“Ask Jim” is an ongoing question-and-answer series with Jim Roche, Xtime’s senior vice president of marketing and managed services, on the pressing topics and issues within the fixed operations world.
Question 1: Jim, I want to make investments in technology when it comes to delivering a better service experience for my customers, but I have a good-sized operation (12 techs, 3 advisors) and we’re very busy. Where should I start?
Thank you for submitting your question—I get this one a lot and you’re absolutely right. Trying to implement new technology in your service lane, service bays, scheduling and service marketing is too much to take on simultaneously. If you’re starting with a clean slate, I always recommend that you begin with scheduling – and for some very good reasons.
To properly implement a new appointment scheduling system, you have to take inventory of your entire operation—technicians, advisors, bays, days of operation, hours of operation, service menus and pricing and many more. The process of installing a new scheduling system causes you to review/assess your service operation pretty much top to bottom. If you’ve already got your appointment scheduling working perfectly, then a frank assessment is in order—where is your greater need and where is the probability for success higher, the service lane or service bays?
Eventually, you’ll have to do both, but which will have the greater impact on your customers, and which has the best chance of success (assuming it’s not both)? For example, if you have a number of people in one area that are not very adaptable to change, you may want to make progress in another area first so that the benefits of these technology improvements can be demonstrated across the department, and you can assess and prepare the other team members.
As for implementing new service marketing, once your scheduling is in place, you can upgrade your marketing as soon as possible. You should be investing in a managed service (the vendor manages the system for you) so there is an initial time commitment to set up your campaigns, then the effort on your part is minimal.
To submit a question, please email Jim.Roche@xtime.com.
Author: Jim Roche
As Senior Vice President of Marketing & Managed Services, Jim Roche is responsible for brand positioning and driving marketing’s strategic impact on business. Jim brings over 30 years of automotive high-tech leadership experience. Previously, Jim was founder and Chief Executive Officer of AutoPoint, where he was the visionary and driving force behind the development of the industry’s first multichannel marketing platform, its adoption by hundreds of dealers and its subsequent acquisition by SRS. While at SRS, AutoPoint experienced rapid growth; Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe acquired SRS in 2013.