Since multi-point inspections became standard, dealers have followed the same old processes. A customer comes into the service drive; the service advisor checks them in; a technician takes the car, examines it, then gives the inspection to the service advisor for review with the customer which is typically done by emailing the 5 page report to the customer.
The forms typically have line items with checkboxes colored in red, yellow, and green.
And to make matters worse, this form is typically emailed to the customer in a PDF format that sometimes can be as many as 5 pages.
Well, these days technology has evolved. And, as a result, most content is now presented in a visual form with pictures and videos. Consumers have in turn become more visual. They don’t have the time to page down on their mobile phone and navigate through a bunch of red, yellow and green check boxes. And, while some may read these row by row inspection results, it is hard to comprehend.
Most of the times these MPI report require a phone call with the advisor for clarification. Traditional MPI forms may continue to be used internally. But, if the customer doesn’t understand what is presented to them, approval of recommendations will continue to get longer and will require that the customer get in touch with the advisor. With so many customers either in rental or loaner cars, just connecting to discuss recommendations is becoming a game of voicemail tag.
Today, many leading dealerships have started to use video documentaries to present recommendations to their customers, with great success — a picture is worth 1,000 words and video is worth 10,000 words. Their service department profitability is rocketing as a result of increased recommendation approvals! A technician that records the grooving on brake pads and explains the consequences is going to get no argument from the customer. It speeds up authorizations and is much more convenient. The technician can record the video on their smartphone then send it to their service advisor to ultimately add an explanation and send on to the customer.
This is a very simple process to implement. Here are some best practice tips from my experience:
- Every vehicle inspection should get a video documentary or walk around. For best results use a newer phone such as an iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S7/8, as they have better quality video. Some employees will have these already and, if not, they are a relatively inexpensive investment and you will soon reap the ROI. Hold the phone in one hand and point out the feature you are documenting with the finger of your other hand while adding a voice commentary, so it is very clear to the customer what you are recommending.
- Identify 2 or 3 of your most technologically-inclined and progressive service technicians. Hold monthly meetings to go over the results. Any among those who are resistant will soon come around once they see how well the other techs are doing. Stats such as increased approval time, upsell, and CP lift will quickly get them on board.
- Look for a tool to make the process more efficient, one that documents and archives the video recommendations for future reference. It should also be very easy to send to the customer. This way, you can show the customer on their next visit (should they decline the service). Consistency builds customer trust and gives you another shot at getting their approval.
- Last, but not least, consider a simple spiff program (the simpler the better). One of our customers has seen a significant rise in doing this, and a simple incentive will improve adoption.
You already do it for tire sales, right? Why not for completed video documentaries?
Don’t get left in the dust by other, more progressive dealers. There’s absolutely no reason to. Let that old technology Rest In Peace and adopt video documentaries. It creates a win-win situation for everyone.
Author: Ujj Nath
Ujj Nath is the Founder and CEO of myKaarma (www.mykaarma.com), the cloud-based conversational commerce software that’s revolutionizing the auto service industry. He has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and automotive industry executive. In 1990, prior to myKaarma, Ujj founded Syncata, a major provider of business consulting and systems integration services. In 2004 he successfully negotiated the sale of the company to ProQuest Business Solutions (NYSE: PQE), which was subsequently acquired by Snap-On Tools (NYSE:SNA). At Snap-On, Ujj was Vice President of Global Accounts and headed the Professional Services Organization for Snap-on Business Solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.