Redwood City, CA – Your dealership might be closed, but that doesn’t mean your customers aren’t trying to schedule their next service appointment. New research from Xtime, a Cox Automotive™ brand, reveals that 23 percent of customers schedule their visits outside of a dealership’s business hours. With scheduled visits generating an average $54 uplift compared to walk-in customers, having the latest technology options is critical for dealerships seeking to capture this business.
Xtime’s analysis, which spanned from May 2016 through May 2017, found the connection between online scheduling and customer loyalty compelling. Additionally, a Cox Automotive report found that while 76 percent of customers who scheduled service appointments online would be willing to do so again, 45 percent of customers who did not take advantage of online scheduling did not know it was an option. The data shows that with a few simple communication enhancements, dealers can drive revenue and customer loyalty by tapping into fixed operations’ profitability potential.
“Consumers today are accustomed to an always-on environment, and dealerships need to adapt to meet those demands if they hope to deliver superior customer service,” said Jim Roche, vice president, Marketing & Managed Services, Xtime. “Online scheduling is a highly effective way to meet customers on their terms.”
Luke Ammann, service manager at the Santa Clara, CA, based dealership Manly Honda, agrees and urged the service department to have a better process to meet those customer demands.
“The initial reason why we implemented Xtime was that we needed a better appointment process,” said Ammann. “Our DMS didn’t give us the tools that we needed to follow through, stage our appointments correctly, promise times were being missed. This was a great way to tackle all those areas.”
For dealers seeking to combat sluggish sales by expanding their fixed operations, recent data underscores the growing importance of online scheduling in delivering a connected ownership experience. Figures from the NADA Data 2016 report along with Xtime’s findings show that 315 million service appointments were scheduled in the U.S year-over-year, 108 million of which were processed through Xtime’s Spectrum platform, resulting in $34 billion in service revenue.
“Fixed operations remains a huge growth potential for dealers – and ever more important in light of slowing sales momentum,” said Roche. “When service is seen as a seamless extension of the dealership experience, it creates an opportunity to develop repeat customers in the service bay, and texting becomes a way of keeping them engaged, loyal, and driving revenue.”
Launched at NADA 2016, Xtime’s Spectrum solution is the brand’s fully integrated, cloud-based system that helps dealers provide a quality experience from the first touchpoint to checkout and beyond, support their customers throughout their ownership experience. Xtime has continually gathered and analyzed user data on how Spectrum helps bridge customers’ online preferences to the in-store service bay through a streamlined and seamless process that meets customers on their terms and drives revenue opportunities for dealers.