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Customers Are Calling for a Mobile-Friendly Service Experience

Woman doing repairs and diagnose with mobile at auto repair shop
Article Highlights:

  • Great customer experience in service starts with mobile.
  • There are four easy places to make service mobile-friendly.

As a customer of other businesses, would you rather:

  • Wait in the restaurant or get a text on your phone when your table is ready?
  • Check in for your flight at the counter or through a mobile app ahead of time?
  • Wait in line to pay for the food you ordered online or pay before you pick it up?

If you picked the latter, you are in the same boat as your own service customers. Which means you know what your customers want – a mobile-friendly experience.

Today, cell phones are more than a common household item; they’re practically considered a necessity. In fact, 97% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind, 85% of which are a smartphone.

We use it to communicate, research, pay, shop, etc. One survey reveals nearly half of respondents stated they spend five to six hours a day on their phone. This means your customers are most accessible via mobile, and offering a mobile-friendly experience at your dealership makes you more accessible to them, too.

Let’s break down the places you can incorporate mobile-friendly options throughout the service appointment to elevate your customer experience.

Appointment Scheduling

Online appointment scheduling has become more of the norm. Doctors and hair salons, for example, have allowed us to remove a phone call from the equation and do it all online if we please. It allows customers to pick the exact date and time that works for their schedule and not worry about sitting on hold.

Scheduling a service appointment should be this easy, too. 94% of consumers would be more likely to choose a new service provider if that provider offered online booking options. Having a scheduling portal for customers to access online is an easy way to start their experience off on the right foot.

Check-in

One of the biggest customer (and advisor) pain points in service is the bottle neck of customers trying to drop off or pick up their vehicles. Giving customers a mobile check-in option will alleviate a lot of that bottle neck.

Mobile check-in is a concept seen in several other industries. It not only makes the experience feel efficient to the customer, but also to your advisors. You break up the lines and leave the experience up to the customer, putting convenience in their hands.

During the appointment

Customers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from mobile-friendly processes. There are a few ways to incorporate mobile that benefit advisors and technicians as well.

During the multipoint inspection, have your techs take a video of what they found and send it straight to the customer. This gives them a way to thoroughly explain any issues they found, which can both educate the customer and convince them to agree to the service.

Your advisors can then follow up with the recommended work via text or email, where the customer can approve or decline it on their phone in a matter of seconds. On top of that, throughout the appointment, the customer can track the progress of their vehicle on their mobile device. Being able to offer valuable communications with the customer throughout the appointment is appreciated and respected.

Pick-up

You’ve offered a mobile-friendly experience for the rest of the appointment, so don’t stop at the pick-up! Similar to the check-in, it can turn into a hectic time for advisors and customers alike.

Offer an option to pay online before the customer picks up their vehicle so the entire experience is smoother and faster for everyone. Paying online has become a widely adopted practice that today’s customer likely prefers over an in-store payment. In 2021, the number of consumers searching for a more seamless payment experience increased by 110%. So, why wouldn’t you offer it?

Conclusion

We live in a world dominated by mobile devices. Not tapping into an opportunity to leverage them throughout the service experience is only hurting your business. When you can offer customers online appointment scheduling, mobile check-in, transparency through video, online work approval, and secure online payment before pick up, you will win them over with a quick and easy experience that keeps them coming back.

Plus, aside from your customer’s experience, your service advisors can do their job more effectively and your techs can turn wrenches faster. So now you know your customers are calling for a mobile-friendly service experience. The only question is, will you pick up?

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jeff Adams is a Product Planning manager for Service applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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