Do you know what your customers chose as their fourth most preferred amenity in our recent Dealership Service Retention Report?
Vehicle pickup and delivery.
For those under the age of 34, pickup and delivery even cracked the top 3 most desirable service department amenities.
And here’s the thing—we surveyed nearly 2,000 vehicle owners who use the dealership for service before COVID-19 hit.
So as you might imagine, all the recent restrictions and public health concerns only makes pickup and delivery services more valuable for your customers.
If you hadn’t already, chances are you’ve recently begun to dabble in offering a pickup and delivery service for your customers. Here, we’ll share some information to help you get the most out of this important (if not essential) service—keeping your bays full, revenue steady, and customers happy.
By now, we know that the pandemic has forced many changes to the way dealer service departments do business, many of which are here to stay. And while you’re doing all you can to ensure the health and wellness of customers, there are many people who remain reluctant to bring their vehicle in for service.
The truth is, a large portion of your customer base would be more comfortable scheduling service if their dealership:
• Offered scheduling service online
• Came to their home to get the vehicle
• Drove it to the dealership to perform service
• Delivered the vehicle back to their home upon completion
• This is the essence of pickup and delivery, and 43% of customers who are currently delaying service would be more likely to schedule an appointment if you offer this safe and convenient service, according to Cox Automotive.
Now that we’ve established its importance, here’s how to properly execute pickup and delivery…
If you offer pickup and delivery, wear it like a badge of honor. It might be the first thing customers look for when deciding whether or not to have their vehicle serviced at your dealership.
Pickup and delivery may be the ultimate in customer convenience, but it’s also a much safer option these days. That said, there might still be some concern surrounding the “unknown” factor of having someone else in their vehicle for any extended period of time.
They need to know their vehicle will be properly sanitized and disinfected after the service is complete and before the return drop-off. Be sure to provide this peace of mind in all the communication points we listed above.
More and more facilities are opting to become certified PrecisionCare retailers, providing extra-safe conditions to customers with disinfectants EPA-approved and registered for use against COVID-19.
Check out Kelley Blue Book for more sanitation tips and best practices.
In DriveSure’s survey and subsequent report, we found that the service department amenity customers value most was online appointment booking.
The ultimate two-birds-one-stone is to not only offer pickup and delivery, but make sure customers can seamlessly make their appointment online.
Tools like Xtime provide a customer-friendly technology platform that many dealerships use to handle everything from scheduling to communication to payment.
Be sure to gather special instructions and customer preferences during the scheduling process as it pertains to the vehicle hand off.
Some may be more sensitive to this part than others, so it’s important you provide your protocols and let the customer dictate safe and secure handling of keys, online payment, emailing invoices, and anything that reduces or eliminates face-to-face interaction.
Ever order a pizza online then meticulously track the entire process? They’re preparing it…now they’re sliding it into the oven. It’s done and in Steve’s car for delivery. He’s just a few blocks away and will be there in less than 2 minutes.
It’s kind of cool, and provides for a great customer experience. You may not be set up with the same tracking software for your dealership pickup and delivery service, but there’s nothing that says you can’t regularly communicate with your customers on the status of their vehicle maintenance/repair.
Use text messaging to let them know a service technician is on the way, and include the tech’s name, phone number, and photo.
Keep them in the loop with texts as you work through service and repairs, sending them photos and videos to discuss the diagnosis, what’s needed, etc.
And when service is complete, use their preferred method of communication to coordinate the best delivery time.
A win-win in every sense, pickup and delivery has allowed fixed ops and service directors to keep their bays busy while mitigating potential health risks to their employees and customers.
Now that you know how to properly execute pickup and delivery, you’re positioned to delight your customers with next-level service and convenience that’s sure to keep your service bays full and your dealership profitable.