Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F18

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

Dealerships have
offered sanitization and
other services to put
customers at ease
during the pandemic.

STAYING POWER

Will pickup, sanitization and mobile services outlast pandemic?

W

RICK POPELY

foj@autonews.com

hen service department traffic
plummeted in the early weeks
of the coronavirus pandemic,
dealerships quickly shifted gears
to ease the minds of customers worried about
human contact.
We'll come get your car, service it and bring
it back to you, service departments told customers. You stay at home. No extra charge.
A concierge service that had been chiefly offered by luxury brands suddenly became a
must-do for mainstream
brands to keep their service bays busy while their
customers were hunkered
down under state-mandated stay-at-home orders.
But when the urgent
need to pick up and deliver cars ends, should dealerships continue to offer
Roberts: Moved
the
service? And if they do,
from free to fee
should it still be free?
That is something Ed Roberts, fixed operations director at Bozard Ford-Lincoln in St.
Augustine, Fla., mulled for a long time. Roberts was convinced the service to customers'
homes should continue but wasn't sure it
should remain complimentary.
In March, Bozard extended the free pickup and
drop-off service that Lincoln customers had
been receiving to its Ford customers as well, a
move that has been embraced by customers and

PAGE 18

OCTOBER 2020

Pickup pulse

Franchised dealerships offering pickup
and delivery service
 April: 67%
 May through mid-June: 64%
 Late June through July: 59%
 August through September: 59%
 Franchised dealerships charging for
pickup and delivery: 6%
 Customers who said they would pay
$20 for the service: 47%
 Consumers who have used the
service and had more work completed
on their vehicle: 48%
 Consumers who would choose a
dealership over another based on
availability of pickup and delivery: 69%
 Consumers who have used the
service and would choose a dealership
over another based on its availability:
91%
Source: 2020 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Consumer
& Dealer Impact Studies

has helped spread out the workload in his shop.
"If COVID wouldn't have hit, I was probably
two years away from doing pickup and delivery on the Ford brand. We would have gotten
to it, but it was not as high on the priority list,"
Roberts told Fixed Ops Journal.
Roberts says the dealership "tossed around
several ideas" on whether to charge for pickup
and delivery and for two service vans that go to

customers' homes. It was decided that Ford
owners would pay $39.99 for pickup and delivery and Lincoln owners would receive the service for free for the first five years of ownership.

Latitude to waive fee
But Roberts gives service advisers, business
development center staff and others at the dealership wide latitude to waive the fee, which was
implemented in mid-June.
For the mobile service, fleet customers with
four or more vehicles are not charged. For
those with fewer than that and individuals
who might want, for example, an oil change in their
driveway, the fee is $39.99.
Again, it can be waived.
David Foutz, vice president of sales for Cox Automotive, theorizes that some
dealers don't think they will
need to provide such concierge services once COVID- Foutz: Full bays,
19 concerns dissipate.
less availability
As business picks up,
"there are fewer people available to provide that
extra service if their bays are full again," Foutz
says. "It takes some work and some organization to offer this successfully over time."
Lee Harkins, CEO of M5 Management Services, a service department consultancy and
training company in Pelham, Ala., says dealerships should not weigh the costs of pickup
see SERVICE, next page



Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020

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

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F16
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F17
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F22
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F23
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F24
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F25
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F26
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F27
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F28
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com