Boarding pass cuts no-shows


Lawrence Papoff

Robert Karbaum, Weins Canada/Don Valley North Lexus e-commerce manager, was looking around for a way to cut no-shows at the dealership. Reminder calls didn’t help much. Email reminders didn’t seem to help either.

“So we looked to the airline industry and the boarding pass. The airline industry knows how to build obligation,” he said in his presentation at the 2013 edition of Driving Sales Executive Summit in October.

Karbaum was one of five contestants in the running for the 2013 Innovation Cup Award.

“When you have one of these in your inbox, for weeks before your trip this is at the top of your inbox and sent to your other inboxes to make sure you don’t forget. And most important, you don’t get rid of it until you’ve taken the flight.”

He wondered how he could use something like a boarding pass to cut no-shows in the sales and service department. So he created the appointment boarding pass. Designed for mobile and sent via email, his creation bears all the hallmarks of a boarding the pass: a flight number(DNVL 1116); reservation code (JTVKEK), etc.

It welcomes the customer with an airline-type salutation: “Your booking is confirmed. We thank you for choosing Don Valley North Lexus and look forward to welcoming you on board.”

The pass is topped with the dealership logo and comes with directions. The customer can click to Tweet, email or call the dealership just in case.

Karbaum says the device was a hit.

“We started in March and by the end of March, the show ratio for sales and service appointments was up 88 per cent. That sustained to July when the group average was up 68 per cent.”

But he warns “It’s only effective if the customer is told when booking the appointment. If they’re not expecting it, they may not understand what they received.”

The idea won Karbaum the 2013 Dealer Best Idea Award and the 2013 Innovation Cup.

For instructions on how to create your own boarding pass, see