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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.

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?

Each customer that has their vehicle serviced at a dealership does so with a set of unique anxieties and preconceived notions about the experience.

It may be a simple warranty appointment or a service interval check-up. It could also be something more serious. No matter what it is, each person brings a set of assumptions. As e-commerce channels such as Amazon have re-framed the consumer experience, those assumptions have evolved into heightened expectations around transparency, convenience and communication.   

Exceeding expectations in a profitable and efficient way requires technology. That’s a simple fact. For Dealer-FX, getting to the heart of the matter is what Digital MPI is meant to do. It’s designed to be a fast and convenient way to get approvals on service recommendations. By reducing the time it takes to get a response from the customer and decreasing phone calls back and forth, Digital MPI improves department efficiency and vehicle throughput, saving technicians and advisors time.

1. What’s the Value of this Technology — and What is the Single Greatest Benefit?

Simple: Giving Service Advisors the ability to communicate with customers over text or email, through a connected platform that syncs data to communications. In addition, Digital MPI combines three key functions and features:

  1. Efficiency: Digital MPI puts vital information in the hands of Service Advisors and their customers when they need it, and how they want it. That increases revenue and improves capacity.  
  2. Communication: Digital MPI opens up a text channel between advisor and customer that’s comfortable and transparent for all. It’s a vital component to building loyalty from the service drive.
  3. Integration: Efficiency gains and incremental service revenue increases add up when it’s an organic part of the service process. That takes integration with data solutions and workflow systems. Digital MPI is designed with that integration in mind.

The bottom line? Selling additional work from technician inspections is key to dealer profitability. Analysis shows that of dealers who are the most successful selling work from MPIs, one action most shared in common was high DMPI utilization.

The value of the technology extends also includes efficiency gains. Simply getting customer approvals faster (think phone tag) reduces a major bottleneck that kills service department productivity. Delayed approvals require technicians to unhook equipment and unload vehicles from lifts, then park them in the lot before loading another vehicle on the lift. Each swap can take 10-20 minutes of a technician’s time — and 18 days of technician productivity per year for the dealer.

2. How Does Digital MPI Work?

Service Advisors using the Service Dashboard receive a completed MPI report with recommendations and send it to the customer via a short link embedded in an email or text. Tapping the link opens a unique mobile website detailing the report and recommendations. The DMPI report goes over any concerns the customer originally came in for, outlines any concerns needing immediate or future attention and notes all items the technician checked as still in good condition.

All recommended items include price estimates and can be approved with a single touch. Customers can also access helpful explanatory information with photos about each recommended service.  The customer can review, decline or authorize the repairs in a matter of minutes with minimal personal interruption. Once approvals are complete, the customer is given a total estimate for their service visit, including items that were previously approved, as well as an updated promise time. Using text and email to get customer approvals is less intrusive and can be performed more easily, eliminating voice mails and resulting in shorter approval cycles.

3. Can it Improve my CSI score?

According to the J.D. Power 2019 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, there’s a 75-point difference between customers who have an all-digital experience and those who have an all-analog experience. That makes using digital tools to communicate vital to good CSI.

Add to that a dedicated approach to customer service that fuses human relationships with the efficiency of technology. In essence, technology empowers human interaction, and optimizes the experience. In this way, and because Digital MPI has such a strong consumer-facing value, it’s easy to see how utilizing Digital MPIs could contribute to positive CSI scores. The technology provides dealers and their customers a win-win: customers appreciate the speed and efficiency it brings, while dealers appreciate the value of added capacity and happy service customers. It’s all a part of creating a frictionless service experience that infuses human relationships with technology efficiencies.   

…And One Special Feature

Digital MPI is built on a solid foundation of data. It uses certified, bi-directional integration with DMS software and leading third parties, and shares data across all ONE Platform solutions. This provides complete transparency, establishes accuracy and includes complete store integration. In that way, it’s built to exceed customer expectations.

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. Experience a LIVE Demo today!


Nourse Nissan proudly serves the Portsmouth, OH region. Nourse prides itself on delivering top-notch customer service with a personal dealership experience – from sales to service.

Results

Nourse Nissan has been on the Nissan Service Workflow Suite from Dealer-FX since April of 2017. The solution has been integral to implementing a consistent service process in the service lane and has generated impressive results.

From the Dealership

“The Nissan Service Workflow Suite from Dealer-FX streamlined the appointment and write-up process for our dealership.

One of the biggest advantages of the system is the ability to quote services and parts accurately. Since the product integrates with our parts tape as well as decodes at a VIN level, we can provide accurate and timely prices and parts availability to customers. The greatest results we have seen have been in our Service BDC. With the system having a simple method of pricing by VIN, we can cut down on quote times and transferring calls to the advisors. The system is simple and accurate enough for a BDC to confidently answer customer questions. 

The in-dealership support from Dealer-FX is second to none. I wish all vendors were this great!”


Kevin Patterson, Director of Operations
Nourse Chillicothe Automall, Chillicothe, OH

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. Get in touch with us to experience a LIVE DEMO today!

Increased Data Integration Gives Dealerships More Up-to-Date Customer and Vehicle Information through Dealer-FX Software

Toronto, May 30, 2019 — Dealer-FX, the leading customer experience management provider for automotive OEMs and their retailers, today announced a more comprehensive partnership with PBS Systems. PBS Systems is a leading provider of DMS software providing accurate, reliable dealership software, services and support for over 30 years.  

“We’re excited to offer a more complete integration with PBS Systems for our dealership customers,” said Gary Kalk, President and CEO of Dealer-FX. “The benefits of this enhanced integration will help our dealers streamline service department operations, plus it will simplify the repair order and scheduling process.”

Dealer-FX now delivers the following integrated service enhancements to PBS dealerships:

  • Service Appointment Data Pull: Dealer-FX can now extract all current and future service appointments from the dealership DMS, and help generate an appropriate listing for Appointment Manager
  • Open RO Data Pull:  This allows for the comparison of appointments with DMS originated ROs, and properly identifies shown and missed appointments in the Appointment Manager and VIN Customer Search. Also enables automatic search of a customer by VIN, in PBS v10 — if not found in the Dealer-FX system
  • On-Demand Customer Search by VIN:  Additionally, customers can be searched by VIN from Advisor Check-in and Appointment Manager. This provides PBS dealerships with the most up-to-date customer/vehicle information.


About Dealer-FX

Dealer-FX is transforming how consumers interact with automotive brands and their retailers. Our customer experience management platform uses advanced data analysis and mobile applications to deliver convenience, transparency and trust to consumers, and increased efficiency, profitability, retention and brand loyalty to OEMs and dealers. The company is backed by the strength and resources of HGGC.

Dealer-FX’s core offering, ONE Platform, is comprised of seven components, which along with the Service Dashboard, manage the entire service experience from initial contact through drive-off and to next visit. It delivers the best dealer service experience. Period.

Dealer-FX is the exclusive or preferred service technology provider for FCA, Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, Lexus, Audi, VW, Mitsubishi and several other OEMs in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and has more than 2,500 dealership clients. Dealer-FX is based in Toronto, ON.

Dealer-FX Contact:
Dennis Welsh, Director of Marketing
Dealer-FX
(877) 493-0039 x217
pr@dealer-fx.com
www.dealer-fx.com

About PBS Systems

PBS Systems is a privately held company that continues to be the premier supplier of Dealer Management Systems to dealerships in North America and the Caribbean. PBS is Microsoft Windows-based, making it the most intuitive and user-friendly DMS available. PBS continuously strives to find new ways to partner with their customers to make the dealership more productive, efficient and profitable.

PBS Systems Contact:
Moe Sonier, Business Development
PBS Systems Inc.
1.800.665.6304 x 338
moes@pbssystems.com
http://www.pbssystems.com

Integration Between Technology Providers Gives Auto Retailers a Powerful Way to Present Wheel and Tire Maintenance Suggestions to Customers

Toronto, May 21, 2019 – Dealer-FX, the leading customer experience management provider for automotive OEMs and retailers, today announced the inclusion of Hunter Engineering product data into its ONE Platform service experience. Hunter Engineering Company® is the global leader in alignment systems, wheel and tire service, brake service and inspection lane equipment.

Integration with Hunter’s inspection and alignment systems, including Quick Check Drive™, Quick Check®, and Quick Tread® systems enables automotive retailers to quickly present tire inspection and alignment findings, as well as battery health readings to customers. It’s all made available to the customer on a tablet, enhancing the experience right at the drive.

“We are committed to integrating with partners like Hunter Engineering, who provide the data that drives the best dealer and customer experience,” said Gary Kalk, President and CEO of Dealer-FX. “With this new partnership, our clients can ensure that every vehicle receives a complete service write-up including tire alignment, tread depth, tire pressure, and rotation diagnostics at check-in and inspection.”

Tire inspection and alignment data collected from Hunter Engineering’s connected equipment is added to Dealer-FX’s Advisor Check-In and Technician Inspection applications. Recommendations from the tire inspection will be added to the RO in Advisor Check-in. The Technician Inspection application will be pre-populated with the results of the Hunter scan, eliminating the need for double entry.

“Any dealer that performs alignment or tire service can benefit from this exciting, new integration with Dealer-FX,” noted Alan Hagerty, Product Manager at Hunter. “Our partnership enhances the customer and employee experience by providing connectivity, transparency and streamlined processes.”

About Dealer-FX

Dealer-FX is transforming how consumers interact with automotive brands and their retailers. Our customer experience management platform uses advanced data analysis and mobile applications to deliver convenience, transparency and trust to consumers, and increased efficiency, profitability, retention and brand loyalty to OEMs and dealers. The company is backed by the strength and resources of HGGC.

Dealer-FX’s core offering, ONE Platform, is comprised of seven components, which along with the Service Dashboard, manage the entire service experience from initial contact through drive-off and to next visit. It delivers the best dealer service experience. Period.

Dealer-FX is the exclusive or preferred service technology provider for FCA, Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, Lexus, Audi, VW, Mitsubishi and several other OEMs in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and has more than 2,500 dealership clients. Dealer-FX is based in Toronto, ON. For more information please visit www.dealer-fx.com, or connect on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Dealer-FX Contact:

Dennis Welsh, Director of Marketing
Dealer-FX
(877) 493-0039 x216
pr@dealer-fx.com

About Hunter Engineering Company

Hunter Engineering Company® is the global leader in alignment systems, wheel and tire service, brake service and inspection lane equipment. Hunter® equipment is approved and used by vehicle manufacturers, automobile and truck dealers, tire dealers and service facilities around the world.  For more information, please contact your local Hunter® representative at www.hunter.com/contact-hunter.

Hunter Engineering Company Contact:

Maddie Laviolette

Marketing Communications Specialist
Hunter Engineering Company
11250 Hunter Drive | Bridgeton, MO 63044
Office: 314-716-0380 | www.hunter.com

Want customer satisfaction to go up? Go digital with your service communication and operations.

That’s according to the recently published J.D. Power 2019 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, which found that satisfaction scores tend to go up when dealership service departments use customer-preferred methods of communication.

In other words: digital. And especially digital when it comes to tasks such as scheduling service and communicating with the dealer service employees. The study’s findings showed a 75-point variance between customers who have an all-digital experience, compared to an analog experience. It also found that satisfaction spikes more when a service advisor uses a tablet during a visit. The study measures satisfaction with service at a franchised dealer or independent service facility for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles. It also provides a numerical index ranking of the highest-performing U.S. automotive brands. Key findings include:

  • All generations prefer online scheduling, in greater numbers: This year, 28% of all customers want online appointment-setting over the phone, with Millennials leading the way. Over the past five years, the study has seen a consistent increase in online scheduling demand.

  • In-store engagement remains vital — with the help of tablets: Most customers feel service advisors provide important value in terms of vehicle advice, informing them about work done and status, and performing a walk-around. In fact, the study results found that the walk-around boosted the customer’s perceived value of the service. It’s also an opportunity to bring mobile technology into the experience, adding a rich layer of data and communication.

  • Over-delivery of service excellence is more important than ever: The 2019 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study also identified a shrinking satisfaction gap between franchised dealers and independent facilities. For some dealers, this is less a shift than it is a wake-up call to focus on the things that delight as well as deliver service. For example, according to J.D. Power, so-called “small things” such as washing a customer’s car is only done 81% of the time, and returning vehicle settings to their pre-service status is only completed 45% of the time. Those are two excellent opportunities to surprise and delight a customer — and create a little loyalty.

That’s important in a tough and ultra-competitive market. Overall, this year’s J.D. Power Customer Service Index (CSI) Study illustrates an emerging profile of vehicle service that requires the function and efficiency of digital tools that help to enable a renewed focus on the customer service experience. From scheduling service online to ensuring the on-time completion of repair and maintenance, optimizing communication and workflow efficiencies make it easier to go the extra step — and do so efficiently.

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?