Reduce Approval Time by Sending Electronic Messages
Customers want to be part of the process, and often, if they aren’t aware of what’s going on, then it can be difficult to be sold on an explanation over the phone. Michael Rosen, fixed operations director at Porsche of The Main Line in Newtown Square, Pa., says the dealership has not always had the opportunity to meet with new customers face to face, which can often create a trust barrier.
“Our challenge is a majority of our business is pick-up and delivery, so we, most of the time, don’t get to see our customers,” Rosen says. “It’s important to build trust so the customer feels comfortable and the technicians can accomplish that.”
When a customer receives a call from a service advisor who is ready to talk about all of the repairs that were found from a digital inspection, how likely is the customer going to agree to a service that he or she might not understand or be able to visualize? Words are hard to sell, and without proper evidence, customers might not realize the importance of catering to a repair now, rather than waiting to fix it in the future.
“I think a digital inspection is like that saying, ‘a picture paints a thousand words,’” Rosen says. “It’s not only hearing it from somebody—it’s actually seeing it with your own eyes, and it helps the customer understand why and what needs to be repaired or replaced.”
At Porsche of The Main Line, every vehicle that comes in receives a multipoint inspection, which enables the shop to provide customers with both photos and videos of their vehicle’s inspection results.
Rosen explains how the digital inspection has been able to build trust with customers, increase efficiency around the shop, and benefit the business.
As told to Kiley Wellendorf
We let our customers know that they will receive an electronic message from us following the vehicle diagnosis. Our customers drop off their vehicles and we really don’t get the opportunity to meet with them in person, so this is our way of reaching out customer.
When customers bring their vehicles in, we do a multi-point inspection that is different for every customer.
Typically we send emails, although we more recently started working with a new system where we can send an email, but the email is then sent as a text message to their phones. It’s really helped and sped up the process.
When customers receive a message from us, they see what’s really going on with their vehicle. During the multipoint inspection, we provide evidence so customers can be educated on what our technicians are looking at. Throughout the inspection, we actually score the issues at hand by three colors: green—the issue is fine; yellow—typical warning that a part needs to be looked at the in the future; red—the part needs to be replaced now.
After we score the items, we take digital photos and videos where technicians explain what they’re finding, what they’re looking at, and pointing to the issues at hand instead of simply sending over a photo.
In our experience, we’ve found that customers generally respond better to photos, as our cameras are able to scope and fit into small spaces. We do provide video clips where our technicians explain the issue.
Sending over photos and videos is really more helpful rather than a service advisor making the call to them when they can’t see the issue or understand why it’s being recommended.
We follow up with the customer after he or she receives the message. When the inspection is sent over via email, nobody has to stop working at their desk or the service bay to communicate with each other—it’s really been a time-saver for all of us at the shop and allows us to continue working on the next project.
After we hear back from the customer, we email our price points and confirmations, and then we will stay in touch with the customer both by email and through text. After his or her vehicle is fixed, we will hand wash it and then deliver it back to the customer.