Transportation Costs Can Put Dealerships on the Road to Profit
For the first time in nearly a decade, the average dealership is operating at or near a loss. While many dealers are still reporting net profits, the line between loss and profit is being drawn almost exclusively by automaker incentives, which often require increased spend to achieve. The new challenge your dealership faces, is finding solutions that enable an “and” in a previously “or” situation: decrease/control operating costs AND improve the customer experience, especially in the typically more profitable areas of the dealership like service and parts.
Understanding these new challenges, last year we invited everyone involved in serving automobile customers—from dealers and OEMs to developers and data providers—to connect, collaborate and innovate within the Fortellis Automotive Commerce Exchange. The goal? Transform Transform the industry with a new approach to creating automotive industry solutions. Through the connections made on the exchange, software solutions would be designed to tackle today’s dealership challenges and offer options that work for individual dealerships. In other words, cookie cutter tools won’t cut it anymore, especially in the service lane, where time is profit and CSI can hinge on something as simple as a late shuttle bus.
All Hail Hailer: a Ride-Sharing Service Transportation Solution by Fortellis
From shuttle buses and shuttle drivers to loaner cars and insurance, the cost of transportation for service customers can add up quickly. And in busy service departments with potentially hundreds of customers driving up each month, when something doesn’t go right for one of your customers, it can impact the experience of every other customer. But when it goes right, the positive impact on the customer service experience leaves a lasting and valuable impression.
Enter Hailer, integrated ride-sharing technology now offered through the service application of CDK Drive. Ride-sharing is not new, not to customers or even potentially to your dealership. You might have already tested using Uber for Business and Lyft to supplement the transportation options offered to your customers. What is new, however, is seamless integration and the greater control over usage and cost that Hailer can offer.
“The cost of hiring a driver, having a shuttle, paying for maintenance, paying for insurance … with Hailer, I wash all those things away, and the headache.”
– Joel Adames, Service Manager, Honda of Downtown Chicago
Controlling vs. Cutting Service Transportation Costs
Where to spend and where to cut? It’s a question dealerships grapple with on a near daily basis. But in the service department, where the potential for increased profit exists, control over cost, or achieving a balance between spend and cuts, can put your dealership on a firm road to profit and improved CSI.
Hailer offers this balance. Leveraging Lyft, Hailer can potentially replace more costly transportation options like shuttles and loaner cars. “The cost of hiring a driver, having a shuttle, paying for maintenance, paying for insurance … with Hailer, I wash all those things away, and the headache.”
said Joel Adames, Service Manager of Honda of Downtown Chicago. For other dealerships, where loaner cars are a necessity, Hailer can be used to help tailor the transportation experience to the customer’s needs, keeping loaner cars on premises for customers that need them and easily getting other customers to and from the dealership using Hailer.
Hailer takes cost control even deeper, giving you the power to set a mile radius distance and or cost limits to help protect the expenses of your customer’s rides. Uber for Business doesn’t provide this control; instead, customers have control over location and Uber has control over cost, which could mean a surprising number at the bottom of the bill. With Hailer, you have total control over cost and enjoy full transparency from the moment the ride is ordered to the moment the customer is dropped at their desired location.
To provide full transparency Managers can view reports to see their current usage and costs. Best of all each ride sharing expense is added automatically to the repair order so you are able to see the ride sharing cost in relation to the repair order, which keeps your Service Advisors accountable for the ride sharing they offer to customers.
“It’s all about control, accountability, bottom line but still providing a good service for your consumers.” – Jason Halley, General Manager Volkswagen of Downtown
Happy Customer … Service Index Scores
At the end of the day, Hailer gives your dealership and your customers a choice that is beneficial for both. I truly is the perfect blend of cost-effectiveness for you and convenience for your customers. It’s an “and” solution for a previously “or” challenge.
To learn more about how Hailer might be able to make a similar impact on your service transportation costs, sign up for a quick guided tour of Fortellis Hailer.