Blog en Introducing autoVHC version 3.0 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Introducing autoVHC version 3.0 </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-04/1%20-%20Twitter%20%28%201200%20x%20675%20%205MB%29.png" width="1200" height="675" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3108" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Contextadmin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/08/2021 - 14:11</span> <p>At Snap-On we understand that technology should be a help in the workshop and not a hinderance. This is why we are constantly improving our platform to make it more user friendly for technicians, service advisors and managers.  </p> <p>We are delighted to be able to release version 3.0 with some notable process improvements to improve efficiency and benefit everyone interacting with the platform at all levels of your dealership. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>For technicians: </strong></p> <p>The people using our native application most will be the technicians in the dealership completing the vehicle health checks. We know that these technicians want to the get the job done as quickly and smoothly as possible and to help with this we have removed any information from the screen that is unnecessary to the job in hand. This means that technicians can input information at a glance and not be distracted by unnecessary options, strengthening the focus on an individual job.  </p> <p>We have improved vehicle schematic functionality which makes it easier for technicians to log any body damage to a vehicle, and also made media like photos and videos more accessible within the application. The native application can be used to take photos and videos of repair items and price these repairs through fast fit or 3rd party pricing.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>For Managers: </strong></p> <p>Having oversight of all jobs on your books is key when managing a dealership aftersales department. autoVHC version 3.0 offers an improved daily diary, previously Current VHC, which gives you visibility of the progress of all vehicles within your workshop and shows you how they are tracking. It allows you to see every job that is in progress and easily filter for status and requirements and features an improved search function to help you locate specific jobs in the system with ease.  </p> <p>To improve the daily diary, we have updated the priority of information, either moving or removing certain things to improve what you can understand at a glance. We have made changes to the accessibility of each section so you can easily move between them and included an overflow menu.  </p> <p>This is helpful for Service Managers, but also for other members of staff such as Service advisors and the parts department who can use the page to navigate out to different areas of the system relating to a single job such as Parts &amp; Labour Pricing, Communication, Authorisation or VHC Details.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>For Service Advisors:  </strong></p> <p>Once repairs have been identified it is up to the service advisors to explain these repairs to the customer, sell the work and invoice accordingly. In order to improve their ability to do this with confidence we have made some changes to the authorisation section of the system. The layout has been updated to show the service advisor at a glance where each individual item sits, and the way information is prioritised has been changed.  </p> <p> </p> <p>We have also introduced an invoice style breakdown, giving the service advisor all the information that they need in one place. This makes the service advisors job easier as they can explain all repair details to a customer from one central location. This includes comments from technicians so the service advisors can answer any questions and include more detail.  </p> <p>Service advisors can also easily access stock levels, part location and alternate part numbers for each repair giving them quick easy control over their options should they need to present different prices to the customer.  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>For everyone: </strong></p> <p>In addition to these specific updates, we have refreshed the entire autoVHC application to improve the user experience and provide an end to end solution incorporating all aspects of the aftersales process. This includes improved efficiency, quicker processing and general speed improvements, more advanced functionality, and improved corporate representation options for your business. </p> <p>We integrate with a range of DMS providers, OEM data feeds, Parts stock and price feeds and finance providers to simplify the process within a dealership. This helps the team in any dealership carry out basic tasks easily and allows managers to customise the platform to suit current workflow. Having an intuitive process supports every member of the team and streamlines the workflow across the dealership, in turn improving conversions and customer satisfaction.  </p> <p>To find out more about the new version or if you have any feedback please get in touch with us today! </p> <p> </p> <div id="reg_button" style="background-color:#ed1c24; width:20%; height:100%; border-radius:4px; padding:15px; text-align:center; margin:25px 0px"> <p><a href="" style="color: #ffffff!important;" target="_blank">Register Interest</a></p> </div> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Thu, 08 Apr 2021 13:11:13 +0000 Contextadmin 105 at What impact has this year had on the motor industry and what can dealerships expect in 2021? <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">What impact has this year had on the motor industry and what can dealerships expect in 2021? </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-11/pexels-torsten-dettlaff-70912%20%281%29_0.jpg" width="5375" height="3053" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3108" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Contextadmin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 11/20/2020 - 14:14</span> <p><strong><span><span><span><span>20th November 2020</span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span><span><span><em><span>By Nick Squire, Operations Manager</span></em></span></span></span></strong></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>For autoVHC’s partner dealerships and their customers, 2020 has been one of the most challenging years on record. Our economy virtually ground to a halt as the pandemic took hold, impacting people’s income and their ability to care and maintain for their vehicles. However, key elements of our national community have had to keep moving throughout, from medical providers to food logistics operators, and we’re proud to say that our partner dealerships have been doing their part to keep these key industries mobile. </span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span>A tough year for dealerships</span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>Despite dealerships doing their utmost to keep key workers moving during the early stages of the pandemic, the virus has no doubt taken a toll on the industry as a whole. Vehicle manufacturing and the supply chain was severely disrupted, with many dealers having to drastically scale down their operations. </span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>The UK emerged from a severe lockdown and moved into a regional tiered system in the summer, leading to a welcome flurry of business as car-owners sought to get the maintenance work and health-checks they had missed. Winter, however, is likely to be another very difficult period for everyone, and dealerships are bracing themselves as the UK faces another lockdown. At least this time the industry knows what to expect, and many dealerships will have adapted their working practices to be in line with COVID-19 guidelines so they can be ready to do business as and when measures ease. </span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span>Driving the industry forward into 2021</span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>Despite the very real challenges facing dealerships, there may be a small silver lining in the form of electronic vehicle health checks (eVHC) and how they might push the boundaries of what’s possible in the industry. Every sector has had to adapt in difficult ways to meet new standards and expectations brought about by the pandemic. Some of these changes are undesirable and temporary, but many of them may actually enhance service in the long run and fundamentally change the way we look after our vehicles. This presents a valuable opportunity for our partner dealerships to evolve their service to not only meet COVID-19 safety standards, but excel their services on the whole. This could happen in a number of ways:</span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <ol><li><span><span><span><strong><span>Timed maintenance</span></strong></span></span></span></li> </ol><p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>Cars would traditionally be called for maintenance once they hit a certain mileage or age, but we’re likely to see that change as on-board diagnostics become more intelligent. Instead of watching the mileage counter tick up, we’re likely to see eVHC technology play a role in determining when a car should be serviced, and precisely what components will need attention. This will limit the amount of time customers need to spend at dealerships, and most likely make the upkeep of their car more affordable, spreading the cost. </span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <ol start="2"><li><span><span><span><strong><span>Making better use of downtime</span></strong></span></span></span></li> </ol><p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>The same technology can be applied to detect when cars are idle, or likely to be idle, for any length of time. If a dealership can orchestrate events so that a car can be checked while the car isn’t being used, it puts far less strain on the customer.</span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <ol start="3"><li><span><span><span><strong><span>Turning social distancing into an advantage</span></strong></span></span></span></li> </ol><p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>It’s likely that we’re going to have to live with the pandemic and effects for some time, and social distancing is going to become part of the ‘new normal’ we’re all slowly adapting to. We’ve seen some of our partner dealerships in the US turn this to their advantage, marketing ‘drop-off’ services rather than the typical ‘while you wait’ style service we’re all used to. This limits personal contact, and all that’s required is an exchange of keys. </span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <ol start="4"><li><span><span><span><strong><span>Picture and video servicing</span></strong></span></span></span></li> </ol><p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>Not only does eVHC make servicing easier on the whole, but it makes reporting a lot more interactive. Diagnostic videos can be shared with the customer to highlight what work is needed, aiding aftersales teams as they work to retain customers. It will also help particularly busy dealerships deliver in-depth reports to customers more efficiently, freeing up valuable labour time to take on more jobs. </span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <ol start="5"><li><span><span><span><strong><span>Spreading the cost</span></strong></span></span></span></li> </ol><p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>The future will be more of a digital journey for customers, becoming less involved with people and more with process driven technology, increasing convenience and flexibility for customers. Payment gateways will become more popular, providing customers with affordable payment options and increasing customer retention. At autoVHC we have recognised this and give customers the ability <span>through our network of specialist partners </span>to pay by card through payment gateways or spread the cost through 0% three to four month finance options.</span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span>A return to normal beyond 2021? </span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>While we would all like things to get back to normal, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for technologies that were probably already on their way. An effective eVHC platform will be critical when it comes to maintaining social distancing through diagnostic checks and services. We’re likely to see this trend toward remote monitoring and ‘control centres’ continue, making consumers feel more in-tune with their vehicles and helping dealerships and garages to tackle problems as they arise, or even prevent problems from occurring in the first place. </span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span>Tech adoption is aiding with social distancing in all sectors, and vehicle servicing is no different. It may not be ‘business as usual’ for some time yet, but that doesn’t mean dealerships can’t turn the tide and lead the way in terms of innovation as we head into the next decade. </span></span></span></span></p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Fri, 20 Nov 2020 14:14:50 +0000 Contextadmin 103 at How can your dealership make the most of aftersales opportunities with the predicted surge in MOTs post lockdown? <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">How can your dealership make the most of aftersales opportunities with the predicted surge in MOTs post lockdown?</span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-10/autoview3%20%281%29_0.jpg" width="1000" height="563" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3108" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Contextadmin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/01/2020 - 08:39</span> <p><strong><span>1st October 2020</span></strong></p> <p> </p> <p><span>In response to lockdown on the 30th March, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced a six month MOT extension after dealers and garages had to temporarily close. Now, six months later, this has created a surge in demand for MOTs, effectively doubling the number of vehicles that will require MOTs. Figures predict a total of 11.28 million vehicles will need an MOT over the next 3 months, with 200 extra tests expected in the busiest hotspots.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>Aftersales are a lucrative and important source of revenue for dealerships and a typical service department can make up to 50% of a dealership’s overall profits. With reduced servicing income during lockdown, it is important that dealers boost their aftersales offering to retain customers and benefit financially. So how can car dealers prepare for this predicted surge in demand and make the most of the additional aftersales opportunities this will bring?</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Prepare to be busy</span></strong></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>Firstly, ensure your dealership is utilising all available resources in preparation for the busy servicing period. Make sure you are fully staffed and open all service bays for work to accommodate bookings, as you do not want to lose business by turning customers away. If possible, extend operating hours on peak days temporarily, to make room for more bookings, especially for those who want to bring their cars in outside of working hours.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Accurate customer data</span></strong></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>Research has shown that 56% of all MOT tests performed last year were carried out with extra work, highlighting the importance of customer business. To secure aftersales trade, implement an MOT reminder service, as findings have shown that 60% of motorists are more likely to book their car in with a dealership that reminds them about vehicle maintenance at an appropriate time and a reminder three to four weeks ahead of the due date results in the best customer response.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>For the MOT reminder service to work, dealers must ensure customer records are up to date with accurate MOT due dates and customer contact details, in order to maximise chances of customer bookings. autoVHC a platform from Snap-on Business Solutions, for example, has a text and email reminder function which uses information within the system to automatically contact customers to remind them that their vehicle is due a service.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>The method of customer contact is also a factor to bear in mind. SMS text messaging is by far the most popular method of communication, but it doesn’t suit everybody. Some customers would prefer an email, phone call or even a letter so make sure you take the time to find out customer preferences, to enable a more personalised service.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Affordable servicing and repairs</span></strong></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>When faced with an upfront bill for servicing and repairs, many motorists will naturally look for a cheaper alternative, which could result in loss of business to independent outlets. Working in partnership with an auto finance company, can allow you to offer interest-free finance to spread the costs of servicing and repairs over a manageable time frame and could be a key pull-factor for customers, as well as play a role in customer retention.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Added incentives</span></strong></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>As with any customer-facing business, the ability to offer some kind of incentive is a proven method of boosting retention and persuading customers to do business with you. Added incentives could be a discounted service package for out of warranty vehicles or partnering with a third party supplier to offer a deal on roadside assistance. Other USPs you could advertise to your customers could be a collection and delivery service or extended opening hours, for improved flexibility and convenience.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Transparency for customers</span></strong></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>A priority for dealerships is creating a service that customers have faith in and is capable of capturing future business once a warranty expires or through referrals and recommendations. Electronic vehicle health checks can play a key role in improving communication between dealerships and motorists, such as autoVHC’s software, which enables red and amber work to be identified, photographed, logged and presented to customers quickly, consistently and professionally. Electronic vehicle health checks provide full visibility over any work that may be required, showing precisely what needs to be done and why, before any repairs are carried out.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Customer-friendly translation </span></strong></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>Many motorists have a limited understanding of automotive engineering and so going the extra mile to translate technical processes into a clear, customer-friendly format can improve levels of trust and communication between dealers and motorists. In addition, by demonstrating a duty of care and leaving customers satisfied that their vehicles, and personal safety, are being properly taken care of, this will help boost customer loyalty towards your dealership.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Going digital</span></strong></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>A straightforward online booking process will help your dealership stand out from the cloud and gain a competitive edge over independent garages who tend to operate in a more analogue way. Ensure your website is up to date and professional, as well as having mobile compatibility so customers receive a seamless experience no matter what their access point. </span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Take a customer perspective</span></strong></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>Recent research revealed that trust and approachability rank among the top factors for motorists when it comes to choosing between franchised dealerships and independent garages. It is important to give technicians proper training in how to converse effectively and how to deliver the most appropriate solutions, tailored to a customer’s needs. When service advisors see the value in what they’re selling from the customer’s perspective, it presents a more ethical and effective way of boosting the sale of red and amber work. Building a genuine rapport with a motorist can be central to delivering a positive experience and the reassurance that customers are being treated fairly.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>Implement a customer-centric mindset where you imagine you are the customer and take a walk-through experience of the service you deliver to check your processes are streamlined for maximum customer comfort and convenience, especially during this peak time in demand. Using electronic vehicle health checks is one way to boost customer experience and loyalty when it comes to aftersales opportunities, whilst increasing operating efficiency within your dealership.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>If you’re looking for guidance on how to expand your digital offering by implementing electronic vehicle health checks in your dealership then please get in touch.</span></p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Thu, 01 Oct 2020 07:39:09 +0000 Contextadmin 102 at Advice for Our Partner Dealerships on Contactless Solutions to Keep Your Customers and Employees Safe during the Pandemic <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Advice for Our Partner Dealerships on Contactless Solutions to Keep Your Customers and Employees Safe during the Pandemic</span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-07/autovhc%20blog%20image2.png" width="1357" height="763" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3108" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Contextadmin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 07/31/2020 - 09:31</span> <p><strong>31st July 2020</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><em><span><span><span>Measures you can implement in your dealership to help keep your customers and their vehicles safe</span></span></span></em></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>For autoVHC’s partner dealerships and their customers, maintaining operations throughout the pandemic has been vital. It’s been important to make sure that key workers, food supply logistics, community support workers, medical providers and other critical providers have been able to maintain continuity in their daily professions and many of the dealerships we work with have been committed to supporting these customers by keeping them mobile during the pandemic. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Now that the lockdown is easing, services can begin to safely resume for many vehicle customers. After a long period of closure, getting these services back up and running safely and efficiently will be challenging. It’s likely, for example, that after the DVSAs extension of MOT deadlines in March, there’s going to be a surge in MOT customers, and recent research predicts that </span></span><a href=""><span><span>1 in 10 vehicles</span></span></a><span><span> could be unsafe as a result of this extension.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Although dealerships are now permitted to open, and accompanied test drives are permitted if the driver and passenger are wearing masks, <span>demand for contactless services from dealers remains, with </span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span>76% of prospective buyers</span></span></span></a><span><span><span> looking for virtual dealer appointments, at-home test drives, or home delivery. In light of this, </span></span></span><span><span>we decided to share some advice with our dealerships on what you can do to keep your customers and their vehicle safe during this challenging period, in particular <span>additional safety measures which aim to maintain social distancing and minimise customer contact.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Remote Customer Contact</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>If possible, it’s a good idea to use video call technology or email to remotely demonstrate any work that’s required to keep a customer’s vehicle safe and running well, or to show them any parts that are being removed.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>You could also implement a completely contactless customer system. When a customer needs to come to the centre, they can call when they arrive. The dealership can place customers in a queue based on arrival order and call them back to discuss their requirements. Customers can remain in their vehicle until you’re ready to work on it, at which time they can wait outside or leave and come back when their vehicle is ready to go.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>For dealerships with lounges, we strongly recommend temporarily suspending refreshments for customers to minimise unnecessary contact in this area. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Virtual Viewings</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Some customers looking to buy a new vehicle might not yet feel ready to visit the dealership in person to view vehicles. Dealers can provide a video walk-around of a new or used car, giving the customer a better idea about the ins and outs of a new car. Plus, by using live video technology, the customer can ask questions as the dealer walks around the car. It provides an extra level of interaction to those who are currently in the market for a new car.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Contactless Signatures </span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Most businesses are temporarily changing their policy on signatures. Rather than asking customers to sign any paperwork or tablets, you can instead ask for a text, email or audible authorisation before carrying out work on their vehicle.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>We also advise sending quotes and invoices to customers via email to minimise contact.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Payment Methods</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>It’s best practice to temporarily suspend any cash payments, and ask instead that customers pay by card or contactless payments only. This helps to keep your customers and staff safe by reducing contact through cash.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Keeping your team and your customer’s vehicle safe</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Make sure that your team members are taking extra hygiene precautions wherever possible. Staff should use gloves which are changed for each vehicle that is worked on and wash their hands between every vehicle job. Within the workshop, team members should be extra vigilant on personal space and maintaining social distancing guidance as much as possible.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>After working on a vehicle, wipe down common contact areas, such as the steering wheel and door handles</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>autoVHC extends its support to all our dealerships as they start to reopen during this challenging time.</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><em><span><span>Service Visuals has a library of over 450 animations showing many vehicle parts and systems, the animations make complex descriptions easy to explain and understand, breaking down the technical language barrier that prevents customers from understanding the reason for essential servicing and repairs. Service Visuals can be added as a module to autoVHC to help customers decide on whether to proceed with any work identified during their vehicle health check.</span></span></em></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span><span><em><span><span>Check out this video about contactless solutions to keep your customers and employees safe here:</span></span></em></span></span></strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span><span><a href=";data=02%7C01%7C%7C8f5966e0e9a54bbcb2c108d82ee01f12%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637310887550937035&amp;sdata=TIiZQMzjeXDu%2BDBBIiltU97TYpbTXJtO7XjqmNrsCZo%3D&amp;reserved=0"></a></span></span></strong></p> <p> </p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Fri, 31 Jul 2020 08:31:48 +0000 Contextadmin 98 at Why electronic vehicle health check systems are key to the aftersales revival <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Why electronic vehicle health check systems are key to the aftersales revival</span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/autoview%20blog.png" width="1000" height="563" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chrishogg</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 06/22/2020 - 10:15</span> <p><strong>22nd June 2020</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>By Paul Muers</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>The Covid-19 crisis has hit the motor industry incredibly hard over the last month. In addition to disruption to vehicle manufacturing and supply chains, many dealers scaled down operations with the exception of emergency vehicles.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>Carrying out the essential work needed to keep people on the road, especially key workers, is a credit to the franchised dealership sector’s capacity for commitment and innovation.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>More important for dealers in the long run, however, will </span></span></span><span><span><span>be the potential rise in business as lockdown restrictions lift.  Now that restrictions are lifting, dealers will hopefully be faced with an influx of people having work done to their vehicles. There will be several weeks and even months of missed work, services and differed MOTs. </span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>While this release of built up work is welcome news, it will also have the potential to put added pressure on aftersales departments as they return to normal operations, testing efficiency and service processes to the limit. </span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>This is where the use of an electronic vehicle health check (eVHC) system will come into its own.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Work Prioritisation</strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>Using an eVHC system that categorises work into three separate categories red, amber and green will help workshop teams focus on the most pressing customer jobs. Issues highlighted as red represent work that needs to be done immediately and the customer should be alerted to this. Amber work refers to work that will need to be done in the near future and green represents sources of future work that won’t need to be done for some time. This system allows you to show the customer what urgently needs doing to their car more easily. But is also has the benefit of helping aftersales managers target work that is both more urgent and more likely to lead to an immediate sale. </span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Customer Reporting</strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>An eVHC system allows you to report work quickly and easily to the customer. Long term the reports are a key tool for building trust between the dealership and the customer. Not only will this create more work in the short term by convincing the customer of the necessity of the work, it also aids customer retention. However, for dealerships looking to juggle busy workshops, the ability to send digital reports and for customers to remotely approval jobs while their vehicle is in the service bay greatly improves overall efficiency levels. The more streamlined customer reporting is the more vehicles can be serviced in a given period of time.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Picture and Video</strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>The use of picture and video features on the eVHC system will allow you to show the customer what is needed to be done and why, and can help customers that want to transact remotely. This will help put their mind at ease about the work that has to be carried out and also means that they are more likely to approve the work quickly. This means that cars are not sat at the dealerships for an extended period of time. Mechanics can get to work quicker, and more customers can be served, resulting in happy customers and more revenue for the dealership.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><strong>A Return to Normal</strong></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>Like all businesses, dealerships need to adapt to the rapidly changing economic landscape caused by the Coronavirus. Technology helps to give businesses the agility needed to make those adaptations and for dealers, this will include managing aftersales capacity as lockdown restrictions are lifted. An effective eVHC platform will be essential when it comes to returning to business as usual.</span></span></span></p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Mon, 22 Jun 2020 09:15:23 +0000 chrishogg 95 at What will the Motor Ombudsman’s code of practice review mean for your aftersales service? <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">What will the Motor Ombudsman’s code of practice review mean for your aftersales service?</span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-01/autoview4.jpg" width="1000" height="563" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chrishogg</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 01/20/2020 - 16:47</span> <p><strong>20th January, 2020</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>By Paul Muers</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>The Motor Ombudsman has announced plans to review its four codes of practice this year. These codes are made in line with the ombudsman’s values of integrity, effectiveness, openness, accountability and professionalism.</p> <p> </p> <p>The aim of the codes is to create an industry which reflects these values. The codes are made up of the new car code, the vehicle sales code, the vehicle warranty products code and the service and repair code. These codes ‘ensure that businesses are operating to the highest standards and give consumers peace of mind that they are using a business they can rely on.’</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What are the codes?</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>The New Car Code covers new vehicles under manufacturer’s warranty, the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty and spare parts availability.</p> <p> </p> <p>The Vehicle Sales Code provides reassurance to motorists during the vehicle purchasing process and is applicable to both main dealer and independent car retailers.</p> <p> </p> <p>The Vehicle Warranty Products Code aims to drive up standards across a wide range of automotive warranty and insurance products, by committing dealership’s to higher standards than required by law.</p> <p> </p> <p>Most importantly for aftersales teams however, is the Service and Repair Code which commits dealers to an open, transparent and fair method of business, aiming to maintain consistently high standards across the industry. By subscribing to the Code, a dealership is demonstrating its commitment to operate as a responsible business and deliver high levels of customer satisfaction.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What could this mean for the aftersales process?</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>The current emphasis in the Service and Repair Code on an open and transparent motor industry is expected to continue. The ombudsman is keen to use an open industry to create an environment of accountability for dealerships. The question, however, is how the Motor Ombudsman is going to encourage dealerships to engage with their push for transparency.</p> <p> </p> <p>A clue might be seen in their own plans to make upgrades to their technology systems. The upgrades are being specifically implemented in order make data more universally available. This emphasis paves the way for an extensive expansion in the use of service technology at dealership level too, with the enhanced use of electronic vehicle health checks just one area to consider. The use of technology to log aftersales work identified and undertaken by dealerships, in particular, creates a clear way of tracking work completed and requirements for upcoming repairs.</p> <p> </p> <p>Vehicle health checks can also be used in order to raise standards across dealership groups, a practice that is likely to appeal to the Motor Ombudsman’s desire for a transparent and consistent service process. Dealerships can use eVHC data to identify areas where poor work conversion might indicate issues around customer communication or the presentation of information for example.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>eVHC accountability</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>While the industry waits on the latest code of practice to be published, wider use of electronic vehicle health check technology is certain to help dealerships meet the new guidance. It will make it easier for dealerships to show conclusively the work that they have undertaken for customers and how they communicate this in an open and transparent way as part of a professional service experience.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>If you’re looking for guidance on making better using of electronic vehicle health checks in your service process </em><a href=""><em>get in touch</em></a><em>. </em></p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Mon, 20 Jan 2020 16:47:56 +0000 chrishogg 92 at Creating a standardised international service approach <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Creating a standardised international service approach</span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-12/Alternator_Customer%20cropped_1.jpg" width="4349" height="2474" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chrishogg</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 12/16/2019 - 10:49</span> <p><strong>16 December 2019</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>By Paul Muers</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Car manufacturers are among the world’s best-known brands. They have international reputations to maintain and protect – and part of this means ensuring a consistency of experience for consumers interacting with the brand, no matter where in the world they are located.</p> <p> </p> <p>This customer experience spans from the original sale through to aftersales interactions – which actually form the bulk of a driver’s interaction with the vehicle brand. What, then, are the core elements of a consistent aftersales experience and how can they be delivered internationally?</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>A transparent experience for all customers</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>The first principle of an effective and consistent aftersales experience is to offer transparency for all customers. Transparency means keeping drivers informed of<em> </em>everything relating to the condition and care of their vehicle, in a timely and easy-to-understand manner. Without this consistency, some drivers will be kept in the dark about some elements of their vehicle, and it is impossible to ensure consistency of service.</p> <p> </p> <p>Multimedia (photo and video) sharing of work required on the vehicle, as well as detailed checks including as much integrated service technology as possible, as we discussed in <a href="">this blog on service technology</a>, are efficient and reliable means of achieving this transparency. The point is to lead with being informative, rather than promotional. The latter can all too easily fall into the realm of pushy sales and marketing techniques, whereas the former focuses on empowering and enlightening customers.</p> <p> </p> <p>Structured reports on vehicle service experiences, then, are a powerful way of achieving customer transparency both in terms of the performance and condition of their vehicles, and the attitude of their car dealerships. It’s not just about being accurate – it’s also about being open and comprehensive. It’s about bridging the knowledge gap between dealerships and drivers, who are unlikely to have detailed levels of technical and mechanical knowledge, or even sophisticated awareness of how to take care of their vehicles.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>An easy<em> </em>experience for all customers</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Transparency is one vital piece of the puzzle – another is ease and convenience. The easier dealerships can made it for drivers to keep on top of their vehicle’s servicing, the more convenient and seamless the customer experience. Replicate this ease between dealerships and even between countries, and carmakers can build a powerful reputation for reliability and customer-centricity.</p> <p> </p> <p>How to make things easy for customers? Dealerships can, for example, proactively remind drivers of upcoming services, including via SMS reminders and other marketing initiatives. This is proactive without being overbearing, and helps drivers to feel empowered about taking care of their vehicles.</p> <p> </p> <p>Flexibility of aftersales services is critical, enabling customers to fit their servicing appointments around their busy lives, rather than the other way around. This means flexible vehicle drop-offs, extended opening times and a seamless courtesy vehicle offering. And dealerships should also work on their approach to service follow-ups, including the automatic triggering of SMS reminders to make booking further appointments as easy as possible.</p> <p> </p> <p>Similarly, when work is actually taking place, dealerships must make it as easy to as possible for drivers to approve that work. As above, being able to send customers multimedia messages indicating the work carried out, and allowing them to approve work via email or SMS without the disruption of a physical call really does put customer convenience and choice first.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Consistent training and processes internally</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>The above areas focus on the relationship of the dealership with customers, and consistent and convenient channels of communication and structuring of services. But dealerships also need to look internally. To achieve the above consistency internationally, dealerships need similar consistency when it comes to internal training and staff development, as well as working processes.</p> <p> </p> <p>And this, in turn, requires service technology which can be rolled out across all dealerships internationally, providing a clear, consistent and structured approach to core working processes, such as defined approaches to service checks.</p> <p> </p> <p>Consistency is critical for any business wishing to build a genuinely international brand with reliability and integrity. The technology exists for dealerships to achieve this.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="">Contact autoVHC</a> to find out how its eVHC platform can help your brand create a consistent service standard</p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:49:19 +0000 chrishogg 91 at Is your dealership making the most of service technology? <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Is your dealership making the most of service technology?</span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-11/autoVHC%20in%20Action%201.jpg" width="1000" height="563" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chrishogg</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/06/2019 - 10:40</span> <p><strong>30 October 2019</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>By Paul Muers</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>The rapid pace of development in digital technology is having a dramatic impact in multiple industries – and automotive servicing is no exception.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>First, an increasing number of tools and sensors are available that can test a vehicle’s condition and performance in highly sensitive and sophisticated ways. With levels of accuracy far beyond those achievable manually or with traditional tools, these new technologies enable service providers to dramatically enhance their offering.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>Second, vehicles are becoming ‘smart’with onboard connected sensors which collect data on a car’s performance while it is being driven and analyse this in real-time in order to generate predictive analytics and proactive alerts.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>Such intelligent, self-monitoring vehicles may be less likely to require routine inspection, especially as we move into the electric vehicle era, which can appear to be leaving dealerships with less potential work. However, dealerships can use technology to sell more work.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><strong>Innovations and advances: digital technology in the service process</strong></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>What kinds of technologies are we talking about? Here are a few ideas:</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>- </span></span><span><span>3D tyre tread depth readers. Drive-over and hand-held tread depth readers can accurately measure thousands of data points from each type, providing a highly detailed reading of wear and tear across the tyre, enabling dealerships to report with confidence whether or not a tyre needs replacing. Savvy dealerships use the system on every workshop visit to make sure all opportunities are captured.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>- </span></span><span><span>Wheel alignment checking equipment. The latest equipment makes it quick and easy to check vehicles and sell more corrective work. </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>- Wireless digital pressure and temperature testers use Bluetooth technology and an app to deliver air conditioning checks in a couple of minutes, helping dealerships simplify and speed up tests and sell more.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><strong><span>A unified approach to automotive data</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>All of these technologies – and there are many more examples – can enable dealerships to access more intelligent information when they carry out vehicle health checks and servicing appointments. In turn, this can help them to offer more precise services, and to act as an intelligent link for drivers between raw data that they may not be able to interpret, and the actions their vehicle requires. As such, these new sensors and smart technologies are good for drivers, vehicles, <em>and </em>good for dealerships, granting them more opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell services.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>However, to make the most of these opportunities, dealerships need to be able to access data from those different sensors and devices in one place. The key information needs to be automatically imported into a single analytics platform and dashboard, providing a single view for the dealership and a reliable data source for all future appointments. </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>In short, dealerships need to take an integrated approach to the opportunites new technology presents.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Wed, 06 Nov 2019 10:40:43 +0000 chrishogg 89 at Why integrated technology matters for your dealership <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Why integrated technology matters for your dealership</span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-09/autovhc1%20website.jpg" width="999" height="563" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chrishogg</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:22</span> <p><strong>By Paul Muers</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>13th September, 2019</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>Integrating technology enables organisations to make better use of the data available to them, improves accuracy and enables more intelligent decision-making.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>Imagine, for example, an organisation which has integrated its customer relationship management (CRM) system with its accounting solution. This enables financial processes such as invoicing to be closely tied to customer information, so account managers can quickly determine things like which customers are more likely to pay promptly and which are overdue. </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>Integrations between CRM systems and contact centres are another example that helps ensure that when customers contact an organisation, their previous contact records can be immediately accessed by the call handler and the call is more informed and efficient. </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>Yet despite these obvious cases for an integrated technology approach, many dealerships have systems that are disconnected.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><strong>Integration in automotive dealerships</strong></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>What does integration look like in automotive dealerships? One of the most common – and important – technologies used within dealerships are dealer management systems, or DMSs. These management information systems developed specially for industry help dealerships handle functions including sales, finance, parts, inventory and administration. </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>While a DMS is clearly functional in isolation, it becomes more powerful when integrated with technologies that support other customer-facing activities across the dealership environment.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>Linking aftersales technology in this way is one such example. Integrating with an electronic vehicle health check platform, such as an autoVHC, allows the DMS and eVHC system to communicate at various stages depending on the level of integration achieved.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>This enables improved customer communications and a better flow of information between sales and aftersales teams. For example, a customer’s vehicle history can be viewed as one complete record, starting with the initial vehicle purchase and including all subsequent aftersales visits. </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>This enables dealership teams to identify specific services that might suit the customer and develop tailored approaches where appropriate. Better integration of information also enables an array of useful business intelligence which can help improve how both sales and aftersales opportunities are converted.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><strong>autoVHC: an integrated approach</strong></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span>At autoVHC, we are proud to have developed our eVHC solution to integrate seamlessly with a range of different automotive technologies.  This includes being a member of CDK’s Global’s partnership programme. Integration between The CDK DMS and autoVHC creates an end-to-end process enabling dealers to seamlessly transfer data relating to jobs, parts, stocks, prices and more between the two platforms.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><strong><em>Why not get in touch with us today to learn more about building an integrated approach to technology in your dealership?</em></strong></span></span></p> <p> </p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Fri, 13 Sep 2019 08:22:12 +0000 chrishogg 88 at Dealing in Digital: Tips for expanding your aftersales services <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Dealing in Digital: Tips for expanding your aftersales services</span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-08/Digital%20services.png" width="999" height="562" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">chrishogg</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/20/2019 - 17:53</span> <p><strong>By Paul Muers</strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>20th August, 2019</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Innovative and creative digital offerings have become crucial for organisations across a wide variety of sectors. Retailers, media businesses, estate agents and more are competing to develop the most engaging mobile apps, the most novel approaches to gamification and the most appealing digital experiences.</p> <p> </p> <p>At first glance, automotive dealerships might not seem like the most obvious businesses to be participating in this digital revolution. After all, the core role of dealerships is still a physical, face-to-face one – whether selling a new vehicle, or providing aftersales care for an existing one.</p> <p> </p> <p>However, digital offerings can help dealerships, like so many other businesses, to stand out from the crowd and achieve success in a highly competitive and challenging market. Here are some ideas.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Easy online booking</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Let’s start with the basics. Enabling vehicle owners to book appointments online – whether vehicle health checks, MOTs, advice sessions on the purchase of a new vehicle, specialist maintenance and so on – increases ease for customers, and can make your dealership a more convenient choice than a competitor. Of course, the simpler and quicker an online booking is to make, the better.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Mobile compatibility</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>On a related point, ensure that your dealership’s website is compatible and responsive on mobile devices. More and more internet access takes place on smartphones and tablets, so ensuring that your customers receive the same seamless experience across all devices is a quick win.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Tutorials and education</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>For many vehicle owners the health and performance of their vehicle, and how they should maintain it throughout different driving conditions, is something of a mystery. Dealerships which take proactive steps to educate and support drivers through this landscape can build greater long-term relationships and a brand based on being informative and helpful. The digital possibilities for customer advice and education are endless, from e-learning courses which can become an additional revenue stream, to apps, digital presentations and even games designed to help customers learn more about how to look after their vehicle – or even choose a new one.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Customer contact and loyalty building</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Long-term customer relationships rely on just the right level of communication – enough to keep customers up-to-date and remind them when an appointment is due, but not so much that they feel bombarded or swamped. Digital technology can provide a powerful platform for striking this balance, through everything from automated SMS alerts to digital charts tracking the number of appointments kept – with bonuses, of course, for the most loyal customers.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Electronic vehicle health checks</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Electronic vehicle health checks provide a clear and consistent workflow for vehicle health checks to follow. This increases efficiency and profitability internally, but also provides a platform of greater clarity for customers. Technicians can guide drivers through the stages of their vehicle’s health check in a straightforward and jargon-free way, generating a greater sense of transparency and honesty, and enabling customers to ask questions and clarify points should they wish to. Electronic vehicle health checks can also help with brand-building between different sites, ensuring consistency of approach should the dealership expand.</p> <p> </p> <p>The possibilities of innovative digital technology for automotive dealerships are broad, sophisticated and growing all the time. This most physical of industries has a huge amount to gain from innovating in the ways in which it communicates with customers.</p> <a href="/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a> Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:53:19 +0000 chrishogg 86 at