Service Efficiency 101: Mobile Check-In and Data Capture

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No one enjoys a long wait at the service department, especially when expecting simple routine maintenance to be completed only to discover larger repairs are needed. In fact, long wait times are a big reason customers dislike the entire vehicle service process—and hesitate to give the go-ahead on pricy repair orders.

One of the key areas to optimize your service department for efficiency and profitability is at customer check-in. During this process, you’ll have a chance to capture valuable data, establish a stronger customer relationship, and stand out from the competition with speedy, transparent service recommendations.

How Mobile Check-In Can Boost Service Lane Business

Step 1: Greet Service Customers Promptly

Did you know that customers who don’t wait long in the service department are generally willing to spend more on repair orders? Avoid leaving potential profits in your service lounge—and aim to have each service customer greeted within five minutes of arrival.

As your service advisor or greeter gets the customer checked in, confirm the customer’s contact information. Some customer check-in software will allow you to scan their driver’s license and VIN, helping accelerate the check-in process and ensure your data capture is accurate.

Step 2: Document Visual Vehicle Damage

Some customers are more likely to agree to a recommended repair when they can view the damage instead of reading about it, so giving your service advisors and technicians the tools needed to capture data via photos and videos is crucial.

As your team performs the vehicle walk-around and documents pre-existing conditions, visual documentation allows you to show customers what you see at a glance that could use attention. This visual evidence and transparency helps increase customer trust and buy-in. Even if they choose to decline, you can save these observations and recommendations for future upsell opportunities.

Step 3: Educate (and Upsell) Customers

As a dealership with extensive expertise in your customers’ vehicles, you want to position your staff and your store as the go-to experts for your customers. You’re more than a service shop for routine care, you have the knowledge necessary to help customers make informed decisions about their vehicle maintenance. Establishing and growing this relationship helps keep customers returning for service, increasing their potential for trade-in or (re)purchase.

Help your service advisors and technicians educate customers by having all needed info at-hand. Provide quick recommendations based on factory maintenance plans or your own pre-built maintenance packages based on routine requests at your store. And increase the value of maintenance milestones such as oil changes and tire rotations by adding wiper blade replacements or car washes to the package. Customers are likely to agree to these additional upsells when they’re bundled together with routine maintenance.

Don’t forget to check for open recalls. These recalls are sometimes overlooked by a customer or  service tech, so be sure these no-cost repairs aren’t forgotten and increase customer trust by helping them stay on top of their vehicle’s safety.

Step 4: Remind Customers of Declined Repairs

Customers won’t approve of every repair every time, so it’s important to keep track of declined repairs and remind customers of them at their next visit. Whether the recommendations were pinpointed during the previous vehicle walk-around with the advisor or back in the service bay by the technician, capture that data so they can easily be added as an RO at their current service appointment, or saved for later.

When your customer returns, be sure to advise with the appropriate level of urgency. Prioritizing service recommendations and upsell opportunities by importance—keeping safety first—will go a long way to earning customer trust.

Choose Smarter Service

Capture customer data at service check-in while documenting pre-existing vehicle damage, offering factory maintenance options, and reviewing previously declined repairs—right from a mobile device. Affinitiv SmartLane can help make it happen, taking your service lane efficiency to the next level. To learn more about our innovative mobile check-in solutions, contact us today for your live demo.

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