The world has become more connected and digitalized and many automotive companies have now introduced the concept of digital showrooms. Arabian Automobiles recently launched the first online luxury digital showroom for the Infiniti brand in Dubai. Al-Futtaim Motors too launched an interactive digital showroom recently. Customers can now check out a brand’s different models and their features from the comfort of their homes with just the click of a mouse. The actual process of going to the showroom and picking up a new car or taking the car for service or repair is tedious and can take many hours which can be used otherwise. A new company named RedCap Automotive Technology in Florida offers a concierge service for dealerships and garages that car showrooms and service centers can use for pick up and delivery of new and service vehicles.
Set up by David Zwick, the company has signed on at least 50 retailers for the car concierge business. It is not just customers who benefit. Dealerships and workshops too make big savings. Dealerships do not have to spend extra for delivery of vehicles and can offer the concierge service as a value added service which is part of the finance and insurance package. Service companies get back their loaner cars quicker as they no longer have to depend on customers to make the return. Customers do not have to spend hours waiting for their car in the service center or in the dealership. They just have to make their preferences known and approve any additional work that needs to be done while they move about in comfort using the loaner cars.
The cars are picked up and delivered by drivers who have been thoroughly screened and are looking to make extra income. When customers call to purchase a new car or schedule a service, depending on the make of the customer’s vehicles and the duration for which he has owned the car, a loaner car is driven to him and his car is picked up for service. Customers can make the booking using a mobile app and get to see a picture of the driver and approve him or her to ensure the transaction is completely transparent.
RedCap’s phone app monitors how many jobs a driver accepts, whether the driver was on time, how long the job took, if the driver was speeding and how the customer rated the experience. RedCap gets an alert if the driver takes indirect routes or drives too fast. While some dealerships charge customers for delivery of the car, others offer it as part of the customer service or as part of a paid package that includes insurance and finance.
According to Zwick, three manufacturers have confirmed that customers who use this service and do not come in to the service centers spend more on service as they do not have to spend time waiting and it is all done in one go. They prefer to approve work on the telephone in the event that additional work is needed.
The concierge service translates into faster turnaround time for loaner cars. This makes it possible to use either half the number of cars in the loaner fleet or service twice as many customers.
A research study conducted by J.D. Power in 2015 on Customer Service Index in the US revealed that when a dealer delivers the vehicle to a customer’s home or worksite, there is a 41-point increase in customer satisfaction.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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