Ferman Volvo Cars of Tarpon Springs, Florida, is widely known for its dedication to customer experience—one of many reasons that they were voted Xtime’s very first recipient of the Customer Experience Excellence award at this year’s Digital Dealer 24 conference in Orlando. Service Manager Matt Ketchum attributes this award and Ferman Volvo’s reputation for customer service to the simple rule he learned in grade school: treat others as you want to be treated.
Matt, who has worked with dealerships for nearly 15 years, has worked with businesses that used Xtime’s products and those that didn’t, and said that the difference is vast.
“I started [my career] with a dealership that used Xtime, then made the move to Volvo, where Xtime’s suite was used as well,” said Matt. “But for a brief while, we used another tool and then ended up coming back to Xtime. One of our healthier success points is that is allows us to have great communication with our customers.”
Starting with Schedule as a way to allow its customers the added convenience of scheduling appointments from various channels, Ferman Volvo quickly added Inspect and Engage. Ferman Volvo’s Fixed Operations Manager made the decision to install the platform in order to add a layer of transparency to the way in which they interfaced with customers.
“You have to remember that we’re a very intimate dealership, so what I like about Xtime Spectrum is that as soon as the customer sees you pull out the tablet, they’re right there with you, getting involved in what’s going on with their cars,” said Matt. “The tablet also encourages us to do a proper walk-around and not get lazy about doing so! The old way of doing things wasn’t as engaging, and I find a lot more guests get involved on the service lane thanks to Xtime.”
Matt added that the importance of retention tools to transition customers from the sales floor to the service lane became apparent early on in his career.
“When I first started in the car business, I was in sales,” he said. “I had no experience at first, but an older salesperson told me that when you tell a customer, ‘Follow me,’ they’ll do that. Engage is the equivalent of ‘follow me.’”
Xtime Engage strengthened another trait of Ferman Volvo—customer involvement. While most service customers are used to dropping off their cars and being as uninvolved as possible, Engage allows the service team to develop more meaningful relationships with each person who walks through the door.
“It’s not always about selling—it’s about getting to know the customers,” said Matt. “We probably know more about our guests than anyone. If the relationship isn’t there, you’ll never see them again. Engage has enhanced that because it gives us more time to talk to the customer and build that relationship while still being methodical about the vehicle walk-around.”
From the dealership personnel side of the business, Matt pointed out that with Inspect, they can better engage with customers and more explicitly discuss car needs, from immediate to upcoming.
“Our guests can look at what service work will be provided in an organized, itemized way, with full transparency,” said Matt. Because of that, they know we’re honest, there’s no bait-and-switch, and they’ll be back to see us because of that transparency.”
Having one technology platform to resolve all of its service needs has provided an element of convenience to customers and dealership personnel alike by working together in tandem and being customizable to Ferman Volvo’s needs.
“Using one platform is so important, because having all of your tools integrated frees you up to do more things, like service more guests but in a quality way,” said Matt. “Technology has made us all more efficient across the dealership. It equates to higher CSI scores and boost retention rates. Having Xtime’s suite, which integrate so well together, makes the flow so much easier.”
Soon, Ferman Volvo Cars will add Invite to recapture lost souls to its business.