DGA/Xtime Partnership & Shop Loading 101
DGA has shared over 300 clients with Xtime since 2008 when we launched our Virtual BDC service-Inbound Reservation Center. We have found that dealers do not fully optimize the capabilities of Xtime’s shop-loading.
Shop loading & capacities are two words foreign to MAJORITY of dealers. With proper shop loading, a dealership can maximize the number of appointments each day, limit waiters in the morning, and evenly distribute the work from morning to afternoon. This increases the time your Advisors have with the customers, gives your technicians more time with the cars, and will boost your RO count.
I’ve met with many Fixed Operations Managers that believe their customers only want morning appointments or believe they have 70% walk-in customers, and this is usually not true. This is an excuse given by Advisors that schedule their own appointments. Customers will allow you to manipulate your shop loading if you simply tell them your first available appointment is in the afternoon rather than the morning.
Most aggressive dealers will over load the mornings and will run out of work in the afternoons. In the example below, the dealership books one appointment every 15 minutes for each advisor and books 4 waiters every 15 minutes. 90 minutes into this Saturday, the dealerships will have 36 appointments and up to 24 waiters, and this doesn’t include walk-ins. Saturday mornings are notorious for walk-ins, so let’s factor in at least 10 more walk in customers before 9:30 am.
Now the dealer has 46 cars, at least 30 waiters, and the dealership wants to complete 100 cars on Saturday.
46% of this dealers RO goal is already in the service department, and we’re 15% through the day.
DGA limits the first 2-4 time slots to allow for walk-in traffic to arrive without creating a traffic jam in the service drive. DGA drastically limits the waiters in the morning to naturally fill the morning appointment times with drop off appointments. (BDC DIAG NOTE: Customers will book drop off appointments and wait, but this is a numbers game. We’re looking for optimized efficiency, not perfection.)
DGA will drastically increase waiters after 1:30 pm to overload the afternoon with quicker maintenance items leaving the morning for major maintenance, brake work, and repairs.
90 minutes into this Saturday with DGA’s shop loading expertise, this dealer has 24% of their daily goal in appointments 15% into the day, and only 14 waiters.
This example is a more balanced day. It’s more efficient for the dealership and the customer experience is improved. A dealer should never fear losing their customer because they guide them into an afternoon appointment rather than a morning appointment. Furthermore, DGA’s shop loading will allow for you to squeeze emergency situations into the schedule when they occur. Try squeezing a customer into example 1, and you will end up losing several customers rather than the one.
At DGA, we love the auto industry. We enjoy sharing our years of experience, and we’re extremely proud to have booked over 4 million appointments.
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Every year Mercedes Benz makes changes to their survey process to build brand loyalty by having their dealers take actions to chase scores. Mercedes has completed extensive research to figure out what types of customer experiences translates into customer advocacy.
The first step to achieving consistently excellent CER is knowing and understanding what you’re being graded on. Advisors should act as though they are Account Executives. Every detail of the service should be planned, executed, double checked, and properly explained prior to delivery.
Services Advisors need to have sales skills, communication skills, organization, and the ability to be consistent day in and day out.
Consider the areas Mercedes has chosen to focus on in 2017 such as:
What can using a 3rd party vendor for CSI Follow-up do for you?
Great Advisors can get you there, but it’s very difficult to maintain a great staff all the time. It’s easy for Advisors to become complacent when things are going well for too long! An effective follow-up system is the key to identifying when your Advisors make mistakes. A 3rd party follow-up vendor such as DGA will also provide an immediate impact with your completely satisfied customers, problematic customers, and the ones that are in between. DGA’s follow-up system is key in identifying problematic customers so that you can address the issues prior to the customer receiving the Mercedes Benz survey. Our service will also identify your completely satisfied customers and educate them about the survey process, so they will return the manufacturer’s survey.
What makes DGA the Premier Option for CSI Follow-up?
Accurate data is vital to ensure you are contacting the right customers in a timely manner. Madelia only pulls one phone number. Dealers that plan to use Madelia for their call list should make sure that the cell phone numbers are populating in the home number field to achieve high contact rates. Dealers should also rely on the DMS or a 3rd party software to access additional phone numbers and email addresses since Madelia only provides one phone number & one email.
Building Dealer Loyalty into the Script & Extensive Training
The script should sound natural and build dealer loyalty. There is nothing worse than receiving a follow-up call from someone who sounds like they are reading. This comes across as very disingenuous! Follow-up representatives need to understand the survey process, survey timeline, and know what the weighted questions are. Always use the Service Manager & Advisor’s name serval times during your follow up call. You want the customer to make a connection with their Advisor, Service Manager, and your dealership so they are more likely to return a perfect survey. Mercedes knows that score chasing will often result in better processes.
Timeliness of Follow-up Call
Mercedes Benz surveys their customers 10 days after service. This gives dealers plenty of time to follow-up with all of their customers, identify issues with customers, and fix any issues prior to the customer receiving a survey from Mercedes. Start the follow-up process 24 hours after the record populates in Madelia. 4 attempts seems to be the perfect amount to reach a high percentage of customers without upsetting them by making too many attempts.
Customer Concern Resolution
Most dealers will find that 10-15% of their customers have issues that are identified during the follow-up call. Most customer issues can be quickly turned into perfect surveys if they are handled quickly and correctly. Often an issue that is fixed quickly and correctly can create a loyal customer quicker than a customer that had no issue at all.
Dealers focus on the weighted questions during the follow-up call. Track your customer’s perception of your Advisors. The quantity of the data generated from the follow-up call is more extensive than the data dealers are receiving from the Mercedes Benz survey. Dealers will find out quicker what needs to be fixed internally by tracking the data from the follow-up rather than waiting to see what Mercedes Benz reporting states.
I’m a Partner and Chief Operating Officer of DGA with 15 years’ experience from the vendor side of the auto industry. DGA is an automotive-only call center vendor that specializes in Virtual BDC services. We offer full service inbound appointment scheduling, CSI follow-up, and various types of outbound lead generation.
We love the auto industry and are eager to help our clients achieve success in any way that we can.
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