Fixed Ops Journal - August 2020 - F25

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

10,000 no-touch service loaner contracts

E

ven before social distancing became
a thing, consumers were trending toward transacting with the service lane
on their mobile phones.
According to a joint 2019 survey by Dealerware and J.D. Power, 56 percent of service
customers preferred being kept up to date
about service visits on their phone, with 70
percent of that group favoring text communications. That was before COVID-19.
"After COVID, anything within 6 feet - even
exchanging a device or a driver's license - is
something we wanted to solve our way out of,"
says Russell Lemmer, president of fleet management software provider Dealerware.
In April, the company began work on Contactless Contracting, which allows loaner
contracts to be securely reviewed and signed
on multiple devices simultaneously.
The feature launched on June 24 as a nocost addition because of the urgency of the
coronavirus pandemic. Dealerware charges
clients by individual vehicles within a loaner
fleet, Lemmer says. Most dealerships pay an

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shortened wait times and advisers could devote more time to the customers. Also,
less-crowded service areas "helped us with
social distancing," he says.
Winter says advisers and techs generally
find customers' written instructions clearer
than verbal handoffs. Self-service customers
also are less likely to be no-shows, and those
who used the system generally spent more
money on repairs and maintenance. Winter
attributes this to customers being able to
choose what they want on their own terms.
Dealer-FX CEO Bill Lucchini says the company
has found customers who use a mobile phone to
check in spend an average of $20 more per repair
order than those using conventional check-in.
"It's early," he says, "but I think you can take
it to the bank that people are going to spend
more with mobile check-in than they do with
adviser check-in."

A new option
Mark Bailey, fixed operations director at Austin
Infiniti in Texas, says the presentation of service
options is one thing that attracted him to Carmen. "We looked at kiosks but didn't think they'd
work in a premium environment," he says.

With the Dealerware feature, contracts can be
reviewed and signed on devices simultaneously.

average of about $30 per car per month with
Contactless Contracting included.
By July 14, more than 10,000 contactless
contracts had been generated. While some
dealers adopted it for the immediate crisis,
others have found it helpful with other issues.
"Contactless Contracting is helpful not only
because of COVID but also because of our location," says Jon Yetter, service manager at Au-

di Mechanicsburg in Pennsylvania. With no
other Audi dealers within 50 miles, "some
days we're as much as 75 percent valet."
Loaners to valet customers previously were
handled with paper contracts sent with the
driver to the customer. But the pandemic
made customers reluctant to get close to the
drivers or touch the paperwork. That led to
staff "doing something they shouldn't -
avoiding signatures," Yetter says.
Loaners would be delivered and contracts
would come back not signed or signed "COVID,"
Yetter says. The addition of Contactless Contracting was a relief for everyone, he says.
"Now customers can review and sign in
their home," he says.
The setup is used on the now socially distanced service lane, too. Yetter has noticed that
while customers might not pay full attention to a
verbal presentation of their loaner agreement,
they'll carefully review it on a phone.
"Convenience and safety are very important," Yetter says, "But so is liability protection."
- Alex Kwanten

Going mobile

Here is a look at the cost of some
mobile phone software packages for
service lane check-in:
 Xtime Engage is 1 of 4 modules
that make up the full Xtime
Spectrum suite. Individual modules
cost $850 to $1,525 a month. The
full suite retails for $4,250 per
month.
 Dealer-FX ONE typically ranges from
$2,200 to $2,500 per month,
according to sources familiar with
the product. The company declined
to confirm pricing.
 Carmen's system is bundled with
Quik's video capabilities and costs
$1,200 to $2,700 per month
depending on store size. It also
incorporates touchless solutions for
payments, pickup and delivery and
managing loaners.

Carmen - an outgrowth of video communication provider Quik that is based in Quincy, Mass. - enters new territory in terms of
offering communication tools to the customer

Bailey: Presentation of service options helped
draw him to the Carmen communications suite.

and automating repair orders.
When customers access the system, they're
presented with VIN-specific service recommendations followed by a set of multiple-choice questions. The recommendations,
powered by artificial intelligence, draw on a
database of hundreds of thousands of historical repair orders. The questions help customers describe the location and nature of issues.
Based on the data entered, a repair order is
generated and reviewed by an adviser.
"We set the booking, we gather the
see PHONE, Page 26

AUGUST 2020

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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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