New Technology Now Exists to Solve an Old Problem: Service Retention - AutoSuccessOnline

New Technology Now Exists to Solve an Old Problem: Service Retention

“The ideal kiosk does everything, including sales tax and all transaction requirements. The transaction should not be on your books; you should only handle your profit check.”

The customer visits your franchise service department while the factory warranty is in effect and then goes elsewhere upon expiration. We all know the solution is the sale of a service contract without a deductible when they return to your store. We didn’t get the sale in the F&I office, and training your service writers to sell VSCs is impossible.

The answer is a 24/7 trained salesperson in your service department.

Today, kiosk technology exists to talk to your customers about the value of a service contract. Kiosks are less threatening than a salesperson and can ask and answer questions to make the sale. Coverage and mileage options can be discussed and finalized. The payment plan decision can be made and the machine can take the first payment. In just a few short minutes, the customer receipt is spit out and the contract is emailed.

There are programs available to dealerships with zero cost for this dedicated sales generator. Dealerships can drive retention and revenue without adding personnel. The result is a customer with a service contract who comes back to your store for service. There is also a revenue stream created for the dealership from these sales.

Customers visit the kiosk because it has your dealership’s information on a large overhead sign. All your personnel should receive training and a code that pays them a spiff every time a sale is made as a result of their customer kiosk introduction. Your service waiting room offers a unique sales opportunity. You already have a TV, magazines and coffee — now you can add a piece of technology that everyone wants to try out. The rotating screens show the various contract benefits and a touch point to begin.

“Hello, can you tell me your phone number so I can access your information?” This number can be spoken or entered. Up pops the customer’s vehicle information as the kiosk is attached to your dealership’s DMS system. This info can also be entered if the customer or the vehicle is not in your records. Questions are asked about the amount of time the customer plans to keep the car and the miles driven to give term options.

Next comes a coverage discussion. The kiosk computer knows what’s covered, what isn’t covered and what each part does. It makes suggestions for a different coverage level if a particular component has importance. Exclusionary coverage, where “everything” is covered, is always available. The kiosk is then in the “close” mode with payment plan options.

The ideal kiosk does everything, including sales tax and all transaction requirements. The transaction should not be on your books; you should only handle your profit check.

The kiosk should accept all major credit cards and payment terms of six, 12, 18 or 24 months and full payment. The kiosk also should be able to charge the customer’s card at the machine for the first payment. When the payment terms are presented, significant reworking often occurs. Fortunately for you, this sales “person” is not paid by the hour, does not complain about the customer or wasted time and is well trained with all the answers.

The receipt is printed for the customer to take, and the entire VSC and payment contracts can be emailed to the customer based on current state e-contracting legal requirements. With kiosk technology, you can learn about your customers from the interaction, and additional information about kiosk usage can be collected to increase penetration. Are customers interacting with it? What questions are asked and/or answered? How far did the customer go with the transaction?

We know how hard it is to make money on new vehicle sales. We must take advantage of every opportunity that exists — and your customer waiting room is a missed opportunity. Kiosks can now help your dealership provide your customers with service contract options to cover their vehicles. Your customers like the feeling of controlling the shopping and purchasing. This will lead to more customers buying service contracts, and you will retain them after the initial factory warranty has expired. Now that sales are slowing, customer loyalty and retention are more important. It is time to utilize all the tools available to you.

Cary Berman

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