Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F24

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

E
At South Hills Auto Group in McMurray,
Pa., 35 to 40 percent of customers use
their mobile phones to check in for
appointments.

PICK UP THE PHONE

Mobile self-service tools trim customer wait times, offer contactless options

S

ALEX KWANTEN
foj@autonews.com

elf-service kiosks came to airports in
2000, to fast food in 2014 and to dealership service lanes around 2017. And
just as many flyers eventually moved to
using mobile phones to check in, customers in
the service lane may soon follow.
Software providers Xtime and Dealer-FX
both added mobile-friendly, self-check-in capabilities to existing products - Xtime Engage and Dealer-FX ONE, respectively - in
April. That same month, startup Carmen released a service communications suite designed to maximize self-service use.
David Foutz, vice president of sales for
Xtime, part of Cox Automotive, said the positive interactions and efficiencies seen with kiosks will be furthered by offering self-service
capabilities to customers on a device they're
even more comfortable using.
"If you think about what kiosks do, we've
taken that capability and extended it to customers' phones," Foutz says.

PAGE 24

AUGUST 2020

Carmen uses artificial intelligence to provide
service recommendations to customers.

Many consumers find mobile interactions
are fast and accurate and create clear expectations, he says, adding that the software is "very
intuitive."

Adoption accelerated
In Xtime and Dealer-FX's systems, users book
an appointment and are sent an email that allows them to check in, approve or decline recommended services and communicate specific

issues to the service adviser.
All three systems were in the works before
the coronavirus hit, but the pandemic-driven
need for touchless solutions has accelerated
adoption. More than 50 percent of service appointments booked through Xtime now use
self-service check-in. Users of Dealer-FX ONE
have seen similar results.
At South Hills Auto Group, after two months,
35 to 40 percent of customers are using their
mobile phones to check in. The group operates
two stores in McMurray, Pa., that service and sell
Fiat, Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, Jeep and Kia vehicles.
The new technology came in handy during
the state's shutdown in April and May when
the dealership laid off half of its service advisers and indefinitely suspend shuttle service.
"People liked that they could check themselves in and just drop the keys in the drop
box," says Bill Winter, director of operations. As
a result, in-person customers experienced
see PHONE, next page



Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - FIntro
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F16
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F17
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F22
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F23
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F24
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F25
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F26
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F27
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F28
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