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The Dealer-FX Team is excited to be on hand at the 2019 Kia National Dealer Meeting to demonstrate the features and benefits of ONE Platform to Kia Dealers from across the USA. 

Event Details

Kia National Dealer Meeting 
Wynn Hotel & Resort, Las Vegas, NV 
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | 11:30 AM PST – 3:30 PM PST 
Dealer-FX | Booth 12 | Kia Car Salon 
Presentation Times: 1:10 PM PST | 2:50 PM PST

“Kia Motors shares our vision for delivering an exceptional dealer service experience and we are delighted to participate in the Kia National Dealer Meeting,” said Dealer-FX President & CEO, Gary Kalk. “With more than 2,500 successful dealer clients, we know ONE Platform will substantially improve Kia dealers’ parts sales, menu and inspection usage, CSI and customer retention while giving its customers the best experience available.”

Service Lane Technology powered by Dealer-FX

ONE Platform from Dealer-FX manages the entire customer lifecycle and consists of the following components: Online SchedulerAppointment ManagerService DashboardAdvisor Check-InTechnician InspectionEasyPayVIN-Specific Maintenance Menu with pricing, and Customer Connect plus the Digital MPI and Dealer Messenger mobile applications. It also includes:

  • Transformation of your customer experience with our 100% mobile platform, driving improvements in CSI and customer retention
  • Seamless integration with Kia systems and data, plus certified integration with 23 DMS providers
  • Our 7-step consulting process that consistently generates strong results, proven in 2,500 dealers


Learn More About ONE Platform

If you would like to pre-book your demo, get in touch with us today. 

Book a Demo

Some customers are afraid to visit your dealership. From showroom to the service drive, they have anxiety about negotiating, the F&I process, and even the service experience.

Sound familiar? It should. Over the years, the dealership experience has been a much-covered topic. One national survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 52% of Americans feel anxious or uncomfortable when visiting a car dealership. Today, of course, it’s evolved into one of the most important issues dealers face. In fact, multiple studies claim that up to 75% of customers who visit a dealership for service within a 12-month window are likely to return to purchase their next vehicle.

Fact is, the service drive is the central “drive” of the dealership. It’s a recession-proof, consistent profit machine that also helps fill the sales pipeline. What’s more, according to a recent DealerRater/Fixed Ops Journal survey, three out of four vehicle owners “generally prefer getting maintenance and repairs for their cars and trucks at franchised dealerships.” The survey, which polled 16,000 consumers, also found that 81% of owners of luxury-brand vehicles were likely to return for dealership service.

But wait a minute. If people prefer to visit dealer service departments, how exactly are they full of fear at the idea of it?

Help Create Positive Customer Service Anticipation

For starters, it’s fair to speculate that customers are far more apprehensive going into a service appointment than when leaving. Whether it’s a simple rotation or a major interval service, they often don’t know what to expect, how much it will cost or how long it will take. The very idea of automotive service can feel disruptive. The challenge is to shift the customer perception. How does a dealer reduce consumer fear and loathing going into the dealership, and extend the happiness after the sale? This is critical because future dealership revenue streams will depend on how customers feel about going to their local dealership. Here are three simple suggestions:

Help Service Customers Feel Comfortable: Service customers usually start online, scheduling a time to bring their vehicle in for maintenance. So make sure your online scheduling is fully integrated into the service communications so that they’re welcomed by a prepared and friendly service advisor. Your advisors understand the customer profile, priorities, and objectives ahead of time, and are ready for them. You can do this by utilizing existing data, such as VIN and sales information, as well as OEM data about the vehicle. Perhaps most importantly, use digital technology, such as a tablet, to conduct a truly interactive “show and tell” walk-around.

Show Your Expertise: The survey results reflect a need for expertise. Customers simply value the dealer’s knowledge over price discounts from independent shops. Invest in the appropriate certification training classes and renew testing on a consistent basis. Then showcase all that well-earned knowledge in a friendly and consultative way during the inspection. This perspective – this expertise – is why people come to your service drive. Best of all, it’s a win-win: the customer feels empowered by your knowledge and knows that it’s good service advice. The service departments get higher ROs and builds better loyalty.

A Transparent Relationship Always Reduces Apprehension: Each customer touchpoint you have builds data, and provides valuable information about what they want and how to best serve them. It also – if you’re paying attention – reveals their needs, challenges, and lifestyle requirements over time. Do they coach soccer – so a Saturday pickup is impossible? Are they commuters, and will they arrive home after closing? These tidbits or data points personalize the experience and help create connected relationships. Done right, it will build over time to the point where a loyal customer would never even consider going to another shop. But here’s the most important tip of all: make everything transparent, and use technology to do so. Your customers want to know about pricing, standards and service — in advance of coming to the drive. Make it available through digital marketing, and they will make you a consistent stop.

It makes sense that service customers find the process daunting and stressful. Their lives are disrupted, and they often feel that they have very little control over the outcome. By creating an integrated approach between human service and tech-driven efficiency, you can set the stage for a proactive relationship that stays connected long after the warranty has expired.

What’s Next?

We drive the digital transformation of dealerships with the only end-to-end platform that gives your employees the tools they need to satisfy customers while driving higher revenue and profits. 

About the Dealership

McKeown Motor Sales is a family-owned and operated dealership, proudly serving Springbrook, Ontario since 1933. They switched from a paper-based process to wiADVISOR in October 2018.

Results

wiADVISOR has been integral to implementing a consistent process in the service lane and has generated impressive results.

“McKeown Motor Sales saw wiADVISOR as a great opportunity to streamline our service processes while elevating the customer experience. We hopped on board as soon as wiADVISOR was available in Canada and will never look back. Having the ability to deliver a consistent message from appointment all the way through to check-out has been key to maintaining our customer trust and loyalty. wiADVISOR does this while informing and educating our customers on factory maintenance, recalls and fault codes at the same time.

When we moved our MPIs to the wiADVISOR digital platform, our internal communications and customer communications benefited, as well as improvements in both shop efficiency and customer service. Having parts and DMS integration makes generating a repair quote simple for the staff. wiADVISOR has multiple platforms of communication allowing us to communicate with our customers the way they prefer. 

Being on the wiADVISOR Program has been an excellent choice for us. One that has increased both profits and customer loyalty. I would not hesitate to recommend this for any dealer looking to make the change.”

Al McKeown, Owner
McKeown Motor Sales, Springbrook, Ontario


Book a Demo Today


Get in touch with us today to learn how the Nissan Service Workflow Suite program from Dealer-FX can benefit your dealership: 

1-844-647-7888 | SALES@DEALER-FX.COM | BOOK A DEMO

What’s Next?

We drive the digital transformation of dealerships with the only end-to-end platform that gives your employees the tools they need to satisfy customers while driving higher revenue and profits. 

September sales decline but SAAR stays steady; the dealership of the future starts with service; 2020 fixed ops trends to consider

If September results are any indication, this year’s new car sales roller coaster is on a pretty steep downward run, thanks to the high price of new cars and the cost of borrowing. According to Automotive News, in fact, virtually every automaker reported declines for the month of September – even Subaru, which had scored positive sales results every month since 2011. They were down 9.4%, but larger automakers saw even deeper losses: Toyota dropped an overall 17%, Ford an estimated 12%, and GM an estimated 10%.

Most analysts blamed the high price of new cars, along with interest rates and the short sales month – Labor Day Weekend sales were counted in August this year. That shift resulted in 10% more August sales, a boost promptly given back with a 12% overall loss in September. Via Automotive News, here’s what Edmunds analysts have to say:

“All year long we’ve been talking about high prices and rising interest rates keeping shoppers on the sidelines, but in the third quarter those pressures eased up just enough to get consumers back in a buying mood. If this momentum continues, we expect a solid finish to the year.”

— Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ senior manager of industry analysis

Indeed, there is a silver lining: first, even with the sales decline, SAAR topped 17 million for the fifth time. And if pricing/interest rate pressure eases into the fourth quarter, dealerships could very well see purchase-ready buyers.

Read the Automotive News article here.

The Dealership of the Future Starts with Service

To hear McKinsey & Company tell it, the practice of selling cars at a dealership is fading away, under pressure of profit erosion and disruptive technologies. In an article entitled “As dramatic disruption comes to automotive showrooms, proactive dealers can benefit greatly” McKinsey & Co. researchers found that dealership profit erosion and competitive forces are already forcing change. Here’s an excerpt:

“Average dealership operating profits plunged from 8.9 percent in 2015 to 1.7 percent in the first half of 2018, while gross profits fell from 3.3 percent to 2.4 percent over the same period. Dealership sentiment is also shifting from optimism to pessimism based on the most recent industry research.”

The article examines sales pressures and the shifting automotive marketplace, including disruptors in the market like Carvana, and third-party digital channels. As a result, they found that successful dealerships in the future will need to get creative and leverage technology to create new profit centers – all while relying on a streamlined and modern version of the service department. Of that, the report is clear: Consumers prefer going to dealership service centers, and millennials do not like to take care of their own vehicles. Here’s what McKinsey says about it:

We also project that the combined “do it for me” maintenance-service and aftermarket-parts profit pool will grow from about $40 billion to between $42 billion and $46 billion in 2030, while franchise service and parts will grow from $54 billion to between $57 billion and $60 billion, due to the growing number of cars on the road and increased parts costs.

The bad news? By 2030, increases in battery electric vehicles will partially offset gains made by service.

Read the McKinsey & Company article here.

2020 Fixed Ops Trends to Consider

If the future looks bright for service drives, the near future – as in next year – looks even better, just as long as managers pay attention to changes in consumer patterns, embrace technology, and focus on customer service. According to an article on CBTNews.com, here are a few trends to consider for Q4 2019 – and as we turn toward 2020:

Certified Car Service Dealer-FX

Price Increases: As new car prices go up, so to will used car prices. Per Thinknum Alternative Data: “The average price of a used car for the months of June, July, and August 2019 was right around $22,000, at least $1,000 more than the summer of 2018.” Increases in used vehicle sales and prices generally mean higher reconditioning costs.

Millennials: As millennials continue to settle down into jobs and homes, the one thing they aren’t doing is vehicle service – there just aren’t as many weekend oil changes happening on driveways in the suburbs anymore. For example, an Ally Financial survey showed that millennials and Generation Z paid an average of $2,334 for vehicle maintenance and repairs in the past five years.

 Read the CBTNews article here, and the Auto ReMarketing article here.

What’s Next?

Click here to learn more about Dealer-FX ONE Platform. At Dealer-FX, our mission is to help automotive dealerships transform the customer experience by providing leading-edge marketing services that help to deliver the right message at the right time — via the right digital channel. How can we help you?

About the Dealership

Jim Burke Nissan serves the Hoover and Tuscaloosa, AL region. The entire team has a strong dedication to the customer experience, which is why their service tools need to back up that commitment.

Results

Jim Burke Nissan has been utilizing the Nissan Service Workflow Suite from Dealer-FX since 2017. Since then, they have generated impressive results in the service lane.

“The Nissan Service Workflow Suite from Dealer-FX created a consistent service write-up process for our dealership. The biggest benefit to our dealership is the reporting from Dealer-FX – it really helps with training our service personnel. All of our key performance indicators have improved – and will continue to do so as we move forward.

We also have seen success with Dealer-FX’s service marketing program (Customer Connect) to build custom campaigns. The system integration ensures our service customers receive timely and relevant messages regarding their service visit.

We also have seen success with Dealer-FX’s service marketing program (Customer Connect) to build custom campaigns. The system integration ensures our service customers receive timely and relevant messages regarding their service visit.”

“I would recommend SWS from Dealer-FX to another dealer who is not already on the program.”

Mark Livings, Vice President
Jim Burke Group, Birmingham, AL


Book a Demo Today


Get in touch with us today to learn how the Nissan Service Workflow Suite program from Dealer-FX can benefit your dealership: 

1-844-647-7888 | SALES@DEALER-FX.COM | BOOK A DEMO

What’s Next?

We drive the digital transformation of dealerships with the only end-to-end platform that gives your employees the tools they need to satisfy customers while driving higher revenue and profits. 

There’s no debate – auto shows are great.

The Frankfurt Auto Show may be diminished from its original stature as one of Europe’s major shows, but it’s still an important show for luxury and sports car aficionados.

Perhaps that’s why the Frankfurt Auto Show is special – regardless of how many automakers display their wares. Truth is, as a playground for German luxury performance — not to mention Italian — this show continues to offer enthusiasts a look at what’s hot, and what’s not. Here are a few of our favorites:

Audi AI TRAIL Quattro

Really? Audi’s AI: Trail Quattro is the rig for horrible apocalyptic future scapes. Mad Max and the Thunderdome, anyone? This is the vehicle I would want, right down to its 22-inch wheels and futuristic, all-glass pod.

Audi RS 7 Sportback

It may have made its debut online instead of at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, but the RS Sportback continues to deliver the style, the handling, and the power of the original model. In terms of performance, the Audi RS 7 Sportback comes with twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine tuned to deliver 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

BMW Concept 4

The sexy new look of the BMW 4 line is here, with sleek lines, taut shoulders and a very interesting (if awkward) “concept-style” grille. Soon enough we will be seeing this design make its way onto revised 4 Series vehicles — here’s hoping the snout is a little less ostentatious by then.

Lamborghini Sian

According to press reports, the name Sian means “thunderbolt” in Italian. That’s appropriate given that the Sian is Lamborghini’s first electric. But wait — you should also know that the Sian bolts on a V12 engine that delivers 774 hp — also the highest output engine for Lamborghini. Top speed is 217 mph, with all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed transmission. According to Lamborghini, the Sian’s lean body was inspired by the edges of the Countach and is made of carbon fiber. Just 63 will be made.

Porsche Taycan

Another debut that was “technically” not at The Frankfurt Auto Show — but was — is the Porsche Taycan. The Taycan is the automaker’s first fully-electric sports car, so to announce it Porsche had to go big and do the launch simultaneously across three continents. What’s even more impressive is the car: The Taycan Turbo S accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, while the Taycan Turbo gets there in 3.2 seconds.



Click here for more about 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show.

What’s Next?

Click here to learn more about Dealer-FX ONE Platform. At Dealer-FX, our mission is to help automotive dealerships transform the customer experience by providing leading-edge marketing services that help to deliver the right message at the right time — via the right digital channel. How can we help you?

Watch this informative best practice webinar about enhancing the customer experience in the 21st Century. Led by Greg Dryden, Vice President of Client Optimization at Dealer-FX, the webinar outlines game-changing strategies that improve customer satisfaction while increasing throughput, capacity and parts and service revenue.

Watch Now

SERVICE DRIVE EFFECTIVENESS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY with
Greg Dryden, Vice President of Client Optimization at Dealer-FX

Key learning outcomes include:

  • Identify process gaps in your service department and calculate the impact on your business (appointment scheduling, write-up, inspection and parts management)
  • Address any gaps in strategies that allow you to enhance customer experience, while increasing throughput, capacity and parts and service revenue
  • Improve service department efficiency by solving parts specifying issues
  • Structure pay plans that drive behaviors required to improve key performance metrics
  • Implement a plan to improve the experience at each customer touchpoint, driving CSI scores, retention and brand loyalty/repurchase

What’s Next?

At Dealer-FX, we drive the digital transformation of dealerships with the only end-to-end platform that gives your employees the tools they need to satisfy customers while driving higher revenue and profits.

July sales are volatile; RO increases are fun; the new Corvette is here

As we turn the corner on summer, the 2019 sales year looks more volatile than ever, with nary a pattern or predictable trend to count on. The automotive market has simply become more complex and demanding, with many different ways to create revenue and reduce cost by leveraging digital tech opportunities – and streamlining processes. Yes, sales have been slightly down for most of the year, with around a 2% decline for the first half of the year. Yet many analysts forecasted a small uptick in July sales, thanks in part to an extra selling day.

If only we knew how the month really turned out.

With Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles no longer reporting on a monthly basis, it’s hard to tell exactly where the month ended. One thing we do know, however, is that Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia reported slightly higher automotive sales – led by Hyundai’s 12% increase. Even cars had a July day in the sun: Toyota reported decent gains in Camry sales, among others. So the news for July sales was, well – meh. For dealerships, the effort to increase revenue and reduce cost in other areas of the store, such as fixed operations, should continue to be a key area of focus.

Survey: 31% of service customers listen to their service advisor, add to the RO

What: According to a recent DealerRater survey of 11,000 consumers who had visited a new car dealership, 31 percent said that they added additional work based on the service adviser’s recommendation.

Takeaway: Expert advice never goes out of style, even with a powerful information tool like the internet available for all to use. Fact is, service advisers play an important role in simplifying and educating vehicle owners. And as cars become more and more complex, their knowledgeable advice is, in turn, more important than ever. Service managers should make sure that their advisers have the digital tools they need to quickly communicate with customers the right way.

Click here: 1 of 3 service customers buys additional work – survey

Report: Automotive cyberattacks

What: As cars increasingly become connected to the internet, concern is growing about the risk of a cyberattack that takes control of many vehicles at the same time. In fact, Consumer Watchdog recently published an extensive report that asks automakers to install inexpensive kill switches that essentially turns off the internet and blocks the connection. According to the report, it’s vital: By 2022, two-thirds of new cars on American roads will have online connections to safety systems. In addition, many automakers rely on third-party and open source software.

Takeaway: Remember the Jeep Cherokee that was hacked and shut down remotely? Yeah, that. Consumer Watchdog is, essentially, providing a reminder that a similar hack into another car (or cars) has gone from science fiction to nonfiction. It serves as an important reminder that automotive digital and connected tools must provide adequate security safeguards against possible hacking and attacks.

Click here: Report: Auto cyberattacks could kill thousands

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Corvette: Best Ever, or too Much Supercar?

What: The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray debuted as a mid-engine supercar – the most significant change in its history, and all for a base price of about $60,000. That 6.2-liter V8 behind the seats gets 495 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. Personally, I prefer the original stingray. But wait…THIS is automotive history

Takeaway: Just look, and admire. The next ‘Vette is here.

Click here: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette

Tacoma Dodge opened in 2011 and has quickly become one of the largest dealerships in Washington State. They are one of 523 FCA dealerships to earn the prestigious 2019 Customer First Award for Excellence Certified by J.D. Power.

wiADVISOR 3.0 IS DRIVING RESULTS 

Tacoma Dodge has been on wiADVISOR since 2014 and upgraded to wiADVISOR 3.0 in December 2018. Since January of this year, they have seen a:

  • $87 increase in the average recommendation post inspection
  • $57 increase in the average additional service request (ASR)
  • 20% CP Revenue lift year over year wiADVISOR baseline

“Since deciding to take the leap into wiADVISOR 3.0 in December of 2018, our service department has finally found the one platform that can accomplish a complete service transaction from appointment all the way through follow-up.”

Eric Frost, Service Director
Tacoma Dodge, Tacoma, WA

“The largest benefit we have seen is the awareness it has created with our entire service team on the importance of the multi-point inspection, as it is now the center of the service transaction.” Being able to see previous recommendations and factory maintenance requirements in one place has significantly improved the quality of our multi-point inspection process.”

Eric Frost, Service Director
Tacoma Dodge, Tacoma, WA

“The reporting tools are also top notch, as they allow you to really be specific when reviewing performance with your team members, and generate a level of accountability not previously achievable.

Every step of a transaction can be measured, and accountability created for every member of our team. We can finally measure how long it takes to get a parts request processed, review our technician’s recommendations for content and accuracy before presenting it to a customer, and focus the efforts of our BDC.”

Eric Frost, Service Director
Tacoma Dodge, Tacoma, W

“Lastly, the in-dealership training team, either remotely or when onsite, are some of the most passionate professionals I have had the pleasure to work within my 22 years in the automotive industry. They truly care about our success and are as committed as I have ever met when it comes to helping work through a process challenge. I even received follow up on Saturday or Sunday, which means they really understand the retail business we are in.”

Eric Frost, Service Director
Tacoma Dodge, Tacoma, WA

Enroll Today

wiADVISOR 3.0 will transform your dealership and give your employees the tools they need to satisfy customers, while also driving higher revenue and profits. All of the new features seamlessly integrate into the current wiADVISOR solution, providing superior visibility while giving you the best analytics in the industry. wiADVISOR 3.0 enables you to effectively communicate with customers and your Service Department, optimizing the dealership experience. Get in touch to learn more.

What’s Next?

We drive the digital transformation of dealerships with the only end-to-end platform that gives your employees the tools they need to satisfy customers while driving higher revenue and profits.

Ultimately, Big Data means little unless it’s connected to a bright idea that helps customers find more value in their automotive experience.

Some call that integration — connecting dots — and just about everyone calls it good customer service. After all, when the information the customer needs is delivered at the right time, and in the correct way, building relationships and writing repair orders is a natural outcome.

That’s the topic of a new Automotive News post about how the Dealer-FX ONE Platform solution can now integrate with Hunter Technologies’ Quick Check, Quick Check Drive and Quick Tread. According to the post, several dealers had approached the two companies requesting some sort of connection between the two services. What they got was true integration between two disparate and disconnected systems and sets of data. In fact, the partnership, which took months of work to bring together, now creates a real-time customer experience from the moment they drive into the service area to the conversation they have with the service advisor.

That’s not hyperbole — it actually works that away. Hunter’s scanning solution picks up important updates about wheel and tire wear as a customer drives in, and that data is sent to the ONE Platform service. The result? Actionable insights for the customer when they step out of their vehicle. For customers, they get a constructive conversation based on data — not opinions — and a strong set of suggested services. Dealer service managers enjoy RO increases thanks to high-value services like wheel alignments.

Check out the post, here.

What’s Next?

Click here to learn more about Dealer-FX ONE Platform. At Dealer-FX, our mission is to help automotive dealerships transform the customer experience by providing leading-edge marketing services that help to deliver the right message at the right time — via the right digital channel. How can we help you?