In a new era of touchless service and staying at home, the concept of Pickup & Delivery for car dealer sales and service is resurfacing.
Pickup & Delivery is not a new concept. What once was reserved for the luxury vehicle ownership experience is now an economic survival tool. Many dealers are flocking to Pickup & Delivery solutions to solve the service and sales needs of their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pickup & Delivery is not only a necessity for economic survival in our current environment. It is also becoming an essential service expectation for the future. As a result, it needs some serious consideration.
However, Dealers are jumping in quickly as a result of the pandemic, causing many to overlook some critical considerations for Pickup & Delivery transactions. Vehicle service is an essential service, and we have watched the automotive service industry swiftly adapt with many Pickup & Delivery offers. myKaarma alone has completed over 26,500 successful Pickup & Delivery trips for our participating dealerships since the start of the pandemic to date.
As a result of this experience, we have compiled these considerations dealers need to think about for a successful launch into Pickup & Delivery:
- Communication With Customer
Once your customers schedule Pickup & Delivery, can your service team easily communicate with them via voice, text, or email communication? Customers will need to be notified of the status of their appointment, when their pick up will be scheduled, and what to expect. They will need to know the status of the service performed, and they will need to know when you will return their car. During the pandemic, this will likely be the customer’s first interaction using Pickup & Delivery. Communication will be vital to making the first transaction as smooth as possible for the customer and your service team.
Do it right, customer for life, do it wrong – so long.
2. Communication Within Dealership
Don’t forget communications within the dealership. How will you know once the vehicle is delivered? Who will get it to the proper technician, and how will the technician advise the service manager about any additional service needs? In all fairness, dealerships have processes in place for all this.
What you need to consider is, how might Pickup & Delivery require you to change these well-ingrained processes? Can you adapt them quickly to the chosen Pickup & Delivery solution?
Some new process considerations might include what will trigger and schedule the delivery of the vehicle back to the customer?
3. Peace Of Mind
Pickup & Delivery will be a new concept for many customers. There may be some hesitation about handing over the keys to their car. A pickup & Delivery solution that can allow the customer to track the driver status will provide some peace of mind. Knowing that the driver drove the car directly to the dealership and that the vehicle arrived at the dealership safely will set customers at ease with the new process.
Do you need to hire drivers, or can you repurpose current staff to limit layoffs? You may need to add drivers at your dealership or obtain driver resources through third parties.
Drivers need to be adequately vetted. You need to ensure they have a valid license. They must have good driving records. You will also need a way to insure them during their trips.
Lastly, you will need a way to track them and allocate them efficiently to meet demand.
5. Optimize The Transaction
Once you have the customer vehicle in the service bay, you need to be as efficient as possible. Integrations with MPI and Video tools are an excellent add-on to the process. They facilitate the customer’s ability to remain at home and make service decisions based on your convincing and credible information about the needs of their vehicle. Video MPIs allow the customer to make decisions on what to fix now vs.later quickly. It also gets the car up and off the lift quickly for dealership efficiency.
You have managed to keep your distance with your new Pickup & Delivery solution, but now it is time for the customer to pay. The best way to maintain and complete a touchless and safe Pickup & Delivery solution is to allow for online payment. Online payment makes it easier and safer for both the customer and the dealership.
7. Keep It Safe
What is your process to sanitize the vehicle before you return it, and what protective gear will employees use when driving? Don’t overlook this critical step.
Customers want to know their car is safe to get back into once it is delivered. Knowing you have a process to keep them safe could be all it takes for them to try Pickup & Delivery for the first time.
Drivers need to stay healthy as well. Masks and gloves will set everyone at ease during the process.
8. Transportation Options
A two-way Pickup & Delivery solution may not fit every situation. Be prepared with alternative transportation options.
An Uber add-on solution may help. Some customers will still drive to the dealership. They are not going to want to wait around. Getting them in an Uber quickly back home improves the process and is also known to help CSI scores. Customers don’t always want to wait very long for a ride home from the dealership.
Another scenario is when you are only providing the delivery portion of the transaction. Using Uber again to get your driver back to the dealership may be an option, mainly if you have limited loaner vehicles and drivers to spare.
Think about all the transportation scenarios you may need to offer when formulating your Pickup & Delivery process.
There is a lot to think about for a successful Pickup & Delivery implementation. Considering these eight tips at the beginning will position your dealership to survive the pandemic. It will also position you for a future where an ultimate service experience that saves customers time will become more valuable in the eyes of the consumer, and the bottom line of the dealership.
We have one final stat regarding no-show rates with Pickup & Delivery. They drop to 0%, so go for it!