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LONG BEACH, Calif.,-- April 2, 2018-- -- myKaarma, software that helps dealerships communicate better with their customers at every stage of the service process, right from check-in through to payment, today announced that Mercedes Benz of North Palm Beach stopped using their regular phone system in service and now puts every call, text and email through myKaarma. The system keeps a record of every customer interaction, is fully searchable for seven years, and records all incoming and outgoing calls. This has helped build trust with customers, improved customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention.
Two years ago, Service Manager Shawn Potsander heard about myKaarma at a National Parts & Service Managers’ Meeting. Impressed with the results, he decided to try it at his dealership. Potsander runs a pretty busy shop, writes around 1,200 Repair Orders per month with 20 techs and 6 full time service advisors running 36 bays. At first, he was met with a lot of pushback, raised eyebrows from his employees and insecurity about recorded phone calls and the automatic tracking of every customer interaction. However, he could see a huge benefit as he was looking from another perspective -- not to spy on employees, but to document and check on what has been promised to the customer.
“As a manager there is no way to sit in and listen to 50-60 calls per day. At first, the staff was very reluctant. A couple embraced it more than others, but a couple were dead set against it,” said Potsander.
According to Potsander, there was one customer service incident that was a pivotal point. “An elderly gentleman came into the service department and I was standing right there. He apparently had some memory issues and said to the Service Advisor, ‘I know I spoke with you about the expected amount of my bill, and you told me that the call was recorded. I am not questioning you, please don’t take this the wrong way, but these days I tend to forget a lot. Can you please play back our call as I need to feel good about my decision, but don’t remember what we discussed?’ This was very interesting as we never expected this from a customer!” said Potsander. “We played it back and the amount he had in head was the original, but not the total with some required add-ons. As soon as he heard it he smiled and was literally ecstatic. He shook our hands and told us he was so happy as it reassured him that he had made the right decision.”
Seeing the impact this simple recording had on this customer, Potsander decided to have all service calls go through the myKaarma system every single time. He called the phone vendor and had them restrict all calls other than 911. Now, every direct dial number goes through the myKaarma application, so employees have no option but to use it.
“It is a great tool for customer satisfaction,” said Potsander. “Just yesterday a customer in urgent need of their vehicle came in upset as he said he had not received any notification from us that it was ready. However, we had spoken to someone in his office who told us they would relay the message to him but failed to do so. We were able to play back the conversation and he recognized the voice of his employee, it was like a mystery shop of his own office, as he knew exactly who it was. This saved us a CSI issue as the customer knew what really happened -- he was able to hear it with his own ears. This reaffirmed that this is where the value is. It is all about efficiency and trust between the customer and the dealership. Trust leads to profitability as it builds loyalty – this is a long-term loyalty build,” Potsander added.
Potsander has also seen an increase in efficiency, as advisors can spend more time focusing on multiple customers. He can also quickly refer back to any customer interaction, which helps on customer service issues, as the texts and calls are all easily searchable threads.
Service advisors can communicate from their desks via text, email or voice. “It simplifies and adds huge value as we can thread the communication. We recently added sales and parts functionality too. Technicians can upload photos and use RO search function right in the service bay. If a customer calls in to dealership anyone can pull up the RO, see the thread, including the picture the technician uploaded of a dirty oil filter and all the pieces that tied into that story or thread. They can then talk to the customer with some intelligence, without having to hand them off to someone else. It’s a fabulous tool as any manager can go in and see any part of the conversation thread and add data as needed. Now I almost always start any phone interaction in the myKaarma system,” said Potsander.
Potsander also likes the integrated online payment system, which automatically sends payment requests to customers once the vehicle is ready. “It’s a real time saver automating this part of the transaction. We advise each customer that when their vehicle is ready they will receive an email or text with an invoice. This eliminates calls about their vehicle status. The service advisor role has a lot of multi-tasking, a lot of interruptions. So, the more you can automate for them, the more efficient they are. And, you can follow up and say, ‘hey I sent your invoice, do you have a minute to review it?’ The customer is prepared and already has the invoice, so it minimizes any dispute,” Potsander continued.
According to Potsander it’s also a simple matter to issue any refunds or make changes, such as if the customer forgets a coupon or parts are charged for twice. “It is very simple as a manager to go and issue credit, which is another great CSI point as the customer does not have to bring in their card. It is simple and efficient,” said Potsander.
The process of capturing mobile phone numbers is vital to the success of the program and the dealership does a great job at this. “Once the service advisor sees the value there is no push back. In fact, one employee who did not want to use the system at first, now tells me he will quit if I ever get rid of myKaarma,” Potsander noted.
For more information, or to schedule a product demonstration visit: www.mykaarma.com.
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myKaarma is the communication and payments platform of choice for the nation’s top automotive manufacturers and groups alike—enabling a consistent high-quality service experience for their brand’s customers.
Service departments enjoy an average lift in dollars per repair order (RO) of 37%, a 50% reduction in voicemails left with advisors, a 100% reduction in authorization disputes, a 33% decrease in loaner car days, and an increase in CSI scores.
myKaarma's platform backed by its “crazy good” customer service gives dealers the ability to offer their customers 21st Century technology through digital conversations and smart payment systems. myKaarma was named as an official communications and payments partner for Mercedes-Benz U