Outdated workflows could be keeping you behind your competition. I’ve compiled 10 common outdated workflows and the important ways Tekion Automotive Retail Cloud (ARC) has helped our Fixed Operations at Mercedes-Benz of Rockville Centre solve them. ARC has allowed us to increase efficiency and profitability and is simultaneously creating a future-proof business.
If any of these fumbles are familiar to you, you may need to think about updating your technology:
10. If you’re not able to write up a customer remotely and quickly
Tekion enables a complete mobile write-up, in or out of the service drive. And because ARC is one single platform, there’s total visibility in outstanding we-owes and warranty items. We believe that the customer always comes first. Take care of them smoothly and quickly and let everything else happen behind the scenes. The seamlessness of the Tekion RO process has helped us decrease write-up time by 45% and even enabled us to easily fine-tune our mobile repair service. Even when the repairs are done at the customer’s home there is no break in the process. We’ve seen such an uptick that we’re even looking at investing in a second truck for mobile repairs. We need to meet consumers at their convenience.
9. If you’re not allowing customers to track their vehicle’s status and make online payments
No one likes being left in the dark. And minimizing the need for a customer to call into the dealership increases efficiency for everyone. Tekion lets us provide our customers with a link for a customer portal, giving them access to vehicle status, additional service recommendations, repairs for approval, pictures/videos, and payments through Tekion Pay. More efficient communication equals improved CSI. We may not always have great news about their vehicle or repair costs, but any information is better than no information or delayed communication. Our BDC calls twice per day to remind customers about outstanding payments, and our pickup process is fast and easy. We have even reduced the number of cashiers we need to keep on staff. Tekion Pay is a huge cost savings and the customer portal has increased our ever-important CSI.
8. If you’re not sending pictures and videos through your MPVI tool
It may seem unbelievable, but many techs and advisors are still not providing photos and videos of their findings to customers during the multipoint inspection process. We use it externally AND internally. Externally, we share our findings with our customers in detail right away via the customer portal, and then those photos and/or videos go directly into the RO. Internally, we use it during trade-in evaluations to send images to the Preowned department for reconditioning estimates and approvals which helps us price our inventory faster and more accurately.
7. If you can’t easily adapt to your customer’s communication style of choice
It should be an obvious practice but learning your customers’ communication preference is key to developing a successful relationship with them. Using their communication style of choice in every interaction possible provides a level of trust, familiarity, openness, and overall efficiency that will keep engagement high.
6. If you’re not using Machine Learning or Menus to increase sales and upsell services
Tekion is unique in its scheduling and write-up processes. Both can be dealer-defined, but many forward-thinking dealers like to depend on Machine Learning to help those workflows become methods of added value for the customer and added revenue for the dealer. Much like Amazon will recommend socks when shoes are purchased, customers will see recommended services based on VIN at the time of scheduling and RO creation, using similar vehicles as the benchmark. We have seen a large lift in upsells in service because there’s less sales pitch needed; the customer can choose the recommended services themselves and not feel like they have just been sold.
5. If you’re not able to get live transactional information
Tekion is a real-time accounting system, allowing us to make midday decisions or mid-month decisions on the fly. Most service departments run on two different systems: scheduling and DMS, making it hard to make real-time decisions because there is a lack of efficient communication between those systems. We, on the other hand, can set up our shops so we can schedule according to capacity, issue coupons and know right away if we should continue based on effectiveness, drill down into commissions and into productivity of advisors, see gross profit, hours per RO, and parts inventory...all the important metrics that help us make fast decisions that will affect business TODAY, not next quarter. We aren’t waiting on data from manufacturer or waiting on the DMS to “process” information. We can process a payment on an RO and the financial statement is updated in real time, just as an example. That’s the power of one system!
4. If your service BDC is still working from multiple platforms and with manual entry
I Started my career running a multi-store BDC. On the service side of the house, I constantly asked myself if there was a way to have a seamless process from scheduling all the way to vehicle pick-up. Today, Tekion is the only vendor that can accomplish that. We don’t ever worry about appointments not pushing over to where they need to be or not showing up in the right area at the right time. Not only does every key member of each department see the appointment, but they also see the service history, warranty info, and even recall info through our integration with our OEM. Every appointment rolls right into the RO without the need to reenter the opcodes that the BDC rep already selected when the appointment was made. ROs are then automatically dispatched through Tekion’s Auto Dispatch, getting every repair to the right technician with the right skillset and capacity, meaning a faster turn of the car. Nothing overlooked, and seamless efficiency makes for happier customers!
3. If your data doesn’t flow freely, accurately and seamlessly between platforms
Regardless of department, communication is flowing freely and accurately within Tekion ARC. Between departments and with customers, Tekion has allowed us to break down the inefficient silos. Poor communication between Sales, Service and Parts, for example, will create a disjointed experience for a customer who just wants to drive away in the reliable vehicle they were promised. We all know the rule: if it starts badly, it will end badly. It’s a competitive landscape and consumers can afford to be particular in their choices.
2. If your technicians and customers are not getting real-time updates regarding parts
With Tekion, everyone is on the same page when parts orders arrive. Our BDC will proactively reach out to our customers so they can get their repair scheduled. Plus, we are fully electronic, and parts are requested through Tekion to keep our technicians in their bays making repairs instead of running back and forth to the parts counter.
1. If your technology forces you to rely on paper and printers
Most dealers would at least LIKE to go totally paperless. No advisor wants to file and keep track of more paper ROs. Not to mention that no customer wishes to have their personal information lying around on counters. It has become much easier for advisors and technicians to stay accountable because everything is electronically recorded. Even drop-off and pick-up are easier because with our zero-contact service, there’s no advisor and no paper needed so those workflows can occur any time around the clock. As time has progressed, our list of benefits to going paperless has grown exponentially!
Shaun Weissman is the Director of Operations at Mercedes-Benz Rockville Centre in Rockville Centre, NY.
Click here for the on-demand webinar “10 Fixed Ops Fumbles” presented by Tekion Dealer Partner, Shaun Weissman, and Tekion’s Ashley Fedor.