Creating the best service booking experience

Portia Browning, Service Online Product Manager at CDK Global, explains the three key actions Dealers can take to make the service booking experience more convenient for their customers.

Creating the best service booking experience

Achieving and maintaining customer loyalty in aftersales can be tough. Buying a car is only the start of your customer’s relationship with you. After they purchase their vehicle, they expect, and should receive, an efficient aftersales experience. If your aftersales care is more sales than care, they won’t want to come back to you for MOT’s, repairs and servicing.

True customer loyalty is when the customer comes back time and again, choosing you above everyone else and believing that your aftersales service is the best option. To achieve this, every interaction with your dealership needs to be as professional and easy as possible. This applies for the routine elements too. Even when the customer books a routine service, you need to show you care.  Customers are busy people; they want ease and convenience but still highly value the personal touch.

Let’s look at the ways you can keep your customers wanting to come back:

Make service booking convenient

The modern customer now manages many areas of their life online, for example banking, reservations and food shopping. Their time is precious; they have little free time, limited patience when being kept on hold on the phone, and are not willing to wait for long for a response to an email. Car owners now require the opportunity to manage the maintenance of their cars online, at a time that is convenient for them and want to be able to choose exactly the services they need.
Today’s successful dealers are aware of this and can facilitate the modern car buyer’s needs. They offer a way for customers to book their service online, on their website. The process is as easy as purchasing something off Amazon; it is intuitive, easy and enables the customer to get an instant confirmation. Fast. Simple. No fuss.

Be transparent with pricing

There’s always been much debate as to whether customers would remain loyal to a dealership if there was a cheaper option nearby. In my opinion, when a customer is loyal and has a positive preferential attitude towards a dealership, price sensitivity is not always the most important factor to them.

However that being said, people do always like to know what they are paying for. Having the facility to display pricing online can help create an honest experience for the customer. They will know the full service cost at time of booking, with no nasty surprises. It’s also important that they can see a breakdown of the items that justify the end price in advance, which allows them to budget for repairs and make decisions on pricing in their own time, both of which will generate loyalty.

Make it personal  

Adding a personal touch can go a long way in building relationships with your customers. Everyone likes to feel special, especially when they are spending money and have choices of where to go.

The customer likes to feel that their dealership knows them and their car - it helps them to feel like a valued customer.

Introducing an online service booking facility can help with this. Creating an online account where they can book servicing and repairs, in addition to updating their personal details, can help to make them feel confident they’ll be offered the right service options for their car.

Personalisation online can then be taken a step further. By showing appropriate reminders for upcoming MOT’s and deferred work allows the customer to choose the option they prefer.  Just a little extra can make the customer feel relaxed and safe in the knowledge they’re known to the dealer and their options have been personally presented to them and are appropriate.

Dealers must adapt

The modern customer cannot be ignored, dealerships must adapt. It’s no longer a viable option to just wait for customers to call you and book a service. You need to tailor your service offering to their needs and make it available when they are. With each point of contact you are building a stronger relationship with the customer, ensuring that the customer simply won’t consider any other option when booking a service, no matter what price or location.

Learn more about Service Online

70% of global consumers expect company website to include a self-service application.*

Make service booking convenient with Service Online

Customers can:

  • View the full cost of each complete service at the point of booking (no nasty surprises added the end)
  • Book anytime, anywhere on any device
  • See all available booking times, and pick their favourite
  • Select anything additional from the extra options list, these things can easily be forgotten

Benefits to the dealer:

  • Take bookings anytime – All appointments are automatically accepted in your workshop diary (even when you're asleep)
  • Capture lost bookings- if a customer abandons a booking at any stage you’ll receive a notification – an email notification for a quick follow-up
  • Know your customers through the sign up process – Your customers update their own details for you, no more embarrassing mistakes
  • Real-time DMS integration- your workshop diary will always be as up to date as possible, even weeks in advance.

*The Real Self-Service Economy Report