keys. All crucial information to making sure everyone remained safe and ensuring their essential service could still be done.

Contactless Options

One of the biggest factors that dealers were confronted with from the beginning and throughout this last year, was the need to provide as many contactless services and options as possible. From remote text communication, to safe and simple key drop off points. From secure online payment options to a seamless, physically distant vehicle pick up — the most important element was the ability to provide this with the least amount of contact as possible. Thus keeping both customers and staff safe.

Patience

Even with all the technology at their hands and revised work protocols, patience was definitely required on all sides. Dealerships were adding and adjusting their work processes throughout the waves of the pandemic and provincial mandates changed (more than once!) It was a moving target at times. It took months before some dealerships could run with full staff. This was especially true in the Sales department, which were mostly working remotely. Vehicle purchases were being made solely online. Unlike the Service departments that had moderate changes to their processes, the pandemic completely changed how the car buying process worked.

A Year In

On the whole, dealerships across the country seem to have adapted to this difficult, challenging situation. They have modified and adjusted to their new Covid protocols; with masks, sanitizing and physical distancing almost becoming second nature. Having to run such a tight, guarded ship can actually result in a dealership becoming more streamlined and productive. Increasing communication allowed staff to really provide the next level of customer service.

Now, a year in to the pandemic, with vaccinations rolling out and cases dropping, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Business is starting to come back to normal levels. So, what will this mean for the dealership Service Department in the future? Sure, the acrylic dividers may eventually come down. Customers and staff will hopefully be able to walk around in the dealership mask-less. But what about all the other contactless services that were brought into place? Will dealerships revert back to traditional ways of conducting business and providing service?

If history tells us anything, once society has been introduced to new technology and updated processes, they generally don't like to go back. Going forward, customers will most likely continue to prefer contactless and streamlined options such as receiving text updates to keep them informed, quick and easy drop off procedures, and providing them the option to pay online. Services such as appointment confirmations, mobile check-ins, booking transportation and payment for services — all done from your personal device — will soon become the standard, instead of a luxury — or in this case, a Pandemic necessity.



New year, new changes

Posted by Nicole Diemert in Company News Announcement, Texting | 0 comments

06.01.21

10 reasons to partner with VenueVision in 2021!

At the start of every new year, dealerships should review their processes and practices and see if there are ways to improve, increase productivity and as always, provide the best customer experiences they can. With the start of 2021 and all the challenges that Covid-19 have brought to staff and customers, this year it is even more important to do so.

To help make this process easier for you, VenueVision has developed tools and solutions that can help your dealership start off the new year successfully and keep you growing. Here are 10 of our solutions that can definitely up your game in providing the best in contactless and enhanced customer services.

1. autoTEXT

Using autoTEXT will keep your customers informed through the course of their Service visits with timely text messaging. Automated messages such as appointment reminders, vehicle check in, vehicle completion and service follow ups provide customers with their repair status updates and open a two-way conversation avenue to be in direct contact with their Advisor. Customize messaging for even more customer interaction with Responsive Keyword Texting. Generate automated responses based on customers’ requests for Contactless Drop off details and contactless payment options, vehicle appraisals, Shuttle requests and more.

2. Express Check-In

View all daily upcoming appointments from one page and easily see who has confirmed, cancelled or not responded. Capture appointment confirmations and cancellation requests from Appointment reminders. Send automated Express Check-In link to customers to confirm upcoming appointment details and provide additional details ahead of appointment, including pictures. Be alerted when customers submit their Express Check-In details or when they indicate they cannot make their appointment. Communicate directly from appointment dashboard to reschedule customers who need to cancel.

3. Mobile Cashier

Provide a fast, safe and contactless payment method. Send mobile links with Mobile Cashier to collect payment and deposits for every department in your dealership. Customers can access the payment portal through any mobile device or desktop computer. Within minutes, your customers can receive a link, access the portal on their device, review their invoice, enter their credit card information and send payment. Your dealership will receive instant notification that the payment was received.

4. Marketing Campaigns

Send important information and promotional messages to a specific targeted list of your customers with Marketing Campaigns. Use this campaign feature to broadcast key dealership changes and news such as updates to procedures and practices, revised hours of operations, etc. Target specific groups of customers with timely offers or specials to help out your customers in these difficult times and remind them that you are still open for business.

5. Repair Estimates

Reach your customers instantly with professional digital Repair Estimates they can view and provide approval from any mobile device or desktop computer. Include images or short service videos to provide information and visual reference for your customers. Receive customer approval within minutes with a two-step authorization process. Record and track any recommended services that were deferred by the customer for future follow up and service bookings.

6. Dealer Currency

Show your customers how much you appreciate them and ensure they return with Loyalty Rewards. Provide incentives and reward dollars for your customers that can be applied automatically based on a percentage of their service invoice. Rewards can also be applied manually to a customer’s account as a promotion, a thank you or an incentive. And, all of this is done remotely. No physical card is needed to collect or redeem, and there is no rewards program that your customers need to sign up for. It’s a perfect extension for a contactless service environment.

7. Loaner Management

Manage all aspects of your Loaner Fleet, regardless of size. Loaner Manager will ensure your team will never double book a vehicle again. Reserve, book and return all from one easy dashboard. Create customized Loaner Agreements that will stay on file for each booking. Record any vehicle damage, including uploading of images, to be stored with each and every vehicle. Create receipts upon vehicle return for any costs owing.

8. Shuttle and Valet Tracker

Shuttle Manager allows you to book all Shuttle and Valet pick ups and drop offs from one centralized location, that all staff can see. View real-time visibility of all vehicles and track location at any time. Shuttle drivers can integrate with Android or iOS Shuttle App and receive all assigned trip information or claim bookings that haven't been assigned. Send automated link to customer once trip has been started with real-time tracking link so customers will know exactly when shuttle is arriving.

9. Digital Signage

VenueVision has been installing, managing and producing quality Digital Signage content and solutions for almost 20 years. If you're looking to update your facility, provide information and entertainment to your customers and get away from old school POP marketing materials, then you'll want to look into our Digital Signage options. VenueVision provides branded digital content on a National level for all OEMs, plus you have the option to add Custom Content or specialty dashboards such as Digital Menuboards, Integrated Service Appointment boards, Featured Vehicle screens and more.

10. Employee Screening

Providing solutions that help dealerships increase their Customer Service Experiences is VenueVision's main focus, but we also want you to keep your customers and employees safe. With increased Ministry of Health regulations from province to province, we have developed an Employee Screening texting solution to allow your dealership to quickly and safely conduct required daily screening questions for your staff. Track all responses and be alerted with any positive replies.

Make 2021 a better year, with better solutions for your dealership

The start of a new year is a great time to rethink, restructure and refocus. If there are areas or departments in your dealership that are struggling or need attention, one of our solutions could be the answer. Contact the VenueVision team (sales@venuevision.com) if you would like more information on any of our products or would like to schedule a free online demo.



Returning to a new ‘normal’

Posted by Nicole Diemert in Industry News, Mobile Payments, Texting | 0 comments

16.04.20

Changing dealership practices during and after Covid-19

Contactless Service Solutions

It’s easy to see that dealership processes and procedures will need to be changed to continue doing business during and after the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of these changes may be short term. But there may be some which could become the new 'norm'.

Now more than ever, dealerships will need to be acutely aware of every interaction with their customers, big and small. Providing contactless and touchless services, safe and secure procedures and timely, important information updates will be key in the months ahead — perhaps permanently. Keeping both your customers and your staff members healthy and happy will allow your dealership to stay open and provide the level of customer service that is crucial.

VenueVision’s suite of dealership solutions can help your dealership reach and maintain these new levels of service. Here’s how:

Keeping customers informed

autoTEXT has already been keeping dealership customers informed through the course of their Service visits with timely text messaging. Automated messages such as appointment reminders, vehicle check-in, vehicle completion and service follow ups have already been providing customers with their repair status updates. As a dealer, you can increase the benefit of these messages and the information they relay with specific customizations to your wording.

For example, your dealership can provide information on new service hours or procedures in your Appointment Reminders. Remind customers of your secure, touchless payment option in your Vehicle Check-In and Completion messages. Give specific contact information for customers who may have questions or concerns in your Service Follow up messages.

Let customers tell you what they want

With VenueVision’s Responsive Keyword Texting, you can use your messaging to generate automated responses based on customers’ requests. For example, Appointment Reminder messages can read “A friendly reminder of your service appointment tomorrow at 9:00am. If you would like our contactless drop off service, please reply Drop. Thank you.” When the customer replies with the word ‘Drop’ they are instantly sent an automated text message outlining the procedures your dealership have in place for a contactless service drop off.  Use these keywords for customers to specifically request information or other services such as contactless payment, Shuttle requests, vehicle appraisals and more.

Get information out to a larger audience

Send important information and promotional messages to a specific targeted list of your customers with Marketing Campaigns. Use this campaign feature to broadcast key dealership changes and news such as updates to procedures and practices, revised hours of operations, etc. Target specific groups of customers with timely offers or specials to help out your customers in these difficult times and remind them that you are still open for business.

Send repair estimates digitally

With more physical distancing comes more challenges in reaching your customers and conveying recommended service procedures. Reach your customers instantly with professional digital Repair Estimates they can view and provide approval from any mobile device or desktop computer. Include images or short service videos to provide information and visual reference for your customers. Receive customer approval within minutes with a two-step authorization process. Record and track any recommended services that were deferred by the customer for future follow up and service bookings.

Provide Contactless payment

One of the best ways to keep both your staff and your customers safe is to provide a fast, safe and contactless payment method. Send mobile links with Mobile Cashier to collect payment and deposits for every department in your dealership. Customers can access the payment portal through any mobile device or desktop computer. Within minutes, your customers can receive a link, access the portal on their device, review their invoice, enter their credit card information and send payment. Your dealership will receive instant notification that the payment was received.

With Mobile Cashier, there are no additional fees or card percentage rates per transaction and no holds on payments that are processed. It is the fastest, safest and most convenient payment and check out method for your customers and your staff.

Show appreciation now more than ever

In these challenging times, showing your customers how much you appreciate them and their business is very important. With VenueVision’s Loyalty Rewards program, you can provide incentives and reward dollars for your customers. Loyalty dollars can be applied automatically based on a percentage of their service invoice. Rewards can also be applied manually to a customer’s account as a promotion, a thank you or an incentive.

All Loyalty and Reward dollars are tracked in an easy-to-use dashboard. Customers paying with Mobile Cashier will be automatically prompted to apply their Loyalty dollars if they want or save and bank for future service. And, all of this is done remotely. No physical card is needed to collect or redeem, and there is no rewards program that your customers need to sign up for. It’s a perfect extension for a contactless service environment.

Contactless service solutions may be the new 'norm'

We understand that these are challenging and quickly evolving times. Being able to adapt, adjust and act quickly will keep your dealership running as smooth as possible. Providing a great customer service experience will always be important, but providing that service while keeping your customers and staff safe and healthy has become the new normal. Contact the VenueVision team (sales@venuevision.com) if you would like more information on any of our products or would like to schedule a free online demo.



Covid-19 and keeping your customers informed

Posted by Nicole Diemert in Company News Announcement, Industry News | 0 comments

20.03.20

A reminder in these challenging times how using good communication tools can help protect your customers and your staff

VenueVision - Texting

As so many businesses and people are facing challenging times and uncertainty, communication and providing safe services will be even more important to your dealership.

Of course, the most obvious practices that dealerships will be taking involve providing sanitized and hygienic surfaces and improved practices to provide minimized contact. Here's a reminder to our VenueVision customers how some of our tools can be of great benefit to help reduce that contact as well as keep you connected to your customers.

Text updates and important information

Keeping your customers up-to-date with any changes to services or practices at your dealership can be done through text messaging. Send individual messages to your daily customers before or on the day of their appointment. Ensure your text number is easy to find on your website and social media sites, with a clear indication that customers can text in to your dealership directly. Send a targeted marketing blast using the Marketing Campaign option for a broader reach of your customer database to inform of more generic or vitally important updates.

If you have automated Appointment Reminders, we can have that messaging adjusted to keep your customers informed of any changes to appointment or procedure. Contact our support staff for more information. (support@venuevision.com)

Whatever you choose to convey to your customers, texting them will be the quickest, surest way to keep them informed and instantly updated.

Mobile payment and social distancing

Having the ability to allow customers to pay remotely is a great way to practice Social Distancing. You can send payment links to customers to pay for Service Repairs, Parts purchases and even vehicle deposits. They won't have to be worried about touching payment terminals or having close exchanges within your dealership. In some cases, there may need to be no physical exchange at all.

Convey updates with Digital Signage

Use your digital signage screens to inform customers of changes to your hours of service and updates to your processes. Whatever important information you want to make sure your customers see, you can have it uploaded to your VenueVision digital signage screens. You can send content upload requests directly to production@venuevision.com. If you don't have a resource for creating content, our design team can help you out.

Keep safe and healthy

No one knows for certain how long this new and challenging state of business will last, but we are here to help. We sincerely hope all of our customers and clients stay safe and healthy.

If you have any questions about how to better use your solutions, or would like any information, please reach us through our support lines at: 1-800-401.1300 or email directly to: support@venuevision.com.