Self-Service Options for Safety & Great Customer Experience


We live in a digital-first world — and it’s no longer optional. You need to drive revenue. To do that today, you have to provide a safe, online experience for your customers and employees and completely reimagine your customer’s journey by providing self-service capabilities.  

Self-Service Preference

Put your customer hat on for a moment. You’ve grown accustomed to checking into flights on your phone, getting carry-out food or groceries delivered with a couple of clicks, and even ordering up a ride through an app. If you had to talk to someone each time you needed one of these services, would you still find them just as convenient?  

For the majority of us, the answer is no. In a recent survey, 67 percent confessed preference of self-service over speaking to a live representative. Let’s walk through the options you have to let your fixed ops customer self-serve. 

Scheduling an Appointment

Get it right from the get-go. Self-service should start before your customer arrives at your service department. Appointment booking is your opportunity to make a great first impression. 

Whether through your email and text marketing efforts or social media, make sure to provide a link that directs your customer to your website to schedule their appointment. 

Beyond the ability to book online, really think about the experience your customer needs for proper self-service. They will want choices, including multiple dates and time options. Also consider the information your customer needs to properly care for their vehicle. Provide their service history and any previously declined services alongside recommendations based on their vehicle’s mileage. 

Self Check-In

Part of the self-service appeal is the no-wait factor. When you couple that with the general anxiety your customer may have right now about coming into contact with others outside of their safe space — 54 percent delaying service for this reason — providing the opportunity to check-in for their service appointment from their own mobile device makes complete sense. 

Give your customer the ability to initiate check-in on their phone when they arrive and create a safe process and instructions for dropping off their keys. With this level of self service in place, your customer is not waiting for their advisor, and they can feel confident in their safety when the interaction at your dealership is with their own phone.

Track Service Progress

Your customer may prefer to take things into their own hands, but they still want to hear updates from you during the service visit. Luckily, this can be done digitally and even through self-service. You can use texting and email to send updates, but you may also consider using a tool that allows your customer to see where their car is throughout the service visit. Choose a service that gives your customer the ability to click and check progress as they like while their car is in your shop. 

Online Approvals and Payment

The goal is a seamless service experience that weaves in self-service options for your customer without ever feeling disconnected from the in-shop experience. With that in mind, you want to send the multipoint inspection and any ASRs through links in emails or texts. This way your customer can see what your tech sees through photos or video to help them make a decision. 

Once they’ve signed off, digitally, and service is complete, you can ask them to submit payment in a similar fashion. For your part, make sure it’s communicated to your customer that the online payment is secure. Not only have you provided the ability for them to connect with you in the self-service manner they prefer, you will have proven your determination to reduce in-person interaction and commitment to keeping your customer and your employees safe.


The majority of people today prefer self-service. Bring this ability to your dealership to show you care about the safety of your employees and customers as well as the desire your customer has to act in their own time and way. The new service visit journey means blurring the lines between online and in-store for your customers by giving them the opportunity to self-serve. 

Visit our Business Continuity Hub for more tools and resources.

Sources: Nuance Enterprise 

Cox Automotive COVID-19 Consumer Impact Study