Your customers are important to you, and you know just how busy they are. With today’s technology and busy schedules, people are using their smartphones to complete daily tasks — every day and all day. So why not have that activity include paying for their Dealership services?
An increasing number of consumers are embracing the idea of using a mobile device to pay for goods and services. It’s faster, more convenient and often can be linked to rewards and discounts. Look at the steady and rapid increase of online shopping. Customers love to buy in the comfort of their own home or at work, and on their own time. Even the introduction of ‘tap to pay’ contactless technology is becoming more common place to allow a quick payment option.
In recent studies it was shown that 72% of mobile payment users are Millennials (Ages 18-34) or Generation Xers (ages 35-50). (Source: PEW Charitable Trust survey). Did you know that Millennials represent the fastest growing segment among vehicle buyers and will likely represent about 40% of the US new vehicle market by 2020? (source: Automotive News) That is a lot of current and up and coming customers!
There’s no denying it, customers want hassle free payment and checkout processes so they can speed up checkout and get on with their busy schedules. Dealership customers are no exception. If they can reduce checkout time or pay for services without having to make an extra trip down to your dealership, why wouldn’t they? Still need some convincing? Here are 5 no-brainer reasons why your dealership should be adopting mobile payment technology.
Customers can pay their invoice from anywhere, and at a time that works with their busy daily schedule. They can pay ahead of time and then pick up their vehicle at the end of the day, hassle free, and avoiding that 5pm checkout rush. Or provide payment links for customers to pay for parts, extended warranties or vehicle deposits, without having to come back into your dealership. You save your customers a trip and your payments are received within minutes!
Mobile payments keep both your customers AND your dealership safe! With stringent privacy laws and threats of credit card fraud, mobile payments take the human element out of the payment process. Dealership staff should never be taking credit card information over the phone. You might be surprised how often that can be the case. The process of mobile payments allows customers to feel safe knowing their card never leaves their hands, and your staff no longer need to handle private credit card information. It’s a win-win.
Your customers will notice your dealership is making advancements and investments in their services. Providing customers with more payment options increases the scope of customers you want to reach. Keeping up with technology and customers’ needs is a major part of staying ahead of the competition. And staying ahead of the competition and investing in your customers is the best way to increase customer loyalty and retention.
By providing an opportunity for customers to pay at any time, you provide not only a convenient solution but an enhanced payment experience — an experience that makes your customer feel important and valued. Your customers will also appreciate the control that is put back into their hands. The quick, seamless payment process will impress, and the reduced checkout times will add to the satisfaction of their dealership experience.
With mobile payments, all transaction details and confirmations are digitally captured in one location, eliminating data entry and avoiding the end of day backlog of invoices or receipts. All transactions are recorded and batched by the system, so once again, removes the chance for any human error. Digital receipts sent to customers are also environmentally-friendly as they eliminate the need for paper receipts, so choosing mobile payment technology will help in your dealership’s green endeavours.
Adapting to mobile payment technology is extremely valuable for your dealership. In today’s technologically advanced times, businesses are encouraged to embrace mobile payments to provide customers more payment options. With increasingly busy schedules, customers are looking to pay as easily and as quickly as possible, with the flexibility to pay throughout the day when it works with their schedule.
Keeping up with modern technology is also key to targeting the growing and changing customer landscape. The group of Millennials and Gen Xers that make up the current 72 percent of mobile payments users “are especially compelled by the option to receive rewards, discounts, alerts, electronic receipts, and are the most likely age groups to say mobile payments are faster and easier than other payment methods.” (source: Pew Charitable Trusts survey). If you want your dealership to provide a higher level of customer service that appeals to your ever-growing customer demographic, you need to provide the services and options they are looking for.
In short, the Mobile Payment market has a bright future, as will forward-thinking dealerships looking to stay ahead of the competition and continually improving the customer experience.
VenueVision's Mobile Cashier can help your dealership provide this higher level of customer experience and keep your customers and your dealership safe!
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
In today’s technology-driven age, there seems to be a disconnect between how individuals communicate with each other and how businesses communicate with their customers. Can you guess what one of the biggest differences is? The answer is text messaging. If you’re like most people, the majority of your quick conversations with friends and family are via text message.
With 98% of smartphone owners using text messages on a regular basis, it’s very surprising to see that only 14 percent of businesses regularly use text messaging to communicate to their customers. Not surprisingly, a recent survey revealed that nearly 90 percent of consumers want to communicate with businesses via text.
Text messaging creates an opportunity for dealerships to share relevant information quickly with their customers. Communicating by text also differentiates dealerships by providing a direct two-way channel to drive added service upgrades, assist with sales increases and improve overall customer experiences.
Here are two key questions that dealerships should consider when evaluating whether to include text messaging in their customer communications.
When asked which communications channel they preferred to use when engaging with a business, an overwhelming majority of consumers surveyed cited a preference for text messaging over other methods like email or voice/phone interactions. Text messaging was seen as being both more relevant and timely than email. Respondents noted they only opened roughly 25 percent of the emails they received from businesses, versus opening 90 percent of their text messages received from businesses.
Dealerships that still rely on email or voicemail to get time-sensitive information and offers to customers are falling behind and are not being heard. Consumers increasingly depend on and demand messaging services that let them interact with businesses in a fast and convenient manner.
There are a number of cases to be made for introducing text messaging into your dealership. Here are some important factors:
Sending appointment reminders by text can help cut down on no-show rates and late appointment cancellations, which can often have the single biggest effect on lost revenues. Not being able to adequately prepare for appointments coming in can also lead to staffing inefficiencies and overall operational performance challenges.
Texting can improve customer satisfaction and overall service experience by providing accurate ETA windows and real-time updates and delivery notifications. Giving your customers a direct line to communicate with their service advisor will provide a level of transparency and trust that your customers are looking for.
Providing images via text message can drastically increase your turn around time for repair authorization. People respond to visual elements, so being able to show what parts needs to be replaced or serviced far exceeds the impact of explaining it over the phone.
Post service follow ups are a powerful way to harness immediate feedback from your customers. Dealerships can send messages or short survey questions and receive a higher response rate and respond to any customer concerns or problems that may come up in real-time.
Dealerships of all sizes are beginning to see the benefits of incorporating text messaging into their communication services and are finding that the transition is not a painful or difficult process, but a rewarding one. Those choosing not to support text messaging are not listening to their current customers and closing the door on potential customers who are actively seeking engagement and an increased level of customer service. As a result, these dealerships are inconveniencing customers and ignoring opportunities to build their brands, as well as falling behind in keeping up with their competition.
Find out more about autoTEXT by VenueVision and the benefits this powerful, centralized texting tool can provide to your Dealership.
In today’s fast-paced society, dealerships are faced with the difficult position of wanting to accept payments for their customers that are quick and simple. While at the same time providing the highest level of safety and security.
Dealers who take credit card payments over the phone can be victimized if they are not aware of fraud protection practices or are not abiding by Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. In the case of credit card fraud, not only do the merchants lose the product sold, they are often required to pay back the funds to the financial institutions.
Statistics show that card-not-present (CNP) transactions have a higher rate of fraud than card machine payments. CNP includes over the phone payments where the cardholder does not physically present the card to the merchant.
“Card not present transactions pose a serious risk for businesses and individuals. CNP is the most prevalent type of credit card fraud. It reached $537.3 Million CAD in 2016 and continues to rise.”creditcardscanada.ca
Customers have come to expect secure transactions processed and authorized in real-time. Yet, many dealerships do not realize the risks involved when collecting sensitive payment card information over the phone. What would happen if your customers experienced identity theft and fraud that occurred as a result of doing business with you? Not only would you run the risk of losing that customer, you would have to convince your remaining customers that your dealership is a safe place to do business.
Surprisingly, it’s humans, and not technology, who are the weakest link in the payment processing chain. Staff can account for the majority of data breaches. Having employees have access to sensitive credit card data by hearing it spoken by the customer in order to write it down or enter it into their DMS or CRM system puts you at risk from fraud. Think of all the ways human error can increase the risks when taking payments over the phone:
To be compliant, businesses that accept or process payment cards over the phone need to adhere to the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). Here’s a short list of what some of those standards call for:
If you can’t say yes to all of the above, then you need to STOP taking credit card information over the phone immediately and shut off your manual payment on your credit card terminals!It’s not a question of IF a credit card fraud will happen at your dealership, it’s a question of WHEN!.
So, how can you identify a secure technology solution for processing payments over the phone? The answer is simply not to! Don’t write information down, don’t manually enter credit card numbers or store sensitive data at all. The best way to comply with PCI Data Security Standards is to remove that form of payment entirely.
Technology solutions like Mobile Cashier, obtain real-time authorizations securely using a simple, safe and secure payment link. Send payment links by text or email so customers can pay directly from their mobile device or computer. No special software or App is needed. The secure payment link takes them directly to a Dealer-branded payment page to review their invoice summary and then proceed to the secure payment page where they need only enter their credit card and CV numbers. It’s that simple, that safe and that fast.
Your Service Advisors are part of the life blood of your Service Department. They are generally the first line of communication with your Service customers, and are expected to keep your customers informed and happy. Not to mention also being able to recommend additional services when needed and help increase the overall Service Department ROI.
Yet, every day, your busy Service Advisors are faced with a multitude of challenges that prevent them from fulfilling all of these duties to their best ability. Some of these daily challenges are:
Overcome all of these challenges by implementing a texting solution that all of your advisors can seamlessly use.
A texting platform will keep your customers informed throughout the entire repair process — from Service Reminder to check in, and service completion to Service Follow ups. Don’t get stuck playing phone tag or leaving voice messages that go unheard. Customers find it hard to take a phone call or check email if they are in meetings or hard at work. But they will be able to check a quick text message — 98% of the time to be exact! Over 98% of text messages are read, and 95% of those are read within 3 minutes. If you’re needing a quick response from our customer, texting is your best option.
Texting works both ways. If your customer has a quick question or note, they can easily reach you by texting you directly. You won’t miss their phone call. And they won’t get stuck on hold or routed to the wrong Advisor. With the addition of a texting platform, your advisors voice message inbox will decrease significantly! If unexpected repairs are needed, what better way to inform your customer then by sending a picture directly to their phone. Advisors can send images or videos of the damaged part or area that requires repair to let the customer instantly see what is needed. As the saying goes, ‘Seeing is believing’. This will allow them to make a timely decision and provide that needed repair approval to go ahead.
On top of relieving all of these above noted challenges, a texting solution also:
With texting, Advisors can provide that extra level of customer service greatly needed in today’s fast-past industry. Staying current and competitive is an absolute must! Integrating an effective texting solution will both reduce your Service Advisor’s frustration levels, making them a more productive and positive employee, AND increase your customer’s overall satisfaction and service experience. Now that’s a win-win for everyone!
VenueVision’s autoTEXT solution is designed specifically to address all of these Service Department challenges and more. If you’re looking to improve your overall communication and provide a greater level of Customer Service, contact VenueVision for a demo to see how autoTEXT can improve your Service Department.