Virtual Service Powered by Pick-up & Delivery
Most dealerships would like to give their customers the convenience of having their car fixed without leaving their couch. Send someone to pick up the car from the customer's home and bring it in for repair then drive it back to the customer when the repair is done. Does it sound simple? There are many variables involved in delivering on this level of customer convenience.
Who is available and how is that person going to get to the customer's home in the first place? Will it be in a shuttle vehicle or a loaner vehicle? If shuttle, is the shuttle driver even available? If loaner, which loaner? How do you prevent overbooking? How do you communicate with the customer timely? You may end up spending many resources so that the customer never leaves the couch, but without the right processes in place it’ll be costly and the ROI may not even be there.
Automotive Market Research Findings
According to the 2021 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study, 62% of consumers prefer their vehicle to be picked up from home or office when it needs service and 16% would be even willing to pay for it.
According to IMR’s syndicated Delayed Vehicle Maintenance Tracking Study, 33% of car owners reported not being able to find a convenient time as the reason for delaying vehicle maintenance. Of the 25,000 consumers interviewed those who owned used vehicles and Millennials were significantly more likely than their counterparts to delay routine vehicle maintenance.
Dealerships need a radical approach to address a common problem in a new way. Envision a solution that can manage the shuttle, valet, and loaner dispatch in one place, give the customer the level of convenience that can earn their 5-star rating, and deliver a remarkable ROI. Imagine a profitable valet service at scale.
Simplify Pick-ups & Drop-offs
Redefine problems so they can be solved in creative ways that emphasize simplicity. Imagine a solution where you just input the customer’s name, address, and time preference. The technology in the background automatically scans who is available for what purpose and then auto-dispatches trips considering driver availability, vehicle capacity, passenger preferences, and live traffic data. ETAs are communicated to customers in SMS. At the end of each trip ratings and feedback are captured from customers. The live location of drivers and vehicles is tracked at all times for transparency. Imagine a truly automated valet & shuttle software that takes the paperwork and the guesswork out of the equation so you can focus on what matters: fixing cars and delighting your customers.
Lower Operating Costs & Improve CSI Score
An automated approach to the valet problem should be expected to lower operating costs while improving service ratings. If the vehicles are optimally dispatched with the shortest route, fuel consumption and vehicle mileage will be reduced. If drivers can be shared across multiple business locations fewer drivers will be needed. If customer communication is automated, service advisors become more productive. An automated booking system will shorten booking sessions to make booking agents more efficient. If fuel consumption, vehicle mileage, and repair costs are monitored the dealership will have full visibility into fixed costs. If the customer is given the convenience of never leaving their couch to have their car fixed and the service is delivered on-time every time, the results will be positive feedback and an improved CSI score.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Having a valet & shuttle service gives you an advantage over dealerships that do not offer this service and will definitely make you stand out. Having an efficient way to offer valet service at scale will definitely improve profit margins. Trimming unnecessary costs with an automated solution is an easy way to increase your dealership’s overall ROI.
The future is in virtual service powered by a valet operation. As we move towards this future, offering such innovative services will set your dealership apart from those who do not offer such services. Since the market dynamics and changing consumer preferences are driving the addition of this type of service, nailing down the processes will be necessary to do it at a scale with consistency. HopDrop valet & shuttle management software can help you achieve that goal.
Over the next 5-10 years, the global automotive industry is going to see changes more than it has in the past 100 years as the Application Economy shifts the competitive landscape. By leveraging disruptive technologies in automation to streamline the relationship between your dealership and your customers, you are sure to stay ahead of the curve.
Survey of 500 Car Owners
We surveyed 500 people in 2018 and discovered 68% rated their shuttle experience with their dealership 2 out of 5. We also learned that 70% of survey participants don’t even want a shuttle ride in the first place but a valet service in exchange for their 5-star rating.
We shared the findings of our market research with the managers of a few dealerships and they were not surprised. They knew that customer transportation was the broken touch point in the customer service journey and they were doing all they could to improve the situation. They were trying to solve the problem by hiring more drivers which did not address the root cause of the problem.
The service journey experience when people bring their car in for service is an important part of their overall satisfaction with their car dealership. The service journey includes 3 main touchpoints:
- Scheduling a Service Appointment
- Convenience of Shuttle Rides
- Understanding the Bill
Each of these touchpoints contributes to overall customer satisfaction.
We surveyed 500 car owners in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver with a simple question: How would you rate your service experience with your car dealership across these 3 touchpoints?
|Scheduling a Service Appointment||3/5|
|Convenience of Shuttle Rides||2/5|
|Understanding the Bill||4/5|
Survey Results Implications
It is apparent that the service journey with regards to the shuttle service is noticeably unsatisfactory for the majority of car owners..
The number of shuttle rides per dealership can be on average 20 per day. Given that many customers rate this experience as somewhat unsatisfactory, the number of unsatisfied customers may be quite significant. Current manual processes are very inefficient. High overhead cost and the ability to provide a fast and convenient shuttle service appears to be lacking. A better and more organized approach to a shuttle service may increase car owner satisfaction with their car dealership in areas surveyed.
The customer arrived for service at the car dealership and was greeted in the service department. After checking in the host asked if a shuttle was required. The customer was presented with paper sign up sheets; one for western directions, the other for eastern directions. Information requested included name, address, phone number, and whether the client required picked up when their car was ready. The customer waited in the lounge. Approximately 40 minutes later the shuttle driver came and called out a list of names that were going to be in the same shuttle.
The driver stared at the paper sign-up sheet for a minute trying to make the final decision of how he should sequence the drop-offs based on his knowledge of the city. The driver very unsurely announced who was going to be dropped off first, second, and then go from there. The person to be dropped off first said: “By the way, I’m not going west, I’m going south, but the sign-up sheet only gave me the option of west and east.” The driver used the sign-up sheet and manually entered the address of the first drop-off into his Google Map App on his phone. After 15 minutes it became clear to everyone in the shuttle the first drop-off should not have been the first drop-off because the shuttle was headed south in a subdivision. The first customer was dropped off. The driver entered the address of the next person. After 15 minutes the shuttle arrived in front of a house, but nobody got out. The driver had put in the address of someone who was on the list but not in the car. The driver apologized and drove to the next location without entering the next address in Google Map App. About 10 minutes later the driver asked one of the passengers to put in their address into the phone and passed the phone to him. As soon as the navigation loaded up, Google Map said turn left now! The driver missed the turn. It became obvious to everyone that somebody else should be dropped off next since clearly we can’t easily turn around towards the missed address whose destination was missed.
The customer felt during the whole trip the driver was distracted by handling the paper sign-up sheet and by the dealership calling him for a status report. It did not feel like a safe and enjoyable ride.
The dealership called the customer and informed him that the driver would phone within an hour to let the customer know when the driver would be arriving. About 2 hours later the customer received a call and the driver informed the customer that he was in front of the house. The customer was in the middle of doing the dishes but had to run out the house to meet the driver. The customer felt very irritated.
Participants were asked to share experiences. We asked for general comments from participants. Some of these comments include:
- “I was waiting too long in the waiting room and I missed my doctor’s appointment.”
- “The driver didn’t seem to really know who to drop off first which made the ride feel longer than it should have been.”
- “The driver passed my street to drop off somebody else who lived 10 minutes further and it made me upset.”
- “The driver constantly reached out for the paper sign-up sheet instead of keeping his eyes on the road. It made me feel very nervous and unsafe.”
- “I always fill out the survey I receive after my service appointment and often give the rating of 4 out of 10 because of the inconvenient shuttle service.”
- “The driver didn’t use GPS or a Map App and it made me feel he didn’t take the fastest route.”