Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F12
FIXED OPS JOURNAL
Ohio State coaches were his focus group
ick Ricart, president of Ricart Automotive Group based in Columbus,
Ohio, loves that his employees are
driving his customers' vehicles past
the fast-lube shops and independent garages
and into one of the 144 bays at Ricart Mega
Mall, a 67-acre facility in nearby Groveport.
In April, more than 200 Ricart service customers opted to have their cars picked up, serviced and returned - roughly triple the usual
number. Before the pandemic, Ricart says, he
averaged around 60 pickup and delivery jobs
per month. Since the pandemic, fees have
been waived for all brands.
Ricart sells Ford and six other brands and
pays a monthly subscription to Redcap for
software, but he uses his own staff to pick up
and drop off cars. He has been offering pickup
and delivery for nearly two years. Ricart says
he did not survey his customers before rolling
out the service. Instead, it was a sort of mini
focus group of Ohio State University football
coaches that convinced him to offer pickup
and delivery as part of what he calls the dealership group's "express division."
Ricart: "Speed and convenience" are key.
"I kept reading about the 'Amazonification'
of the retail car dealership. What does that
look like and what does it mean?" Ricart says.
"We wanted to make speed and convenience
the two biggest hot buttons for our guests."
Ricart started with giving his customers the
ability to buy, lease and pay for service online.
Then came pickup and delivery.
"The Ohio State football coaching staff are
some of the busiest people I know. They work
363 days a year. For them to drive past where
they work and drive another 20 miles to a deal-
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ership to get just an oil change was an inconvenience," Ricart says. "We started offering it to
them as a service that was $20 each way."
And once Ricart began offering pickup and
delivery, the auto group rolled out an innovation of its own.
"Even if the customer doesn't want a loaner
vehicle, I like someone driving to their house
and leaving what should be the customer's next
vehicle in their driveway," Ricart says. "Whatever we think is the next new vehicle they want to
buy, we leave parked at their house."
There are approximately 40 cars in the loaner fleet used for pickup and delivery.
Ricart says pickup and delivery meshes perfectly with the company's mission statement:
"Sustainable growth through retaining positive employees and guests."
Ricart says the software he uses for scheduling pickup and delivery appointments isn't
always accurate. He says it may show no times
available but if a customer calls and speaks
with a service adviser, they often can schedule
a time for pickup and delivery.
- Richard Truett
Valet service keeps Volvo
dealer rolling in pandemic
ason Church toured the 2019 NADA Show in San Francisco determined to find the tools and knowledge he'd need to offer
pickup and delivery at Courtesy Volvo of Scottsdale in Arizona.
The information from NADA and the year head start to get
employees trained and customers educated paid off during the pandemic. In April, Courtesy Volvo picked up 122 customer cars for service,
up from a pre-pandemic average of 70 to 80 per month.
Church, the store's general manager, uses Volvo's Valet proprietary
software, which customers can download to schedule service from their
phones or other devices.
Church hired two extra porters and trained them in customer service.
He equips each with a cellphone so they can stay in contact with customers and the store. And Church added six cars to the loaner fleet that
are designated specifically to Volvo Valet customers.
There were a few challenges, Church says, but having his service manager on board right away helped the rollout go smoothly.
"While you are selling the offering to the customer, you are as much
selling it to the internal staff who can talk about it and make it happen,"
he says. "If it is painful to use, the adoption will be slow."
Church says one thing he would have done differently is communicate the value to the customer even though they pay nothing.
"I introduced it at zero cost to the customer. In hindsight that was a
mistake," he said. "What I should have done is said the value of this program is $40 [per service]. And then I should have offered it for free so the
learning is I should have put a perceived value on it.
"When you give it away free, people don't think it is worth anything."
- Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F16
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Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F22
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