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

Innovative Solution Provides Dealers and Their Customers with a Safe and Contactless Check-in Alternative

Dealer-FX, the digital transformation and customer experience management leader for automotive retailers and OEMs, today announced the launch of Mobile Check-In, a contactless check-in application that enables physical distancing.  The application makes the safety of dealership employees and customers a top priority.

“We’re very excited to announce the launch of Mobile Check-In. We presented our roadmap for a self check-in tool at NADA this past February. Given how this pandemic has disrupted the automotive industry, our team has dedicated significant time and resources to expedite its launch,” said Dealer-FX CEO, Bill Lucchini. “COVID-19 has forced us all to think differently as to how we approach our day-to-day business and engage with our customers. Providing mobile check-in is just one way we can help our dealers adapt.”

Introducing Mobile Check-In

Mobile Check-In offers a ‘contactless’ check-in process. With social distancing at the forefront, customers can now check in and sign for service using their mobile device, allowing for a safe, physically-distant drop-off experience.  Mobile Check-In is a safer alternative to kiosk solutions or face-to-face check-in and is now available at no additional charge to current Dealer-FX customers.

Mobile Check-In is fully integrated with Dealer-FX’s ONE Platform and all leading DMS providers. Other benefits include: 

  • Customers can remotely check-in for service, allowing for a quick and contactless drop-off
  • Offers full write-up capabilities, including a digital signature for approval 
  • Ability to add factory-required or previously declined services to the appointment, which can increase dollars per repair order
  • Notifies the Service Advisor when the customer checks-in
  • Allows Service Advisors to focus on customers that require additional assistance

To help dealers effectively and efficiently continue to operate their service departments, Dealer-FX has also developed a number of initiatives that help address the specific concerns and needs surrounding COVID-19.

Financial Relief 

Dealer-FX customers will be provided with a 25% discount on monthly fees, for April and May 2020. As well, any discounts from 3rd party integration partners will be passed along to dealers. 

Free COVID-19 Marketing Campaigns
Dealer-FX has built a library of effective COVID-19 related Marketing campaigns which current dealers can enable through Customer Connect. The campaigns, along with any assistance needed for configuration or personalization, is provided free of charge.

New Learning Academy 

Dealer-FX has also launched its new Learning Academy, powered by SmarterU. The Learning Academy offers comprehensive and customizable courses for dealership employees to provide ongoing training and skill development. It also provides learner monitoring and reporting and is delivered in a media-rich, online elearning environment.

Moving Forward Webinar Series 

In addition to the new Learning Academy, Dealer-FX is launching a new webinar series, Moving Forward – How to Navigate COVID-19. Each webinar focuses on best practices and tips on how to effectively run service operations in a time of social distancing. Webinars are led by industry veterans and feature interviews with dealers from across North America who share their personal challenges and successes during this unprecedented time.

Keeping the safety and security of their customers and employees top of mind, Dealer-FX is committed to continuous innovation and dealer support as they strive to provide a safe, contactless, digital service experience.

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


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 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 - 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.


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. 

The world has changed over the past few weeks and, with each new day, the impact of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic continues to grow. These are unprecedented times, and we are all impacted both directly and indirectly by this dynamic situation.

As organizations across the automotive industry and beyond are evaluating their response to COVID-19, we want to provide you with an update on steps Dealer-FX is taking to ensure the health and safety of our customers and our employees.

What We Are Doing

First off, this is a rapidly evolving situation and so we have established a COVID-19 Task Force that conducts daily meetings to review the latest information and directions issued by leading organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local city and county government recommendations and directions.

Employees have been asked to work from home and we are encouraging social distancing, frequent hand washing, and other typical best practices. Our employees are to avoid large meetings or gatherings and to self-quarantine, if they are at elevated risk based on symptoms, travel, known proximity to anyone infected or for other reasons.

Support For You

We take our role supporting you and your business very seriously and understand how important our technology is in helping you run your service operations. We want to assure you that we are taking every precaution to deliver uninterrupted service to you. 

Our customer support, network and application teams remain vigilant regardless of their work location. Our support team continues to be available to you via phone or email.

Field Services

Our Process Consultants are available to you via phone or video conference to support your business. We have had great results providing training via video conference and screen sharing and would be happy to assist in any way we can.

Dealers with in-dealership training scheduled in the next several weeks will be contacted shortly to set-up remote training sessions. 

Keeping Your Customers Informed

Should you need assistance creating customer emails that provide an update on your dealership’s policies surrounding COVID-19, our teams have email templates ready to use and install in Customer/Guest Connect that can quickly be sent to your service customers. 

We’re happy to assist here at no charge.

Through this difficult time, we continue to be focused on supporting you and your teams. You can rely on us to support your business to the best of our ability. Our thoughts are with all of you during this time.

Stay Healthy,

The Dealer-FX Team

About the Dealership

Toyota South Atlanta

Toyota South Atlanta is a family-owned and operated dealership that has won the Consumers Choice Award for seven years in a row! They believe in making great customer service a priority and it’s paying off in the service lane. 


Toyota South Atlanta

Since adopting the Toyota Service Technologies Program in early 2018, they have seen significant improvement in Customer Pay Revenue and CSI/Service Retention scores. 

From the Dealership

“I’ve been in the business for 25 years now – the last 15 years with Toyota. We partnered with Dealer-FX early on because they shared the same experiential philosophy as us. 

We wanted an end-to-end solution that enhanced the guest experience, delivered efficiency, transparency and shortened our overall cycle/wait times. Reducing cycle/wait times is a high priority for us as this is the #1 reason why guests defect or don’t purchase services. “

“Dealer-FX has created a great system with frictionless integrations, a robust walk-around, and a simple, modern way to communicate with our guests.”

“Since adopting the TST program, we have seen our ELR increase, our overall dollars per RO increase and our CSI/Service retention scores improve. Dealer-FX’s field support has really been instrumental in bringing the Toyota Service Technologies program to life for our dealership!”

Rich Mahon, Vice President/General Manager
Toyota South Atlanta, Morrow, GA

What’s Next?

Get in touch with us today and learn how the Toyota Service Technologies program from Dealer-FX can benefit your dealership: 1-877-493-0039 | sales@dealer-fx.com 

The host of In the Box from Modern Dealership Magazine, Joey Little, sat down with Bill Lucchini, CEO of Dealer-FX, to chat about the Power of ONE Platform at NADA2020.


About Modern Dealership Magazine

Modern Dealership informs and supports today’s automotive professionals, providing them with a strategic business advantage in a quickly evolving industry. Written by dealers and other leading auto experts, each quarterly issue focuses on a theme relevant to the challenges faced by dealerships today. Article categories in every issue include Modern Sales, Modern Fixed Ops, Modern Operations, Modern Communication, and MD Insights.

More than 1,000 vehicles, including exotic concepts, rare classics and wild supercars were on display this month at the 2020 Canadian International AutoShow, here are a few that caught our eye.

Hyundai Vision T Plug-in Hybrid SUV Concept

Hyundai preseHyundai Tuscon Vision T Plug-in Hybrid SUV Concept
Hyundai presented the Vision T plug-in hybrid SUV concept, which we first saw in a world premiere back in November 2019.

Jeep Gladiator Mojave

Jeep Gladiator Mojave
FCA presented an extreme version of its midsize pickup, the all-new Jeep Gladiator Mojave. This Gladiator is the first one to wear the new “Desert Rated” badge, which represents the ultimate in high-speed off-road capability and performance while traversing grueling desert and sand environments.

BMW Vision M Concept

BMW Vision M Next
BMW showcased the spectacular Vision M Next concept – 600-horsepower plug-in hybrid.

Genesis GV80

Genesis GV80
The GV80 is the first-ever SUV from Genesis, the four-year-old premium division of the Hyundai Motor Group.

Bugatti La Voiture Noire

Bugatti La Voiture Noire
The Bugatti La Voiture Noire is a privately owned, one-of-a-kind Bugatti that’s the most expensive new car of all time at $16.1 million.

The Real Star of the Show: Mister Bentley

Mister Bentley
The Instagram-famous Mister Bentley is the coolest thing on four legs and four wheels at the Canadian International Auto Show this year.

What’s Next?

Dealer-FX will transform your dealership and give your employees the tools they need to satisfy customers, while also driving higher revenue and profits. Get in touch to experience a live demo today!

It was another successful year at NADA for the Dealer-FX Team! We met a lot of new friends and had time to nourish and strengthen existing relationships.

Dealers and our OEM Partners were excited to hear about our latest solutions, Customer Self Check-In and Total Service Marketing and our new partnership with Kia Motors America. In addition, our Power of ONE message really resonated with dealers who want to work with one partner for a complete service lane technology solution.

CBT News Interview with Dealer-FX CEO, Bill Lucchini

At NADA2020, CBT News host Jim Fitzpatrick interviewed Bill Lucchini, CEO of Dealer-FX. Watch the interview to learn more about how we aim to provide the absolute best consumer experience for dealership customers.

Dealer-FX Provides an Outstanding Customer Experience with These Digital Solutions – Bill Lucchini, Dealer-FX

Here’s a look at our NADA2020 Experience

Experience the Power of ONE Platform


If you missed us at NADA2020 and would like to experience the Power of ONE Platform, get in touch today to book a live demo.

Is your dealership ready to offer the same digital customer experience companies such as Uber, Amazon, and Starbucks provide?

Join Greg Dryden, Vice President of Client Optimization at Dealer-FX, for an informative webinar. He will outline the benefits of delivering a digital customer experience and simple ways you can start transforming your service department today.

On-Demand Webinar

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify opportunities that your dealership has to begin its digital transformation.
  • Transforming to digital can enhance customer experience, increase throughput, capacity, and parts and service revenue.
  • See how texting can “wow” your customers and dramatically improve service department efficiency.

In today’s market, you need an edge to survive and stand out. Digitizing every customer touchpoint can provide that — boosting your productivity, growth, profitability, and customer experience.

Discover the Power of ONE Platform

ONE Platform from Dealer-FX drives the digital transformation of your service department. Provide your employees with the tools they need to satisfy customers, while also driving higher revenue and profits. Get in touch to experience a live demo today!