Cosmetic repairs in the service lane boost customer retention, revenue, and CSI.
Radiant Ride, specialists in professional cosmetic restoration services and customer retention for auto dealer service departments, announced the launch of its Certified Dealer Network for franchised auto dealer service departments. Participating dealers are certified to provide customers with vehicle cosmetic repairs at the same time as vehicle maintenance services. These dealers leverage existing cosmetic repair activity performed by mobile technicians to give customers a convenient, one-stop shop for keeping their vehicles running properly and looking new. Pilot dealers have seen a lift in customer retention, revenue, and CSI.
Certified dealers sell Radiant Ride Certified cosmetic services as an F&I product or in the service lane. This cosmetic service agreement, like a mechanical agreement for a vehicle’s engine, powertrain, and other systems, provides specified levels of prepaid interior and exterior cosmetic services. The Radiant Ride Certified package is usable for five years for new vehicles and three years for pre-owned and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. Customers also receive a Platinum “Take Home Kit” for immediate value that includes a variety of cleaning and protectant products.
The automotive cosmetic and reconditioning industry generates $5.4 billion in annual revenue. This sector of the industry is known as SMART care, an acronym for Small to Medium Area Repair Technicians, commonly referred to as mobile cosmetic services. Radiant Ride partners with these technicians to provide cosmetic repairs in the dealership service department while a customer’s vehicle is being serviced. Now motorists can have cosmetic blemishes on their vehicle addressed immediately at their dealership during other maintenance without having to involve their insurance company.
Dealers retail the Radiant Ride SMART cosmetic service agreement for $795 to $995. It is available on all new or newer used vehicles. Typical repairs include on-site paintless dent repair, wheel curb rash repairs, glass repair, interior upholstery, and headlight restoration. As drivers hold onto cars longer, and the average age of a vehicle on the road inches up to thirteen years, the need for cosmetic repairs will continue to grow.
With proof of concept established in top Northern California dealers and a recent partnership agreement with CARFAX, Radiant Ride is rolling out to other states in the western region, with hopes of growing nationally to make cosmetic recon repairs a mass market service in automotive car care.
“Getting a dent or a scratch on a car is frustrating for any driver and getting it fixed is usually a top priority. But body repair shops can take days or even weeks to fix relatively minor damage and they often charge top dollar,” said Radiant Ride Founder and CEO Earl “Sticks” Brown.
“The opportunity is ripe for dealers to capture this business while the customer is already in the service bay. Making cosmetic repairs easy and affordable increases customer retention, revenue, and CSI.”
To be eligible for certification, dealers must meet OEM CSI standards, integrate the Radiant Ride API with the DMS, and install e-contracts and service plan forms within F&I programs. Radiant Ride promotes participating dealers through dealer-branded video content in F&I, showroom monitors, and QR code brochures in the service drive.
“The demand for SMART Repairs is there. According to the International Carwash Association, up to 70 percent of new car buyers want their car to look brand new for at least five years after purchase,” said Brown. “And, in a recent survey we conducted with 115 customers in 12 dealerships, 89 percent stated that they would have cosmetic repairs done at a dealership during routine maintenance if it were available. Consumers want to feel pride in driving the vehicle, as well as keep up its appearance to get top dollar when it’s time to trade in. However, taking a vehicle to a body shop can be inconvenient and costly.”
According to Nick Wharton, service manager for Infiniti Modesto in Northern California, the number one benefit is convenience for the customer, followed by extra income for his department. “Radiant Ride customers often have the appearance of their vehicles improved while in for routine service. We enjoy the extra income from sublet charges, and these customers are happy they stayed withus,” said Wharton.
“Consumers whose cars suffer minor cosmetic incidents don’t always know what to do about them – or if they do, how to source repairers and get those blemishes corrected quickly and affordably,” Brown said. “Dealers solve this dilemma for their customers by providing a one-stop solution for cosmetic repairs.”