Expand Service Department Reach & Volume with Customer Convenience, Transparency & Feedback

Many businesses focus on improving customer convenience as a means to expand their reach and volume of commerce. It’s not just Internet companies such as Amazon, but some of the most substantial brick and mortar chains, including Wal-Mart, Costco, Best Buy, Office Depot and several major grocery store chains. Adding options that increase customer convenience & transparency produces substantial increases in revenue due to broader market size and radius, along with increased market share for local stores. Not to mention the fact that your recommendations are approved due to the higher level of trust from increased transparency.

A great case in point is Costco, the sixth most valuable retail brand in the WORLD. In 2018 it increased e-Commerce business by 32.2%; an additional $5.8 BILLION in revenue. Similarly, the electronics chain Best Buy (which many wrote off as doomed to fail because of Amazon), changed its strategy and embraced customer convenience. As a result, it saw a revenue increase of $1.21 BILLION in the 2nd quarter of 2018. It certainly sounds like customer convenience is working, right?

A 2018 Quest for Convenience Report by Nielsen studied the six factors driving consumers’ quest for convenience. It found that today’s consumers want convenience at every stage of shopping and brand engagement with products and services. According to the study, a primary factor which affects consumer choice is how you solve consumer needs through convenience. Do you make it easy, useful and straightforward? And in doing so do you help the consumer make better use of their time, or give them time back?

Another critical point found is that businesses should get ahead of the curve by thinking convenience in everything they do from home delivery to loyalty data to machine learning.

Consumers are busier than ever, and convenience is now the leading factor that affects who they chose to do business with – you or your competitor across town. Today, even local grocery stores offer online ordering where a customer can just drive up, and an employee loads their car up with groceries, or if they prefer, deliver it to their home. This is slowly transforming into the normal versus the “new thing.”

It’s time to think differently about how to make the customer experience more convenient for your service customers. Offering Pickup and Delivery is a natural extension that customers are familiar with and already appreciate. Who wouldn’t want to have a dealership pick up their vehicle from their home or office, service it and return it without them ever having to leave the premises?

The auto service, Fixed Operations, side of your business is the money maker. Adding online convenience-based service options for your customers will grow revenue, add more local customers, expand your PMA, drive new customer acquisition and increase your bottom line!

Not sure where to start? A good place is with online scheduling and Pickup and Delivery, as I mentioned earlier. One other thing that is easy to add is technology that ensures customers can communicate with you and you with them via their preferred method, be it text, email or phone.

The name of the game in this modern world is convenience and transparency. Failure to keep up, adapt, and provide what your customers want will merely mean you lose business to competitors that do.

While in this blog, the focus was on convenience, in my future blogs I will talk about transparency and the feedback loop.