As new vehicle sales decline, there is increasing urgency for dealers to find alternative revenue sources, with many looking to their aftersales departments. Despite the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles and the reliability of modern cars – reducing billable workshop hours – Pinewood Technologies believe there are still plenty of opportunities to profit.
“We are learning from markets that are more advanced in terms of their adoption of electric vehicles. From our experience in these markets, such as the Nordics, we’ve observed that dealers capture more of the work that a traditional UK dealership might not pursue as actively. For example – tyres, smart repairs and even glass repairs,” explains Managing Director, Neville Briggs.
To capture every opportunity, Pinewood DMS encourages dealers to strike while the iron is hot, when customers are more likely to authorise identified work. “The best time to upsell is when the car is in the workshop, not when the customer has gone home and has the opportunity to shop around, or faces the prospect of having to revisit the dealership, which isn’t efficient for anyone,” says Briggs. “Our most successful and profitable customers are already aware of this”.
Pinewood DMS offers a built-in vehicle checking process to build trust with customers, who are more likely to authorise further work and therefore generate more revenue. To provide transparency, dealers can send a booking confirmation to the customer, with a video link explaining the arrival and check-in process. Service advisors can be pre-allocated to an appointment, so they are ready to greet the customer and begin the VHC process.
Pinewood’s app for sales and service, Host+, allows the filming of an arrival video from the convenience of a mobile device. Doing this with the customer present provides more credibility than if the dealer were to contact the customer later in the day and gives them more time to consider proceeding with the additional work. However, when upselling, dealers must have clear pricing and the stock required. Features such as menu pricing, inbuilt tyre catalogues, recommended ordering (based on previous supply trends) and automatic re-ordering of parts, address these challenges.
VHC video is a major highlight of Pinewood’s technician app, Tech+. Technicians can capture and send clips of damage to customers straight from the ramp, with a link to instantly authorise or reject the work. This has proven to significantly impact conversion rates and aftersales profits.
The past year has seen the release of brand new versions of all three of Pinewood’s aftersales apps; Tech+, Parts+ and Host+, for technicians, parts advisors and service/salespeople respectively. These bring a range of new capabilities, such as digitally signing documents to reduce paperwork, issuing parts on the move and barcode scanning.
A growing business
Pinewood are constantly growing their team to drive their customers’ businesses forward, this year hiring 27 new graduates. Additionally, the introduction of Live-chat and an extensive knowledge-base have proven immensely popular, enhancing the customer support experience.
These advancements will help dealers to truly make the most of Pinewood DMS’ ever-expanding features, enabling them to boost profitability and overcome market challenges.