One Saturday evening, Dave Kusa received a phone call at his house. It was the early 2000s and he had just taken ownership of Autotrend Diagnostics in Cambell, Calif. The mysterious caller was reaching out to Kusa with a question; he was a customer of Autotrend Diagnostics, and had found the number through the White Pages.
Direct customer communication is vital to strengthening almost every KPI, and being easily accessible is equally as important. But there should always be a line drawn between an owner’s personal life and his or her business life, private contact information being one of those elements that should be separated.
“I don’t necessarily want every customer to have my personal phone number. I learned that lesson a long time ago,” Kusa jokes.
As the years and technology progressed, he switched to using a different avenue for texting and communicating with customers, but began to run into new issues: there was no way to streamline the conversations with the rest of his team, and an archive of past messages were seemingly non-existent.
In comes Kukui Connect, Kukui’s newest customer and team collaboration communication-based system.
“I was excited about Kukui’s involvement—only because whatever they do, they seem to do better than anybody else,” Kusa says.
All in One Place
Kusa has been a customer of Kukui’s for around a decade, and has used the system to help grow his business throughout the years. Kukui Connect is accessible as a stand-alone web-based app, as well as directly through the shop management system’s dashboard, with messaging features similar to those found in social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
“Having the ability to be directly connected to the rest of my dashboard is really going to simplify the process for us,” he says.
Kusa says the ability to communicate through Kukui isn't an entirely new feature; the platform already had the ability to send appointment reminders through email and text to customers, but the big difference comes down to the extensive added communication tools and features that are now available through Kukui Connect—the biggest for Kusa being the messaging archive feature.
“The difference in the connect aspect is the archive of the information all in one place, rather than having to go out of Kukui, or another system, to look at a conversation taking place,” he says.
Through the Kukui dashboard, a tab can be opened where all interactions from both customers and team members are viewable. Anyone on the team can quickly respond to a customer without jumping from inbox to inbox.
“I can see any of the recent conversations that I’ve had with clients and then start a conversation from there,” Kusa explains. “It will archive and track everything.”
Kusa’s shop is small, and with two technicians and an advisor, his shop allows for convenient verbal communication, but shops larger than Kusa’s may not have that liberty.
Kukui Connect encourages team communication within the shop and allows for the creation of individual discussion threads for topics like parts ordering, communication between technicians and the front desk, and a full team chat.
Taking it Mobile
Along with being available through a web-based app and accessible through the Kukui Dashboard, Kukui Connect is also at hand with a native mobile app for both Android and IOS. The Kukui Connect mobile app gives team members access to information on the go.
In a time where rapid communication is the norm—and even expected—Kukui Connect allows for messages to be sent and received from customers at all hours, regardless if it’s from within the shop or not.
“I have an app on my phone and my service advisor has the app on his phone,” Kusa says. “Not only do we have the ability to do things through the platform and then the desktop application, we can do it on our phones too, and it comes from the website phone number, not my personal number."