ADP Dealer Services is bringing its ServiceEdge application to Canadian users after a year in U.S. dealerships.
Currently in a pilot phase with several stores north of the border, Dean Anton, V-P and general manager of ADP’s Canadian operations, said the company is targeting a spring rollout for current customers.
The tool is aimed at providing fixed operations teams with methods of increasing profitability through service visits and maintaining it throughout the ownership lifecycle.
“Retention is so important for service work,” explained ADP solution consultant Mark Corsi. “And ServiceEdge lets you start that relationship immediately following the new car sale.”
The first service appointment can be booked using the application by either the F&I manager or the salesperson immediately following the sale. Statistics courtesy of J.D. Power show that having the first service visit occur at the selling dealership is critical to maintaining retention over time.
The interface is fully mobile and allows for heavy consumer participation.
A grid showing service time slots pops up; any open appointments are coloured green. Time intervals can be set up according to dealership specifications.
Once the first appointment is set following the sale, the information is automatically emailed to the customer.
ADP said the program can also be integrated with a dealer’s website so customer can log on and book the appointments themselves.
Customers will be greeted by a screen detailing their service history with the store. Corsi said customers will see a menu of recommended items and service intervals based on manufacturer or dealer specified mileages. Prices can also be added so customers know exactly what the service visit will cost.
“When this was in pilot in the U.S., we saw that clients had a tendency to upsell themselves. Some would see that the 50,000 km inspection was so much better than the 35,000 km inspection, for example, and they would pay the addition money to get more done.”
There is also a section where customers can add general notes about the car – squeaking tire or faulty wiper – and a drop-down menu where the store can choose to upload headshots of each advisor to help build rapport.
“Clients can also specify if they need a loaner car, if they are dropping the vehicle off and need a shuttle, etc.,” he added.
The application is mobile compatible and can be accessed via smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.
“We’re putting the onus on the customer to provide information and take control of their service appointment. It offers a level of engagement that has proved positive in the U.S.,” Corsi said.
When the customer comes to the store for the appointment, the advisor can scan the VIN to get info or the store can choose to include a radio frequency ID transmitter that will alert the service desk when a client comes in.
For the inspection process, ServiceEdge recognizes the vehicle and will populate the screen on a tablet with a silhouette of that model.
“By doing the walkaround with the client on a tablet, you avoid any potential issues if a dispute a occurs.
Advisors can simply choose from crack, chip, dent, ding, star, scratch by tapping the type of damage and slide it on the corresponding part of the car.
“If dealership has a body show, the tablet lets you take a picture of the damage and send it to body shop to get an estimate for the customer.”
After checking the car, a repair order is opened showing the work to be done, any recommended work and any specials the dealership might be running.
ServiceEdge will also integrate with the parts department to scan for parts, inventory and price. Service data for off-makes comes courtesy of Mitchell1. There is also a growing database of recall info courtesy of OEMs.
Techs in there service department could further use tablets – though it’s admittedly not the most tablet friendly environment – to further inspect the car. Corsi said the tech can message the advisor about any additional work who can either call customer or send a text or email message with inspection report and images of failed part or replace item.
“This turns advisors from reactive to proactive,” he said.
The product has been in the U.S. for a roughly one year.