First Texas Honda

First Texas Honda’s partnership with Xtime helps with shop loading, customer retention

When Tony Pereira, Parts & Service Director at First Texas Honda in Austin, Texas, joined the dealership in mid-2015, he was surprised to learn that the business lacked a multi-channel appointment scheduling system. Having come from dealerships where tablets were used effectively in the service drive, Tony knew the benefit of such tools to regulate the flow of customers.

“I came from a previous dealership where Xtime was the tool for appointments, so I had experience with the tablets and the products,” said Tony. “When I first arrived at First Texas Honda, I saw this bright, shiny dealership in a progressive, technology-driven town yet with service advisors using pencils and clipboards, and felt like I had gone back years in terms of customer care. That can’t happen in a modern dealership, so I reached out to Xtime not just because I was familiar with them, but because I knew they could help.”

Having just celebrated its third anniversary, First Texas Honda now operates as a first-class technology driven dealership with remarkable customer loyalty. Having first implemented Schedule, which was quickly followed by Engage and Invite, the dealership is now able to regulate the flow of customers, take better care of them in the service drive, communicate with them inside and outside of the shop and manage appointments.

“We open our doors at 7:00 a.m., and it’s daunting when you see a line of forty cars waiting for service,” said Tony. “Partnering with Xtime and having the tablets and the software have been hugely instrumental in moving the needle on repair order dollars that came from appointments, and also helps us in that we don’t have to turn customers away either. When we greet our guests, we ask if they have an appointment. If the customer was not aware that they could set an appointment, we show them the system, inform them of the call center and even allow them to choose the service personnel they work with to build a relationship. The level of customer service that we can provide by using Xtime’s solutions has been a tremendous benefit to our business.”

Results that speak for themselves

Invite, Schedule and Engage have done more for First Texas Honda than just streamline operations and keep customers happy. By having consistency and transparency to their prices and processes, the dealership is empowering customers through a better ownership experience and encourages vehicle owners take better care of their cars.

The following metrics from September 2015 to March 2016 are indicative of just some of the ways in which First Texas Honda’s partnership with Xtime has been so successful:

  • Total RO dollars of $1,796,452
  • Over 2,000 new email addresses captured
  • 22.5% RO from walk-in appointments
  • Average in-dealership show rate of 85.2%
While I don’t think that technology alone fixes an inherent problem with processes or customer service, it does help reveal problems you have and can fix. Xtime’s solutions really help bring issues to the surface.

“When I started at First Texas Honda, the customer retention rate was 55 percent, which is pretty high by auto industry standards,” said Tony. “We aggressively pursue customers who make appointments and fail to show up, and just in the last two months, the retention rate has jumped to 57 percent. I attribute that boost to Xtime because it’s helping us identify and follow up with customers who have lapsed.”

First Texas Honda has also enjoyed an increase in email captures and upselling opportunities in the last six months, having used Invite to create campaigns to sell to untapped segments. Tony attributes the uptick in email captures to using Invite to provide customers with information and offers they really want.
“We have customers who are wary of giving out their email addresses because they don’t want their inboxes cluttered with junk. In order to earn their trust, you have to show value. We want them to get promotions. We want them to have easy access to open recall information. Xtime helps us do exactly that and more.”

Xtime helps First Texas Honda to:
  • Drive a better ownership experience through transparency, trust and timeliness. “It was important for us to communicate effectively and transparently with each client, as well as be process driven. If a customer talks to three different service advisors about an oil change and gets three different price quotes, there’s no integrity in that.”
  • Streamline and enhance operations. “Xtime’s solutions are very intuitive, which helps us operate as a better, more customer-centric business and on-board new personnel quickly and easily.”
  • Educate the customers. “Using the tablets to capture photos and video is one of the best features and is a protective measure for us. We have 370 vehicles on our lot right now awaiting new airbags due to a recall, which means that we have the potential for a lot of things to go wrong, from dead batteries to flat tires. With the video we capture of each car when it comes into the lot, it gives us and the customers peace of mind that if something happens, we’ll take care of it.”
Everyone made it through implementation and are experts with the Xtime solutions now,” said Tony. “That is due to the team of knowledgeable and exceedingly positive people who came to train us. We are thankful for the attention, a sense of urgency and the support we receive. Anyone who partners with Xtime will be better for it.

In working with Xtime, Tony also believes that it is not just the solutions, but the dedicated Dealer Performance and Managed Services teams that are available to ensure First Texas Honda is getting the most out of its partnership.

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