- Canadian Auto World - http://www.canadianautoworld.ca -

Roadsport Honda installs airport-inspired digital media to ease customer anxiety


Remember the last time you went to the airport? What did you do when you wanted to know the arrival or departure time of a certain flight? You wouldn’t have gone looking for an airport employee to tell you. Of course not, you looked at one of the many monitors located on the floor.

VenueVision Media Systems (VVMS) has applied that principal to the car dealership: Called a service vehicle status board, monitors throughout the store broadcast service appointment times and the service status of the vehicles being worked on in the service department. Should the vehicle need more work than anticipated, the change of status notice flashes. The board tells the customer when their vehicle is ready.

This information can also be sent by email or text to the customer and it’s on display at the dealership’s website.

VVMS installed one of its systems at Roadsport Honda in late May. Twenty-one screens located throughout the store, including the drive-thru and the customers’ lounge, relay service information to the customer. Interspersed with this information is a variety of product information from the OEM about new models, finance rates and specials as well as products and service specials the dealership wants passed on to the customer and live TV featuring weather, news, stock ticker information.

“What this does is relieve anxiety,” said David Kinnear, president of VVMS. “We want to inform and entertain the customer.”

“This improves communication,” Roadsport general manager Chris Gauthier told Canadian AutoWorld. “There’s no more bothering the service advisor or the cashier about whether the customer’s car is ready.”

Kinnear says that VVMS users in Quebec claim that, free of having to answer customer calls about vehicle status, service advisors and service department staff can do more work.

Gauthier says new product and financing information makes its way electronically from Honda Canada and onto the screens. It beats the brochures and posters.

“There are clear shots of the vehicle, current finance rates, MSRP pricing. The brochures and posters get out of date, fade or rip. The vehicles often don’t look right. It’s the same with the products our suppliers want us to sell.

And there’s a bonus: without posters to clutter up the walls, the dealership stays neat, he says.

Kinnear explains that when the customer books an appointment, the information moves to the stores VVMS via the DMS and an appointment time appears on the screen.

When the repair order is entered into the DMS system, the status report with an estimated finish time appears on the screens in the dealership. When the work is done and the invoice is prepared the vehicle information disappears from the screen. Just like at the airport.

Since vehicle status information can be emailed or sent by text, the customer has the option of paying their bill via their mobile device. And that means shorter lineups at the cash.

Customers can schedule appointments directly through the dealer website, making it possible to schedule appointments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere.

VVMS is compatible with ADP, Reynolds & Reynolds, Serti DMS and DealerTrack, with more to come, he says.

The premier digital media attraction at Roadsport is a video wall, a 10 by six-foot screen holding nine linked monitors. It’s located in the showroom and dedicated to new car information. It’s an attention getter, even after the dealership’s closed, he says.

Customer reaction to the VVMS has been positive, Gauthier says.

“I go into the customer service area and see them staring at all four screens.”

For more information, contact David Kinnear, 1-866-401-1300, davidk@venuevision.com or visit www.venuevision.com.