With all the advancements that have been made to buying cars online in recent years, why are so many dealer service departments still stuck in the past? Customers can go online, buy a car, and have it delivered to their homes the same week, but too many are having trouble scheduling a simple oil change at the same dealership.
At the 2021 Cox Automotive Fall Expo, Matt Hamby, senior performance consultant at Xtime, discussed how to digitize the service experience to boost revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and get the most out of every service transaction, starting with scheduling a service appointment.
Why Go Digital?
Nearly everything modern customers do—buying goods, booking trips, browsing information, consuming media—they do it online. So, when dealerships ask customers to show up at the service department and wait for their car to be serviced, that doesn’t fit with their narrative. It’s a stark contrast to the way they live the rest of their lives.
Eventually, these customers will naturally gravitate to dealerships that do offer a digital service experience. With Xtime, your dealership can create a unique service experience and set itself apart to offer the convenience that modern customers expect.
Turn Walk-In Customers into Online Schedulers
Scheduling an appointment is the gateway to your service experience. It sets the tone for the entire visit, and every great scheduler is designed for convenient customer use. Leverage Xtime Schedule, together with the following five best practices, to turn walk-in customers into online schedulers. These tips will improve the customer experience, increase your web traffic, service efficiency, and time spent per RO.
1. Make web-based appointments easy to navigate to and schedule.
On your homepage, include a visible, clearly labeled “Schedule Service” icon so customers don’t have to search for it on their own. You should also make it easy for customers to navigate to service schedule from a web search results screen or from a search on your website.
2. Let customers know about your online service scheduling option.
Send out an email or other communications to your customers to let them know they can schedule service appointments on your website. Consider incentivizing the use of the online scheduling tool to increase use.
3. Optimize shop capacity for employees and customers.
Ensure a properly loaded shop so that you have enough advisors and staff to accommodate customers. Build capacities based on what works best for your shop—by hours, appointments, teams, time slots, etc.—and create available service choices and menus that make sense for you and your customers.
4. Test your customer portal.
Go to your online consumer portal from a mobile and desktop device to see how easy it is to schedule an appointment yourself. See what services are available and how quickly you can find a “schedule now” button. If you can’t figure it out, your customers won’t be able to either.
5. Use text communications.
The most basic digital experience is texting. Using Schedule, you can customize and automate appointment notifications via text, including appointment confirmation, reminders, follow-up, etc. to improve show rate. You can also enable your customers to communicate with you if they need to reschedule or get an update on part availability, for example.
Ready to see how you can create an end-to-end digital service experience? Book an Xtime demo today.