Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 36

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

YOUR VALET IS HERE

 Pickup plan is costly, but boosts shop efficiency, keeps customers

P

MARK ELIAS

foj@autonews.com

aragon Honda, in New York City's
Queens borough, operates its service department around the clock on
most weekdays. Yet as many as 96 percent of the dealership's service customers
crowded its lounge while they waited for their
vehicles to be fixed.
That discrepancy struck Brian Benstock, the
dealership's general manager, as inefficient.
"The dealership had unused capacity at night,"
he told Fixed Ops Journal.
So last May, Paragon launched a valet program for the Honda store and an Acura dealership it owns a block over. On most days, it
picks up service vehicles at customers' homes
or workplaces, returns them within 24 hours,
and provides loaner vehicles in the meantime
- all at no charge.
"It was an opportunity for us to keep the
techs busy," Benstock says of the concierge
service. It's part of the dealership's Paragon
Direct program, which also allows customers
to schedule test drives and buy vehicles online.
"The more we can make business easier for
consumers by bringing the product and services to them, the broader our reach," Benstock adds.
Benstock says the concierge service "is costing us a fortune" but would not be more specific. He declined to say how many service
customers are using the program.
Paragon limits the valet program to customers within New York City. Benstock concedes
that some service advisers initially resisted
the additional work the program generated,
but adds: "I reminded the service writers of
my right to manage my business."

On their own
Other luxury dealerships, notably Lincoln
stores, offer similar valet service as part of a
factory program. But Paragon is among a
small number of dealerships that operate
such a service on their own.
Paragon Direct uses 60 valet drivers from
the vendor RedCap to pick up and deliver service vehicles. RedCap also provides drivers for
the valet programs operated by Lincoln and
Hyundai's luxury brand, Genesis.

PAGE 36

OCTOBER 2017

A Paragon Honda valet hands a customer's
keys to a service adviser. The dealership says
the valet program builds flexibility in its shop.

Peaks and valets
Advocates of valet programs cite
these advantages when a dealership
picks up and drops off service
customers' vehicles
 Higher customer satisfaction scores
 Improved workflow in the shop
 Bigger-ticket repair orders
 Better management of loaner
vehicles

A Paragon valet who picks up a vehicle introduces himself or herself to the service customer, examines and photographs the car or
truck, and gets the keys. When the vehicle is
returned, the customer is asked to complete a
satisfaction survey.
Benstock says the valet program gives Paragon greater flexibility in its service operations
by reducing the crush of vehicles arriving on the
service drive during the peak hour of 8 to 9 a.m.
"If we were running these [vehicles] through
our service department within normal business hours," he says, "eventually something
would have to give."
"We don't want people coming to the store if
they don't have to," Benstock adds. "We would
much rather control the process by picking up
their car and delivering it back to them when
it's convenient."
Benstock says the availability of valet service
"does not mean there isn't a genuine need for
a physical dealership - there definitely is."

But Paragon Direct gives service customers a
convenient option, he adds.

Bigger repair orders
Valet service does more than that, says David Zwick, RedCap's CEO and co-founder. He
says service customer satisfaction, as measured by standardized surveys, is higher
among owners who have their vehicles picked
up and delivered than among those who wait
in the service lounge.
Valet customers also are more likely to approve additional maintenance or repair work
that a dealership's service department recommends, Zwick says.
Other dealerships have discovered the value
of valet service. Bobby Rahal Lexus of Mechanicsburg, Pa., offers a concierge service
that builds on a program operated by Toyota's
luxury brand.
Rahal Lexus offers not only free pickup and
delivery, but also free state vehicle inspections for as long as the customer owns the car
or truck.
Scott McCann, the dealership's service
manager, says its valet program can handle as
many as 22 vehicles a day - about 40 percent
of its typical service volume.
McCann says the program has helped the
dealership achieve a service retention rate of
78 percent, as measured by the share of vehicle owners who continue to use the dealership for service once their factory warranties
expire. That's higher than industry averages.
"Our goal is to make the clients' lives easier,"
McCann says. 



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Dealers vs. OEMs
Parts disposal
Chicago way
Certifi ed repairs
Richard Truett
After the deluge
Labor rates
Off lease, on the lot
Paragon model
Feedback
Net benefi ts
Sometimes on Sunday
Get ready
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 9
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Dealers vs. OEMs
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Parts disposal
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 14
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Chicago way
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 22
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Certifi ed repairs
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - After the deluge
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 30
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Labor rates
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Off lease, on the lot
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 35
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Paragon model
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Net benefi ts
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Sometimes on Sunday
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 41
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Get ready
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 43
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover4
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