A Dealer's Guide to Car Dealership Software
A dealership’s management software does more than manage daily operations. Leveraging automation and accurate data management results in a better customer experience, reduced operational costs, and increased profits. Through the integration of multiple dealership software programs, decision makers can strategically lead their team to optimize productivity to maximize potential profits. In addition, this elevated performance standard increases the dealership’s visibility for expanded market reach. Car dealership software is the technology and programs used by dealerships to improve, manage, and synthesize operations like shuttle tracking, service appointment management, and customer communication.
With a digital record of a dealership’s service center operations, managers can produce reports on each aspect of the operations. This enables leadership to look for ways to improve the customer experience by implementing in-house programs that provide an added benefit. For example, with better insight into performance, a dealership can benefit from the financial advantage of running an in-house shuttle service. Integrated dealership management software allows those in a leadership position to coordinate an interdepartmental program while tracking inefficiencies and opportunities for optimization. The result is a cohesive program that delivers a smooth customer experience throughout their dealership interactions.
A shuttle program is often viewed as an unnecessary and expensive program. With most platforms, just three rides a day can have the shuttle platform paying for itself with warranty ride reimbursements. This makes it more financially beneficial to have an in-house shuttle program over arranging for rental cars or using an external ride-sharing service. Dealerships that arrange for four or more one-day rentals will financially benefit from transferring their outsourced shuttle service to an internal service managed by a software system. The average car dealership arranges for twenty car rentals a month (an attainable threshold for most dealerships). At this rate, the average dealership experiences five times the volume necessary to meet the minimum threshold to financially benefit from utilizing shuttle management software for an in-house shuttle program. When combined with a warranty reimbursement program, this turns a cost generating program into a potential profit generator for the dealership.
One dealership, Toyota of Pasadena, switched from a Lyft dependent shuttle service to exclusively using Quickride. Average operating costs for shuttles totaled $12,040 per month with the rideshare service. Upon switching, its shuttle operating costs totaled $10,350. This included the $350 shuttle software fee and the operation of two shuttle vehicles. This resulted in a savings of $1,690 a month, saving them time, increasing efficiency, and increasing profits by moving the shuttle program in-house.
Why Use Electric Vehicles for your In-House Shuttle?
To further benefit from the cost savings offered through operating an in-house shuttle service, management should consider adopting electric vehicles (EV) for their drivers. The operational cost savings can further improve ROI. The operating cost for EV vehicles reduces the shuttle service overhead to generate greater savings than gas powered vehicles with an in-house program or utilizing a third party ride sharing program. Enabling vehicle owners to experience the dealership’s EV vehicle lineup during a shuttle ride is an approachable method for showcasing the EV’s capabilities and ride qualities. Not only will customers find it impressive that your dealership is at the forefront of technology with the adoption of EV vehicles as fleet vehicles, but you have the opportunity to make a brand impression to the public when picking up and dropping off your riders.
More than half of car owners wait at the dealership when having their car worked on. Unfortunately, waiting also translates to a significant decrease in satisfaction and turning down needed repairs as customers become impatient. Having a shuttle service improves customer satisfaction, but many dealerships are wary of implementing one in-house because of the perceived costs. In the long term, this cost actually can end up generating profit for you, especially if you implement dealership software that features shuttle route optimization. Customers who experienced an in-house shuttle service rated their service 20% higher and spent more on their repairs than those who waited in the lounge. One dealership even benefitted from a profit increase of $25,282.68 upon implementing an in house shuttle service through Quickride. Additionally, the dealership’s service team fielded fewer phone calls from upset customers, earned warranty reimbursements, had better shuttle driver oversight, and enjoyed greater productivity.
Warranty Reimbursement Programs
A reliable performance record is also crucial for utilizing warranty ride rebates offered by manufacturers. With a cost effective shuttle service, dealerships can maximize the profitability of vehicle manufacturers’ warranty ride rebates. Now dealerships can turn an overhead cost-generating shuttle program into a potential profit-generating program. Several major vehicle manufacturers offer warranty ride reimbursement programs, including Ford, GMC, Buick, Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (also known as CDJR) Cadillac, and Lincoln.
Potential returns a dealership can expect are the result of several factors, including the number of service orders per month that are under warranty and require a shuttle ride and the manufacturer brand of the dealership. With shuttle tracking software, dealerships can ensure they submit accurate reimbursement requests. Dealership management knows precisely what the shuttle service generates in reimbursement with daily, weekly, or monthly reporting.
A Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, or GMC branded dealership with 100 qualifying service orders per month can expect a yearly profit increase of $7,200. In comparison, a Ford or Lincoln branded dealership could benefit from an annual profit increase of $8,400 for 100 qualifying service orders per month. At the volume outlined in these examples, a dealership service center would need to schedule just over three qualifying service orders per day.
Scale this service volume to 200 qualifying services a month, and potential yearly reimbursement profits significantly increase to $14,400 and $16,800, respectively.
Increase Dealership CSI Score
A dealership’s Customer Satisfaction Index Score (CSI score) is a quantifiable measurement of how well the dealership meets its customer’s needs. Using a CSI score can improve dealership operations through the encouragement of the adoption of best practices. With a higher CSI score, the dealership can expect to achieve increased profit numbers through returning customers, more referrals, and benefits from corporate headquarters.
Why is CSI so important?
A dealership’s CSI score can directly correlate to the number of service orders a dealership’s service center receives each month. Therefore, a low CSI score can cost a dealership millions in lost opportunities. To combat the reduced demand, a dealership must increase its marketing spend and reduce its service quotes.
When it comes to making a purchase decision, 95% of consumers based their choice on emotion. Despite customers viewing themselves as savvy and educated, when it comes time to purchase, customer sentiment towards a brand can be the presiding factor. Now consider this in conjunction with the fact that 70% of customers who purchase their vehicle from dealerships do not return for service. This is primarily due to the customer’s desire for a pain-free and convenient service. An in-house shuttle service can address these desires and needs by making the dealership’s service center a convenient and pain-free option.
One dealership improved its CSI score by 25%, a ten point increase, once it implemented Quickride’s shuttle management system. With continued use, the dealership experienced a significant impact in its rating, maintaining a four out of five star rating in customer experience for its shuttle service. The service center team also gained an additional 1.5 working hours, enabling them to be more productive and provide better service.
Implementing a shuttle service that utilizes the latest technology is one method for improving a dealership's CSI score. Customers already use innovative technology in almost every facet of their everyday lives. It is only natural that they would expect a dealership to leverage these same innovative technological developments to streamline and optimize both the dealership and service center operations. Technology allows a service team to become more productive and better able to serve customers' needs.
Automation reduces the risk of human error, which translates to a reduced risk of failed customer service. The result of this is an increase in customer satisfaction as car owners learn to depend on the service center to deliver the services promised.
Understanding Customer Needs
Having an in-house shuttle service addresses the most common complaint expressed by car owners patronizing a dealership’s service center. While customers want to take care of their vehicles, they do not want to give up their day by sitting in a service center lobby all day. Acknowledging this frustration and having a system to address it will demonstrate a commitment to quality service. Customers will not only recognize the dedicated effort to innovation and improvement but will also appreciate the dealership’s efforts to improve the experience. Tailoring the customer experience to meet individual needs improves the satisfaction felt by customers, thereby improving a dealership’s CSI score.
Three components are critical to dealership software: dealership planning, execution, and customer utilization. In Quickride's case, this translates to three different portals, a command center, a driver mobile app, and a customer web app. The Command Center is the heartbeat of the system. Service managers use this web application to oversee and manage their comprehensive shuttle operations. This portal customizes and programs text messages and push notifications, books and manages appointments, monitors and tracks drivers, and pulls data reporting. For the shuttle drivers, a mobile app is utilized and is connected to the central platform, available for both iOS and Android devices. Through the app, drivers can accept ride appointments, check-in mid-service, and close out appointments upon completion. The third and final platform is the passenger app, a mobile web application that passengers can use to monitor the status of their shuttle.
The Command Center makes integrated management possible. Service managers can monitor scheduled, current, and past shuttle appointments with one portal. A simple schedule process allows for strategic responsiveness. This will enable managers to reduce the time commitment required to monitor drivers and the general operation of the shuttle service. Managers can use the gained time availability to be more productive with other duties. An accurate real-time map provides instant monitoring of each driver's location and planned destination for mid shuttle optimization. While a calendar view allows for future driver shift planning to ensure shuttle service coverage is comprehensive and available during the hours, the service center is open for customers. The command center is aptly named as it connects to both the driver’s mobile app and the passenger’s web-based app. By providing a direct communication link between the customer, driver, and service agent, shuttle status is accurately communicated between parties for streamlined coordination.
Shuttle Driver Utilization
The reliable mobile app features a user-friendly interface. Its broad compatibility ensures that anyone working for the dealership as a driver can easily download the app. Drivers can receive clear turn-by-turn directions of optimized routes, push notifications, and real-time updates from the service manager’s command center. The mobile app uses the phone’s internal GPS function to ensure accuracy and reduce the occurrence of late or miscalculated directions. From the app, drivers can send communications to passengers. To make communication easy, there is the option of sending SMS, email, and voice-enabled communications.
When dealerships provide a passenger app, service center customers can make shuttle arrangements quickly. Unlike the driver app that requires users to download an app, the passenger app should be accessible from any smartphone that’s equipped with a modern web browser. Customers with an iOS, Android, or Windows phone should be able to easily use this web app. Maintaining broad usability and compatibility ensures that you do not unintentionally prevent potential customers from utilizing your shuttle service. Once logged in to the passenger app, car owners should be able to see real-time updates on the status and location of their shuttle. This eliminates the need for them to call the service agent or endlessly wait for someone to call them.
Car dealership software also has the ability to seamlessly schedule appointments for car owner shuttle service or pick-up and delivery. Coordinate shuttle service scheduling with maintenance and repair services. Integrate shuttle services with the service management software for seamless coordination of services provided to the customer. This integration and coordination streamline the service experience for the customer while simplifying appointment management for the dealership team. For example, when the service agent creates a service or repair appointment, it will also trigger the creation of a shuttle appointment. Then once the repairs get registered as complete, another shuttle appointment gets created. This automation reduces the manual requirement of creating a shuttle appointment and ensures that there is also a shuttle service ready for each customer.
Integration among the different dealership departments ensures transparent communication. With everyone working at the dealership on the same page, it ensures a cohesive experience for the customer. Without this, dealership departments operate in silos, leading to miscommunication and missed appointments. In addition, when the expected service doesn’t meet customer expectations, it results in disappointment and frustration.
Software Flow Customizations
Some dealerships may also want to consider lengthening the pickup and return window. Shuttle software will typically set a default pickup window to streamline the scheduling process. However, a standard hour window may not be a large enough window for busier service centers. Customers appreciate a narrow pickup window because it provides a more precise appointment window. However, this tighter appointment window can be more challenging of a target for the dealership shuttle drivers to hit. It’s more beneficial to lengthen appointment shuttle widows and meet expectations than schedule short pickup window times and miss the appointment. Drivers will quickly fall behind as shuttle appointments get overbooked to fill available windows, and customers become unhappy as their appointment is late or missed entirely.
It is also helpful to create a custom set of SMS templates for this service. That way, the communications make sense with the service being provided.
Before a service agent drives a customer’s vehicle, agents can have them take pictures of the vehicle. This ensures the dealership verifies the vehicle’s condition before and after each shuttle transport. In addition, this reduces the risk of liability should a car owner later discover the damage.
Optimizing the Ride Completion Process
With the right shuttle software, dealerships can optimize their ride completion processes. Automation can eliminate inefficiencies, and reporting can identify missed opportunities. This begins with the driver’s process to pick up customers dropping their vehicle off at the service center. It then continues with how the driver prioritizes drop offs and pickups. For example, perhaps completing a drop off and then accepting a pick-up to return to the dealerships before accepting another drop off of another customer needing the shuttle service after dropping off their vehicle at the service center.
Contactless Vehicle Pick-Up & Delivery Options
Once there is a shuttle program in place, offering a contactless option can be an additional feature that enhances the level of service provided through the service center. To implement a contactless program, the service agent will follow a similar process as picking up a car owner that is at a separate location. A service agent will ride to the vehicle’s location with the shuttle driver. Once there, they will secure the keys and drive the vehicle back to the service center. Once service is completed, the agent will schedule and perform a return appointment to bring the car owner’s vehicle back to them.
Offering a contactless delivery option gives customers greater freedom in both safety and convenience. For some customers, the lack of direct human interaction is essential for maintaining their health. For others, they simply don’t have the time or ability to travel to the dealership multiple times to drop off and pick up their vehicle getting serviced. For both customer sectors, this additional service is a much appreciated offering that can be the deciding factor between the dealership service center and a local independent mechanic.
For the most effective contactless option, consider the process from start to finish. Dealership management must consider the possibility of contamination throughout the shuttle process. Performance consistency is also crucial, as customers depend on a dealership to perform their agreed-upon service. Without the customer present to observe the service agents’ actions, this requires a greater degree of trust between the customer and dealership.
Customer Personal Safety Considerations
Contactless delivery is about more than simply not directly interacting with the vehicle owner. To ensure that a shuttle service is truly contactless, take the extra step to create a barrier between the service agents and the customer. Have the customer place their vehicle keys in a lockbox. The code can be included in the appointment notes. If the customer does not have a lockbox, they could put their keys in a plastic or paper bag. If the key is not required to start the vehicle, then it can stay in the bag for the entire duration of the service appointment. This includes methods for covering the surfaces of the customer’s vehicle while the service agent is in the vehicle. These could be disposable covers for the seat, shifter, and steering wheel.
Coordinating a Contactless Shuttle Program
To make the entire process flow smoothly, it may require the oversight of a departmental manager. This is because more than one person will be required to transport the customer’s vehicle. This can become complicated as multiple employee schedules will need coordination. Having an integrated shuttle service software ensures that schedules are also coordinated. A manager can quickly review the shuttle driver calendar to coordinate available drivers with service agents scheduled for the coordinating time slot.
When service agents spend their day tracking drivers and managing appointments, they have little time to do the rest of their job duties. This leads to a lack of productivity and lack of service to customers. The right car dealership software automates these administrative tasks, allowing service agents to do what they do best: provide service to customers. For example, automatic ride appointment dispatching eliminates the need for manual management and assigning of shuttle requests. The right car dealership software will improve your dealership management and save you time.
Service Center Productivity
The benefits are far-reaching, generating a positive influence beyond the service agents. A well-managed service appointment calendar allows for the optimization of the service center. This will enable dealerships to maximize their profit potential. With real-time updates, service agents are able to fill all available appointments. This allows for immediate and planned services, ensuring that all available appointments get filled. The service center then experiences a reduced occurrence of downtime, thereby operating at full capacity.
Managing Multiple Rides
While having a comprehensive list of outstanding shuttle appointments is useful, it isn’t the most effective method for appointment management. An internal shuttle management software system addresses this by automatically managing and prioritizing the outstanding shuttle appointments. Scheduled appointments are automatically assigned a priority level through the software’s algorithm. By moving the most pressing appointments to the top of the list, drivers can easily select the next appointment in the appropriate order. This reduces customer wait time by ensuring that those with earlier appointments are picked up before those with later appointments.
When shuttle appointment volume outpaces driver capability, built-in automated warning messages will alert the service center. As it reaches appointment times, service center agents can either alert drivers, arrange alternative transportation, or contact the customer to reschedule their shuttle appointment. These alerts prevent missed or forgotten shuttle appointments while also maintaining prompt and open communication with customers.
Dealership management does not happen in a vacuum. There are several revenue streams that the dealership must manage and integrate to ensure its overall success. The right software will make both high-level oversight and day-to-day operational management easier. The software that a dealership chooses to adopt should integrate with the other departmental software.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
CRM software ensures the future growth of a dealership by managing the dealership's relationship with its current and potential customers. At a management level, successful dealerships invest in auto industry specific CRM software. This ensures the software is specifically designed for the dealership’s needs. It can aid in sales generation, marketing, and customer service processes. Dealership management can then use this software to generate and manage leads, nurture leads to move them through the buying process, improve interdepartmental communication, and increase reporting transparency. Integrating the service center shuttle program software into the primary dealership CRM provides support to the nurturing of current customer relationships. A good CRM Software tailored for dealerships will also have the ability to track service center utilization in relation to shuttle bookings to find correlations between a positive experience and the ongoing established relationship.
Dealer Management System (DMS) Software
In addition to a CRM, your dealership should also use a DMS. Ideally, these two software systems are either the same system or closely connected with each other. The DMS manages the internal operations of the dealership, from processing sales to inventory management, and tracking customer data. It can also run credit reports and provide document management features. Because this software is directly related to operations, it only makes sense that your shuttle service software should also be seamlessly integrated. This enables you to manage shuttle vehicle inventory, repair, and maintenance. It’s also possible to pull reporting on shuttle volume as compared to service appointment volume. An integrated CRM, DMS, and shuttle service allow management and sales to track current customer service needs and recommend a possible trade-in solution that increases dealership sales and strengthens the ongoing customer relationship.
A dealership website is an online resource for a dealership’s current and potential customers. Common website platforms are WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and HubSpot CMS. These powerful tools enable dealerships to have a unique and comprehensive website that addresses all of the dealerships' cars, features, and perks. Well designed websites have a user-friendly design that makes it simple to navigate through available new vehicles, available pre-owned vehicles, finance, service and parts, research, and careers. With shuttle software integration, customers can visit the dealership’s website to schedule vehicle service. In addition, the integrated shuttle software will automatically coordinate a required shuttle service with the requested vehicle service appointment. Integrating these two services eliminates the manual management and coordination by service agents, reducing the risk of missed appointments and greater shuttle demand than driver capacity.
Broad compatibility ensures that everyone on the team can access and utilize the software. This includes compatibility with both iOS and Android devices for mobile applications. Drivers and service teams can then easily and quickly access the app to schedule or manage their appointments. Having a mobile platform enables open communication and collaboration from anywhere.
Unlike specialty apps and software, a browser-based management center allows for seamless integration. As long as there is internet access, the management center can be accessed from any device with an internet browser. This eliminates the need to replace or upgrade hardware to be compatible. It also allows for flexible management, as anyone from anywhere in the dealership could have the ability to log into the command center. For example, leadership could utilize the management software for reporting from their office while service agents can access the portal through their own account in the service center. Multiple users navigating the command center simultaneously improve productivity and collaboration.
A service manager needs to know where each driver is at any moment. Route optimization and tracking are the only way to ensure that a dealership utilizes its resources to its full potential. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to predict when the service center will finish a particular car. However, route optimization software can predict and choose the most efficient routes by taking into account traffic, weather, and road conditions. The software used to manage the drivers needs to provide real-time tracking to enable real-time route optimization.
With an app on the driver’s phone, there is no need to install special equipment on the driver’s vehicle. This gives dealerships greater flexibility when utilizing drivers and reduces the overhead costs of operating a shuttle service. Because an app uses the phone’s internal GPS capabilities, the data is reliable and accurate. Dealerships can use dedicated vehicles or create a rotational system for the vehicles operated by shuttle drivers.
Route optimization reduces fuel costs, travel time, and delays in picking up customers. A sophisticated algorithm should factor in weather, traffic, and road conditions when determining the ideal route for each driver. This route is then communicated to the driver to give them easy-to-follow turn-by-turn directions for the quickest and most efficient route.
A single point of reference for a dealership’s team is crucial to ensuring everyone has the most recent, updated communication regarding the status of the service center and individual appointments. A comprehensive dealership software will compile all data and schedules into a single informational resource. A service center team can then use it to reference status updates and notes. Should more than one driver need to provide shuttle services for a single customer, they can each document the appropriate notes on the status of each driver’s appointment. This is especially important if there are specific instructions for the pickup or drop of a customer, such as a gate code or lockbox location and code.
Appointment and Drop Off
Dealership tracking begins at the appointment setting. A service agent will enter the customer’s vehicle and contact information. Most importantly, their cell phone number. This ensures that a service team will be able to send text messages to the customer throughout their service. In the days or weeks before the appointment, a team can gauge the volume of service appointments and the need for shuttle drivers. Over time, managers can use historical data to prepare for seasonal high or low demands to equip their team of shuttle drivers accordingly. This ensures there is an adequate number of shuttle drivers for the demand, thereby reducing the shuttle wait times customers experience. It can also ensure that a shuttle driver is ready and waiting to transport a customer to their chosen location upon dropping their vehicle off, minimizing the amount of time they spend waiting at the dealership.
Completion and Drop Off
Once a service appointment is complete, the service department team can update the status through the software, giving the vehicle owner a heads up that their vehicle’s service appointment has entered the next phase. This could be having the shuttle driver pick up the vehicle owner or delivering the car to the owner’s location. The software will automatically push a notification to the owner when the team selects the next status in the process. Once the job is complete, the driver can complete the appointment, closing it out and triggering the satisfaction survey messaging.
In an increasingly online world, customers expect digital communication, and dealerships need to adopt new ways of engaging customers, including during their servicing experience. With easily accessible communication provided by car dealership software, vehicle owners will know exactly when and where their driver is with a feature that tracks their shuttle. This increased level of transparency instills confidence and security in customers. With information at the tap of a button, the number of status update calls and requests that a service team fields on a daily or even hourly basis reduces. A team of service agents can now focus on other duties and tasks.
Missed shuttle pickups represent an inefficiency that can hinder an entire shuttle program. A typical breakdown in the shuttle process includes extended time trying to locate a rider, which further delays following pickups. Another issue is pickups that go entirely missed. The driver must then retrace their route to circle back around and make a second attempt at pickup. This is a drain on resources that could have been avoided. Additionally, the customer is now frustrated at having missed their shuttle driver and now has to wait for them to return.
Car dealership software with integrated shuttle services can streamline the shuttle process for its customers. They can have instant answers through the app and get valuable guidance to know exactly where and when to meet their shuttle driver.
Managing customer feedback is a crucial element to the success of the dealership and its service center. When car owners have a positive customer experience at a car dealership, they are more likely to return. They are also more likely to recommend others to the dealership for service, thereby increasing local awareness of the dealership and the service quality it provides.
The Waiting Game
One of the biggest frustrations customers have is sitting in the waiting area of a dealership while their vehicle gets worked on. No one enjoys endless waiting without knowing when their car will be ready. They feel frustrated and stuck as they wait for what feels like forever. With a customer app and shuttle service, dealerships can give their customers the freedom they desire. Car owners are happier with their experience when they can continue on with their lives while their vehicle gets worked on.
Nothing is more frustrating to customers than being told someone will call and never receiving a call. Or someone does call, but the customer is unable to answer or misses it. Then they call back, and no one answers. Reliable communication is all it takes to manage expectations and ensure a satisfactory experience. Car dealerships can use software to improve communication reliability with their customers.
With customized text messages, car owners do not have to download anything. Write and schedule automated text messages that inform customers of the status of their service shuttle appointment. In a world of instant gratification, these auto-generated communications work to assure customers that their vehicle is getting worked on and should be ready soon. Additionally, if the need arises, the customer can communicate directly with their service agent through a secure web app. This enables rapid communication to ensure the customers stay informed and the vehicle’s service does not become delayed.
Once a vehicle is ready, the automated text communications can inform the vehicle owner. This keeps them informed of the status and lets them prepare for a pending shuttle pickup. Driver status ETA updates and tracking can ensure they are at the designated meeting point. Should a shuttle driver get ahead or behind schedule, the customer will know, ensuring they do not miss a pickup or are left waiting. This communication transparency and coordination ensures that each customer feels informed and confident in the process.
Control Over the Customer Experience
When a dealership uses a third party ride service, it gives up control of the customer experience. Once the customer enters the driver’s vehicle, the dealership no longer controls the ride experience. As a result, each customer could interact with a different driver, resulting in a wide disparity in experience quality. If a customer has a negative ride experience, it can reflect badly on the dealership, despite the ride service being a completely different company.
It's best to have a shuttle service managed by the dealership itself, so that customer interactions and brand impressions are controlled.
Post Service Survey
Automatically deploying a post ride survey to customers enables a dealership to capture accurate and honest reactions to the shuttle program. Dealerships can then use this feedback to optimize their operations. By addressing both positive and negative feedback, drivers, service agents, and leadership can tailor their processes to better suit the needs and expectations of the customer. Automating this process ensures that it doesn’t get missed while also accurately compiling the data received ensures reporting isn’t artificially skewed.
The ultimate goal for a car dealership is to generate a profit and grow as a business. To do this, it needs to develop ongoing relationships with its customers to reduce new lead generation marketing costs while increasing customer loyalty and retention. The right car dealership software can help establish a trusted brand. In addition, once a customer purchases a vehicle, the dealership can continue the relationship by providing them with a pleasant maintenance and repair service experience.
Availability and Convenience
Having a web app for the customer puts the repair service center at their fingertips. This makes it simple and easy to communicate with the service center, which increases the likelihood of them turning to their chosen dealership first when there is a problem. This app should become a part of a larger multi-touchpoint program to further strengthen the relationship between customers and the dealership.
A personalized experience on the app ensures each car owner feels heard and taken care of. Customizing text messages also allows the dealership to maintain brand consistency. This strengthens the car owner’s perception of the dealership. Each message is an opportunity to strengthen the positive opinion a car owner has about a dealership.
When utilizing a third party ride sharing program, the dealership lacks control over branding and image consistency. Drivers operate their own vehicles, which results in a dealership’s customer riding in a vehicle that could be a make and model not sold by the dealership. It’s not wise to allow a customer to experience the enjoyable handling and ride quality of a competitor’s vehicle manufacturer as the customer is dropping their vehicle off at your dealership for repair. With an in-house shuttle service, the dealership can control the customer experience to ensure they experience the best that their manufacturer has to offer. This could include having drivers operate the latest models with the most desirable features. An impromptu and low pressure test ride for the customer keeps them engaged in the latest models offered by the dealership.