Three digital tools that improve customer retention at your car dealership

In this edition of the CBT News Power Lunch, anchor Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Skyler Chadwick, Director of Product Consulting at Cox Automotive’s Xtime, who discusses how to bring in more dollars to the dealership.

While dealerships always look for simple ways to make money, economic forecasts often complicate their plans. However, Chadwick believes that, at present, the best place to focus their efforts is on customer retention. 

Citing the Cox Automotive Repair Order Index, Chadwick starts off by noting that, while the number of repair orders has decreased in 2022, “we’re seeing an increase in dollar per repair order.” Car owners who delayed service during COVID-19 now seek costly repairs, upgrades and maintenance, making this the perfect opportunity for service providers to improve their client’s interactions.

To achieve this, Chadwick recommends keeping up to date with digitization trends by implementing three powerful online features. First, dealers should add video inspections into the service process. Attaching footage to a service inspection report allows car owners to see damaged components or other issues without being present. This makes the process faster and incentivizes purchases. In fact, dealers who added video inspections on their websites saw a 49% increase in approvals and a 90 minutes shorter turnaround time.
The second feature to install is a digital scheduling service. Customers universally prefer setting appointments without waiting on the phone. Chadwick recommends the third-party service Brooke.AI, as the platform is efficient and can process client requests even during off-hours. The ease of access makes this an important tool for improving customer retention.
Finally, Chadwick encourages dealers to take advantage of digitized marketing retention programs. These services replicate the in-person customer experience, making it easier for digital innovations to simplify the process. Dealers can also use these tools to track how their different services bring in revenue through software managed databases.
Simplifying the process for clients by removing unnecessary steps and adding better access to digital services is the best way for dealerships to improve their customer retention rate. Even though the promising numbers encourage digitization more than ever, the reality is that improving customer experience is an economy-proof strategy for generating revenue. As Chadwick explains, “We want to make it easier for consumers to be able to return back to the dealership and focus on retention.”

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