From the mind of myKaarma CEO, Ujj Nath

 
 
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I have always wondered, if I had gone to a venture capitalist for funding and told them that we were going to build a firm that did communications and payments for automotive dealers, I’m sure they would have asked the question,

“what do those two things have in common?”

Logically they seem disconnected, however when looked at from the consumers viewpoint it makes perfect sense because those are two of the key pain points on getting your car repaired.

 

This all started in 2012 when I took my car in to get repaired at my local Honda dealer. I brought my car in for an oil change and gave them a coupon they had sent me. I was expecting it back in 1 hour and when I had no communications from the dealership for 3 hours I called the dealer and heard the perennial

“Thank you for calling… This call will be recorded… Press 1 for new car sales, press 2 for used car sales, 3 for service.”

When I pressed 3, it rang five or six times before a person finally picked up the phone. Unfortunately, he had no idea who I was. He ended up asking my name, my vehicle model, and it’s color, only to find out that my service advisor was out to lunch. I was told he was going to call me back when he returned. I never heard back from the service advisor, so I eventually ended up having to go to the store at the end of the day. To my shock, I found that my final invoice did not have the coupon discount. Having just gone through a car rental experience using National’s Emerald Club, I knew this process could be better!

 

Armed with this experience, we set about writing software that would make the job of the service advisor easier while drastically improving the customer experience.

 

In writing our software, we designed it with a few basic principles :

  1. We would use a “Natural Design” process, i. e. wherever possible we will not add cost to the existing workflow add no layers to the service advisor’s already complex job.
  2. All features would be designed using a Genchi Genbutsu process where you go to the place and see for yourself.
  3. We would avoid redundant data entry whenever possible to integrate with the base sources of data. in this case the existing DMS systems.
  4. All features would be designed using the consumers view of the process of repair and to build convenience into the process

Three years and 400 dealers later, we have created a new category of software called Customer Interaction Management where we focus on the interaction of the consumers. To date, we have processed over $740 million in payments, sent or received in excess of 12 million text messages, and placed over 2 million phone calls. Most of our dealers have sub 30 day payback periods on the monthly cost of the software.