AutoPoint Blog

Success on the service drive.

Posted by Hilary Biggart Thursday, May 12, 2016

You think of the service drive as the start of the service process. Your customers pull up, they tell your service advisors who they are and why they’re there, and your advisors check them in for an appointment. The service drive is the first step, the entrance, into all the things that make you money and give your customers a good experience.

But why is it just the first step? Why is the service drive the doorway to the service experience and not the first, very important, part of it?

When you limit your service drive to a check-in process, you lose out on profit, engagement, and a singular customer experience that sets you apart from your competitors. If your service drive is not as profitable as you’d like it to be, (and whose is, really?) then it’s time to take advantage of its potential.

The experience begins with a tablet.

The first step toward a more profitable service drive is a simple tablet. A 2015 J.D. Power study found that customers have a better sales experience when their dealership includes technology in the process. Customers like seeing prices on a screen and working with a digital interface along with a human salesperson. The service drive is no different.

All your service advisors should hold tablets running a service drive solution that integrates directly with your DMS. These solutions allow advisors to greet every customer by name and complete write-ups on the spot, meaning your customers gain an ultra-personalized, hyper-efficient experience before they even set foot in your shop.

Tablets boost ASRs.

Service drive systems allow your advisors to increase ASRs, which are vital to success. A 2015 J.D. Power Customer Service Index (CSI) study found 50% of customers approve ASRs when their advisor recommends them. When advisors consistently recommend ASRs, the average customer spend doubles, and CSI goes up too.

Through a tablet-based service drive system, your advisors have access to applicable recalls, previously-declined services, and prepaid maintenance plans. With a simple VIN search, advisors can tell customers exactly what their vehicle needs, as well as follow up on previously recommended services you might otherwise lose to the competition.

Give your customers options.

You probably already offer mileage-based service recommendations. When you put those recommendations on a tablet, based on mileage your service advisor plugs in on the spot, your recommendations become even more relevant.

Service drive systems allow your advisors to offer your customers exact menus of services their individual vehicle, and its specific mileage, needs right now. Customers can choose between “Good,” “Better,” and “Best” options, empowering them to take charge of their vehicle care (while still including ASRs for you).

Set the standard.

Right now, tablet-based service drive systems are still options. They have not yet become an industry standard. But they will in just a few years. Early adopters gain an advantage. They differentiate themselves from their competitors early on and have a better chance of retaining customers as other dealerships adopt the same technology more slowly.

Now the question is, which side of innovation do you want to be on?



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