Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders

Loading... Be Patient!

According to the 2017 JD Power CSI survey, only 13 percent of consumers scheduled their vehicle service online.
The progress toward online scheduling has been glacially slow, rising only two percentage points over the past three years.


This is despite the fact that nearly all dealerships now have an online scheduler and most service reminders are digital. Online scheduling usage is particularly poor when compared to travel where 75 percent of airline reservations are booked online and 49 percent of airline check-ins are performed digitally.


The same JD Power survey suggests nearly half of the consumers not scheduling online are “unaware” the option to schedule online exists. So, the natural tendency is to focus on raising awareness by showing the online scheduling application during delivery or sending specific communications about online scheduling.


We should do a better job promoting online scheduling, but I do not believe “awareness” is the root cause of non-usage; inadequate value is. The bigger issue is that online scheduling has too little impact on the service experience, as evidenced by online scheduling users are just two points more satisfied than those scheduling the traditional way, on a thousand-point scale.


After initial launch, the airlines did not have to separately market their websites and apps because those capabilities improved customer service and spread virally. Why is that? The airlines’ solutions made the consumer experience substantially better.


Why is this not happening in automotive?
It’s because we are grafting digital capabilities onto an analogue process. What benefit is the customer getting for booking online?  Preferred appointment times? Shorter or more informed write-up process?  Perhaps bypassing the service write-up all together? Not a chance!  In fact, according to the JD Power CSI study, online schedulers are no more satisfied with service initiation than others.


Imagine if you checked in for your Delta flight this morning on your Delta app, but then you still had to wait at the ticket counter before boarding your flight. If this were the case, you would probably not use your Delta app. So why do we make consumers wait for service advisors?


One reason is so the service advisor can capture more information to help diagnose the problem. The second is to “upsell” more service. Other industries have successfully applied technology to address both. Chatbots can ask and respond to a multitude of customer issues. Think Alexa. In addition, Amazon has conditioned consumers to upsell themselves through highly relevant “people like you” suggestions.


Deploying similar technologies, dealers could clear the 7am to 9am bottleneck and accept vehicles when it’s most convenient to the customer. Additionally, they could increase service revenue by allowing consumers to make informed choices without perceived sales pressure.


Another major issue limiting online scheduling is that many dealers, afraid of competitive shopping, do not post prices online. So, they expect customers to schedule for a service when they don’t even know the price. Again, an analogy from elsewhere in the digital world. Would you order your Dominos pizza, if you went to check out and had no idea what your large Hawaiian pizza costs?


You can’t really expect a customer to schedule a 30,000-miile maintenance when they don’t know the price. Do you think a customer would use the Dominos listed pizza price to competitively shop Papa Johns? Of course not! Neither would most consumers on dealer service pages.


When customers click through to your online scheduler, they are trying to do business with your service department. If you make the process more informative and the gateway to a more convenient service experience, customers will respond by scheduling online more frequently. Not only that, but they will inform their friends about how to get better service. Before you know it, online scheduling for dealer services will go viral.

Views: 100

Tags: automotive, best, customer, dealer, dealership, digital, experience, loyalty, online, practices, More…retention, scheduling, service, shopping, technology


Oops... You need to stop "Lurking" on ADM and become a more genuine Automotive Professional by completing your membership registration. As a registered ADM Member, you can post comments, publish your own articles (be a star!) and start Forum discussions. Stop being an online "Peeping Tom" and JOIN ADM RIGHT NOW!

Join Automotive Digital Marketing

Automotive Professional Network and Resource Exchange for Car Dealers, Managers, OEM and Marketing Practitioners seeking Best Practices.

ADM Sponsor

William B. Terry
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...

Please Consider Automotive Marketing Professional Community Sponsors

ADM Badge


Based On Your Interests...

ADM Consulting, LLC

Onsite/Offsite Combination ADM Consulting, LLC Professional Services
Select the maximum monthly investment you plan to make
Sign up for

Automotive Marketing Tools

Get ADM Toolbar

Click here to take the ADM Member Survey

Getting too many emails from ADM? Click mailbox below to control which types of alerts and updates you are sent......



ADM Professional Services
Phone Consultation
Topic or Issue:

Top Automotive Marketing Forum Discussions

Share the Best Content w/AutoMarketing Community

© 2020   Created by Ralph Paglia.   Powered by

ADM Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service