Fixed Ops Journal - June 2020 - F16
FIXED OPS JOURNAL
SEEING IS BELIEVING
Video inspections grow group's customer-pay business
ideo recorded multipoint inspections have taken on added
value in the service lane since the coronavirus pandemic
sparked anxiety over face-to-face interactions.
DePaula Auto Group in Albany, N.Y., began sending videos of the
inspections to customers of its three dealerships in mid-2018. That has resulted in better customer interactions and an increase in customer-pay.
"With paper, they couldn't necessarily believe it," says Thomas Restino, vice president of fixed operations at DePaula. "But with video,
you've made a believer."
Before the pandemic, Restino says, the videos earned his shops an increase in customer-pay business of about $95 per repair order. During
state-mandated stay-at-home orders in April, DePaula's repair order
count was down 37 percent. "But our customer-pay per ticket was up 36
percent from April of 2019," Restino says.
He attributes that partially to video communication. The dealership also
performs pickup and delivery. And because there were fewer customers, advisers could spend more time with each one discussing their service needs.
All communication was electronic. Restino plans to continue using extensive contactless services and anticipates most vehicles will get video inspections going forward. About 90 percent of all vehicles that come into
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DePaula's Alfa Romeo-Maserati, Chevrolet and Ford-Mazda
dealerships currently get them.
To establish the practice, DePaula offered a small financial
bonus to advisers and techs to
do the videos using camera
phones provided by the group.
Employees took to them Technician Chris Wood of DePaula
quickly. "They sell more, and Chevrolet in Albany, N.Y., records a
the more of them they do, the multipoint inspection.
more money they make," he says.
The group's service advisers and techs meet every morning to review
their videos. In Restino's view, the ability to present a problem is more
important than technical knowledge.
"The transparency of the video is going to sell for you," he says.
The goal is to have more than 80 percent of customers watch the video
inspection, Restino says. Whether a customer watched and for how long is
tracked. The group has hit the target reliably at the Chevrolet and Alfa Romeo-Maserati stores but is still working on it at the Ford-Mazda location.
DePaula uses a video product called iService, which Restino says costs
each store about $1,000 a month.
Software providers have noticed a considerable increase in demand.
Cox Automotive said use of its digital presentations within Xtime Inspect
increased 40 percent year over year in March and 53 percent in April.
"It's been an interesting time for dealers who wanted to use more digital tools but thought that getting customers to use them would be challenging," says Tracy Fred, vice president of operations at Xtime. "We're
seeing a great deal of dealer and customer agility."
Fred expects that after COVID-19, customers will come to expect such
interactions, and dealers will want to provide them.
"Just in our everyday lives, we're seeing changing expectations of how
consumers engage with businesses," Fred says. Alternatively, she adds,
"Dealers see an opportunity post-COVID because they're seeing better
Video is about presentation, but it's also important to create
videos quickly and efficiently. Here are some tips from NCM
Institute instructor Rick Wegley.
Prepare: Identify what needs to be focused on. Have a
formula for describing things simply and quickly. Mechanical
items should be pulled out to view.
Be brief: A video inspection should be under 90 seconds.
Quickly explain the basics before transitioning to critical items.
Start positive: Include short descriptions of items that don't
need attention (e.g., "Your brakes look great.") before moving
to areas of concern.
Personalize: Identify customers by name and include their
license plate so they know it's their vehicle.
Create expectation of contact: Close with, "I'll be in touch
soon to follow up."
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
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