Dealer-FX’s Experience package was recently launched with two goals in mind:  Making appointment scheduling and service check-in easy for the vehicle owner, and enabling simple appointment management and customer communication for the dealership.

We sat down for a Q&A session with our Chief Technology Officer, Alan Fong, to get his thoughts on how this new program benefits dealers and their customers. 


Dealer-FX has a vision to re-invent automotive software. What does that mean to you?

Alan Fong: Re-inventing automotive software at Dealer-FX is centered around re-inventing the perspective of who we are as an organization and who we are creating solutions for.

Today, vehicle owners expect the same kind of service experience from their dealership that is offered by non-traditional services like Apple, Amazon, Uber…and the list goes on. 
 
For Dealer-FX, it’s about re-inventing the service concept by making it transparent and easy to use. It’s about re-inventing how and where to create value in the service process by focusing on the key users involved.  We do this by describing the customer service journey, enabled by the complete integration of all touchpoints throughout this journey, whether it be at home, the office or at the dealership. 

At the end of it all, it’s about making the inconvenient, convenient.  Let’s call this the “Experience” (which just so happens to be the same name of our new product offering!).


What are the core benefits of Experience and what value do these benefits bring to the dealership and its customers?

Alan Fong: Expectations from customers are changing as the boundaries between physical and digital, business and personal continue to blur. It is normal for a customer to expect that they can use their personal mobile phone throughout the entire service experience – scheduling an appointment, making changes to their service needs, digitally checking-in to a dealership, and signing and paying for their service  – all through their mobile phone, without ever having to wait in line or talk to a live person (unless it’s necessary for more complex service appointments!).

The launch of Experience is perfect for these challenging times that we are going through today. Experience allows for a true contactless service process. It provides all the benefits that you would expect from an advanced digital scheduling solution: 

  • 24/7 appointment booking with reminder emails/texts to customers
  • Robust appointment management to easily identify customers, their history and repair requirements, and outstanding recalls 
  • A powerful CRM built for dealers to bring customers back for service 

Plus, it includes our new Mobile Check-in solution that allows customers to safely check-in for their service appointment via their mobile phone. 


Can you tell us more about Mobile Check-In and how it enhances the new Experience offering?  

Alan Fong: Our new Mobile Check-in application is not just a button that says “I’m here” at the dealership. It’s an app-like experience on the customer’s phone, where they can:

  • Confirm their appointment, view and select previously declined service work, and view recall notifications – providing potential service revenue for the dealership
  • Complete the check-in process digitally from their phone, which notifies the service advisor – ensuring a truly touchless experience 
  • Get details as to where they can safely leave their vehicle and drop off their keys

This entire process is simple for users because we’ve hidden all the complexity in the backend of our software. Mobile Check-In is fully integrated with the Dealer-FX platform and all leading DMS providers.


How does Experience enhance the customer service journey at a dealership?

Alan Fong: Customers now expect a fully comprehensive, personalized experience during the service process. There are a few key points that we’ve heard about customer expectations by listening with our dealers:

  • Their customers expect the service process to be hassle-free 
  • They also want transparency to know ahead of time how much they will be paying for their service
  • They want the solution to be simple and easy to use, anytime, anywhere from their mobile phone

The Experience platform was designed from the ground up to solve these problems and like any good product development team, we are listening to our customers and our customers’ customers. We can then work together as partners to continually evolve and improve together.


Experience integrates with leading DMS providers, ensuring seamless and consistent customer and vehicle information. How does this integration help dealers?

Alan Fong: I believe that the service process of the future will be a data-driven service model. With Experience, dealers have integrated data at their fingertips that will drive their service business in this new and challenging business environment. Our comprehensive DMS integrations are connected to the Dealer-FX data platform providing customer profiles, vehicle data, service history and more. 

The Experience solution utilizes all of this data to clarify communications between the dealership and customer to ensure a holistic view of the customer and their vehicle information, giving a seamless, transparent, and efficient user experience.


Experience helps dealers adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Can you please explain how this works and how it can help dealers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Alan Fong: Every workflow within Experience has been designed to streamline the service process for both the dealership and its customers. We had already started development on this solution before COVID-19, but decided to accelerate our launch when the pandemic hit so that service departments had a truly contactless solution. Experience helps dealership navigate COVID-19 by:

  1. Managing appointments to control traffic flow 
  2. Providing dealers with ways to add COVID-19 messaging and processes to appointment reminders to show customers that they are taking steps to provide a safe service experience. 
  3. Allowing availability limits to enforce social distancing
  4. Providing the ability to customize transportation options, add new pick-up and delivery options and promote safe, clean rental or loaner vehicles. 
  5. Enabling dealership employees to schedule appointments remotely if they are working from home 
  6. Offering a ‘no-touch’ check-in process for a safe, socially-distant drop-off experience
  7. Providing quick and easy COVID-19 templates so they can send updates to their customers via text and email 

Experience protects the dealership staff and the customer, allowing the dealership to continue to provide the best service while maintaining everyone’s wellbeing.


Experience offers everything your dealership needs to manage appointments, grow your service business, and create happy, loyal customers.


Alan Fong

Alan brings over twenty years of technology leadership and execution experience. 

Alan and his team create product value by understanding customer challenges, then building technology solutions that lead to improved business outcomes and hyper-growth. 

Click here for Alan’s complete bio.



Digital MPI lets your Service Advisors visually communicate inspection results, safety concerns and price estimates to your customer’s mobile phone. Customers can review and approve  Technician recommendations from the comfort and safety of their home.

Digital MPI from Dealer-FX

Benefits of Digital MPI: 

  • Text customers results of MPI and recommendations
  • Customers have a no-touch approval process
  • Automated notifications between Advisor, Technician, Parts and customer
  • Internal notification of approved work

Learn more about ONE Platform and how it can help your dealership navigate COVID-19

During this challenging time, you can be confident that Dealer-FX will continue to deliver the support and commitment you have come to expect. Keeping the safety of your customers and employees top of mind, ONE Platform offers many tools that provide a safe, no-touch service experience.

SERVICE DASHBOARD

Monitor and manage the progress of every vehicle at every stage of service while helping to promote social distancing amongst your employees. Service Dashboard allows Parts Clerks, Technicians, and Advisors to visually communicate actions required and vehicles that need attention – all with limited employee interaction.


Service Dashboard allows you to: 

  • Effortlessly communicate with the Parts Department using Parts Indicator Flags
  • Quickly and efficiently communicate actions required on vehicles that need attention with Shop Indicator Flags
  • Automate vehicle status messages for your employees and customers with Dealer Messenger
  • Manage all business from the safety and convenience of your office or if quarantined at home

Learn more about ONE Platform and how it can help your dealership navigate COVID-19

During this challenging time, you can be confident that Dealer-FX will continue to deliver the support and commitment you have come to expect. Keeping the safety of your customers and employees top of mind, ONE Platform offers many tools that provide a safe, no-touch service experience.


A Fixed Ops Guide to Beating COVID-19

When times are tough, resilient dealers rely on fixed operations to get them through. It’s a fundamental precept of our business and one we all know well. Through war, terrorist attack and market collapse, fixed ops has kept the lights on and the automotive industry thriving.

But this is different. With the outbreak of COVID-19, we’re facing an invisible enemy that’s causing the world and the automotive industry tremendous uncertainty. Ask any dealer, manager, or employee what their biggest worry is (next to health and safety) and you will likely hear them reflect on the anxiety of the unknown. Many are asking, “What am I going to do to prepare myself, my coworkers and my dealership to survive this crisis? How should I prepare for the days, weeks and months ahead?”

Right now, it’s not about success — but rather survival. Dealers want to stay open; service and parts personnel want to protect their health and their jobs, and customers are concerned with their safety and being able to provide for their families.


Download the Fixed Ops Guide

This guide was developed using best practices and practical applications from a group of professionals with over a century of experience in the retail automotive space.

The guide will go into detail about how to develop and implement specific initiatives.

  • Leadership Best Practices
  • Fixed Ops COVID-19 Checklists
  • Ideas to Build Service Revenue Right Now

BE FIRST to implement new thinking and develop a game plan to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.

BE BOLD and think to the future.


Automotive News

Be Bold and Think to the Future:

Gary Kalk, Founder & Executive Chairman of Dealer-FX, shares his perspective with Automotive News on what dealers need to do to beat COVID-19. Read more


Automate COVID-19 Communications with Customer Connect

Customer Connect is a CRM built for dealers that helps you provide quick and easy COVID-19 updates to your customers with pre-built templates for text and email campaigns. It is a web-based application that gives your employees the ability to work remotely during this challenging time.

While it’s not business as usual, it’s important to let your customers know that you are still open and ready to service their vehicle.

COVID-19 Email Templates

Customer Connect provides pre-built COVID-19 communication templates:

  • Open For Business
  • Declined Services
  • Service Reminders
  • Automated text and email campaigns

FREE WEBINAR

Join Kate Marshall, Learning and Training Specialist, at Dealer-FX, for a LIVE webinar on Thursday, April 16th at 3:00 PM EST for a comprehensive walk-through of Customer Connect.


More About Customer Connect

CRM Built for Car Dealers

Customer Connect empowers your BDC for both outbound and inbound communications through phone, email and 2-way text to maximize customer convenience and engagement. It enables agents to answer time-sensitive inbound calls with access to real-time vehicle status and customer contact information.


Explore tips, best practices and how ONE Platform can help your dealership navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.


Learn How ONE Platform Can Help Your Dealership Navigate COVID-19

During this challenging time, you can be confident that Dealer-FX will continue to deliver the support and commitment you have come to expect. Keeping the safety of your customers and employees top of mind, ONE Platform offers many tools that provide a safe, no-touch service experience.


NEW: Mobile Check-In

Mobile Check-In offers a ‘no-touch’ check-in process. With social distancing at the forefront, it’s a safer alternative to kiosk solutions. Customers can check in and sign for service using their mobile device, allowing for a safe, socially-distant drop-off experience.


Online Scheduler

Convenient Online Scheduler

Online service scheduling offers many options to better control the traffic flow in your service drive. You can customize your scheduler with COVID-19 messaging and processes.

You should highlight safeguards and actions you’re taking to help ensure a safe service experience.


Appointment Manager

Appointment Manager

Appointment Manager allows you to set-up custom appointment times to help manage your service drive flow.

It also provides the ability to customize transportation options, add new pick-up and delivery options and promote safe, clean rental or loaner vehicles.

The best part is that your employees can schedule appointments if they are working in the dealership or working from home.


Customer Connect

CRM Built for Car Dealers

Customer Connect is a CRM solution that can help you you provide quick and easy COVID-19 updates to your customers with pre-built text and email campaign templates.

It is a web-based application that gives your employees the ability to work remotely during this challenging time.

While it’s not business as usual, it’s important to let your customers know that you are still open and ready to service their vehicles.


Service Dashboard

SERVICE DASHBOARD

Service Dashboard allows you to instantly monitor and manage the progress of every vehicle at every stage of service while helping to promote social distancing amongst your employees.

Features like Parts Indicators and Shop Flags provide an efficient way for Parts Clerks, Technicians, and Advisors to visually communicate actions required and vehicles that need attention – all with limited employee interaction.


Digital MPI

Digital MPI lets your advisors visually communicate technician recommendations, safety concerns and price estimates to your customer’s mobile phone.

Customers can have a no-touch approval process for technician recommendations from the comfort and safety of their home.


EasyPay

EasyPay - Mobile Payments

EasyPay offers safe payment options for your customers and employees. It provides electronic invoicing, enabling customers to securely pay for their service invoice via email.

This solution is another no-touch, safe, and secure way to conduct business during COVID-19.  


COVID-19 Tips

1) Create a process for the safe and secure handling of customer vehicle keys during check-in and delivery.

2) Clean and disinfect all hard surfaces in your entire service department every 60 minutes, or more often if you can.

3) Create new waiting areas or even an outdoor seating area to reduce the number of people in high traffic areas and promote social distancing.

4) Put tape on the floor to keep people at least six feet apart in high traffic areas to ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to.

5) Offer pick-up and delivery service to your customers to keep business coming into your service department during this challenging time.

6) Make use of idle time by taking additional training. Contact your Process Consultant today to learn more about training opportunities.


#MovingForward

Follow our social channels for more tips and best practices: LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Stay tuned for upcoming webinars and videos providing detailed support and tips to keep your service department #MovingForward during this unprecedented time. 


Take Advantage of Special Offers

Dealer-FX is here to support your business. We have special offers, new products, and our incredible Field and Support Teams to help you get through this period. Get in touch today to learn more.