Written by: Anthony Allen
The dreaded rush is often inevitable. While we enjoy the fact that there is so much traffic coming into our showrooms, that doesn't mean we enjoy the chaos that follows. In the lull that follows a hectic morning, we're often left with the thought that there must be a better way to manage the influx of customers at the start and end of the day. With the right auto repair software you can start looking forward to your no-longer-crazy mornings and evenings.
A check-in kiosk is an important partner for your advisors each morning. For your customers, dropping their vehicle off at your shop is only one item on their morning to-do lists—and long wait times aren't something they're looking forward to. Installing kiosks so that the vehicle owner can shortcut the morning rush will help them out greatly. Utilizing technology may seem like an impersonal alternative, but in reality it helps boost your relationships with your customer base. The quality of your customer service is by no means downgraded by removing face-to-face interaction—in fact, many will see the expedited option as an upgrade.
The kiosk has a simple user interface, which can be easily navigated by any of your customers. To begin the check-in process, owners will enter their phone numbers. They will then be asked to confirm their personal information, so your management system always has the most up-to-date data. Based on your shop's past service recommendations, the kiosk will prompt the customer to opt for those services during their visit. In addition, the kiosk will also make service recommendations based on the season or weather, seamlessly upselling your customers. All updates are reflected in your shop management system so that estimates can be easily created by the service advisor.
A key to handling high volume is creating avenues for more efficient communication. From customer, to advisor, to technician, there can often be lulls in relaying information. If you're having busy mornings, chances are the techs are working hard to keep everything moving throughout the day. Making their jobs easier involves getting them the information they need upfront, as well as making back and forth communication simpler and quicker. Stopping a job to walk all the way to the front desk is a frustrating interruption for the technicians. However, through tablets, techs can message service advisors with questions and quickly get the answers they need and continue on with their work—completing jobs more efficiently and cutting down on any backups.
The end of the day pick up rush just got easier. Most of the final daily interactions with customers can more or less be digitized, not only cutting down on the rush, but also increasing flexibility for customers in regards to pickups. Digital vehicle inspections are texted directly to the vehicle owner, and payment can even be completed via text message as well. With these exchanges taking place through messages, face-to-face pickup transactions don't even necessarily have to take place. Inspections and invoices can be texted to the customer, then keys can be locked inside the vehicle for the owner to pick up on their own time schedule.
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