Everyone is looking for ways to increase their inventory right now. With new vehicle production unpredictable at best, dealerships have been doing everything they can to bring in something to sell to customers. Subsequently, used vehicles have been a hot commodity, and are likely to stay that way for a while.
While some dealers have turned to familiar places to find inventory, one has leveraged a fixed ops tool that many may have overlooked. A check-in kiosk sourcing thousands in profit may surprise you, but it worked for South Toyota in Texas.
More Than Just a Customer Check-In Tool
South Toyota first started using the kiosk in 2020. The benefit of the kiosk is that it allows them to customize the experience customers go through to complete the check-in process.
Integration with the dealer’s DMS allows certain customers to be asked if they would like an equity valuation for their vehicle. Ken Mauldin, fixed ops director for South Toyota, says not many people were opting for this, at first. According to Mauldin, he had already determined that his service customers didn’t want to deal with a potential pushy salesperson. The question at the kiosk at the time didn’t communicate to the customer that the experience would be different than their expectation.
Be Clear, Not Complicated
After brainstorming how they could get more positive responses, Mauldin and his staff decided to simply ask it a different way: “Do you want to know what your car is worth today?”
That basic change in May 2021 asked the same question but led the customer down a different mental path. Instead of an equity valuation process they didn’t understand, someone would just tell them basically what their car was worth.
The curiosity this question sparked in service customers was immediately recognizable. According to Mauldin, the number of affirmative responses to the question jumped dramatically. “It was huge,” he says. “The impact from sales back to service and the recon on the trades made a difference in the dealership as a whole.”
The dealership jumped into action to capitalize on the opportunity, dedicating a sales manager to interact with the curious customers. These interactions would lead to conversations that, on occasion, would go something like this, “I see you’re in a 2019 model. You know, I can get you in a new model for the same price you’re paying now … ”
Consistent Results Set the Stage for Big Profit
South Toyota went from an average of five to 10 cars per month sourced from the service lane in 2019 and 2020, to 20-30 cars per month from May to October 2021.
“Could it have been possible without the kiosk? Maybe,” Mauldin says. “Did the kiosk give a direct contribution? Absolutely.”
According to Mauldin, from May to October, they went from averaging between $15,000 and $30,000 per month on those cars to between $80,000 and $120,000.