Mazda uses digital technology for auto repair booking

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When a vehicle is in the store for service, there are several processes that can cause headaches for both the customer and service professionals. The required repairs must be explained to a customer who must approve them but may not understand them. There is the phone tag game which can slow things down. And then you have to wait to pay before picking up the car.

Mazda addressed these challenges in 2019 by introducing Mazda Digital Service, a set of tools and processes that enables dealers to provide customers with vehicle inspection videos, a choice of communication methods, as well as billing and registration. mobile payment.

Today, the company reports that this program has provided benefits to customers, service advisors and technicians. In a brochure explaining Mazda digital service and other dealer resources, Mazda says these tools and processes have improved customer satisfaction, increased ‘Return Likelihood’ scores and increased the average amount per repair order by 25. %.

“We launched Mazda Digital Service to help our dealers deliver the ultimate Mazda experience,” a spokesperson for Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) told PYMNTS in an email interview. “Customers value staying connected, and with this service, they can expect expedited pickup through digital billing and payment, process efficiency through the use of technology, and transparency through the use of technology. video inspections. “

An increase in the use of digital payments

With digital invoicing and bill payment, customers can see how much the service order will cost and can pay for it in advance. When dealers complete approved service, customers are notified by phone, text, or email. The customer then has the option of paying before collecting the vehicle.

If the customer selects this option, an invoice is sent and he can pay via a secure link. The customer can use any credit card accepted by the reseller. Some of the approved platforms also allow dealers to offer payment plans through third-party providers, such as the Sunbit Buy It Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solution.

“By paying for the service before pickup, the dealership can prepare the vehicle for the customer and simply hand over their keys on arrival,” the MNAO spokesperson said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in the use of digital payments, and digital billing and payment remains our focus as we expect growth in this area due to increased adoption. of technology by dealers. ”

More transparency thanks to video

Along with another component of Mazda digital service, Video Inspections, a Mazda service technician takes an inspection video of the vehicle and sends it to the customer, showing them where maintenance or repair is needed. The client can view the video on their phone and choose whether or not to approve the job.

“Efforts have been focused on video inspections because we believe this builds trust with the customer and improves their experience,” the spokesperson said.

With the Mazda digital service communication component, customers can schedule service appointments and, while their vehicle is in the shop, receive status updates. They can choose to communicate by text, email or phone. The MNAO spokesperson said that after video, SMS is the second most used tool, as most customers prefer to communicate in this way.

Throughput improvements

In addition to providing these benefits to customers, Mazda Digital Service has been well received by service advisors and technicians, and has had a positive impact on their customer satisfaction scores and revenue.

“Service advisors who have integrated digital service tools into their businesses have told us that it has improved their throughput due to faster customer response times and reduced phone tag with customers,” said said the spokesperson for the MNAO. “Technicians feel they can play a bigger role in the service process, as the customer now directly hears the needs of vehicle experts. “

When Mazda Digital Service was launched in 2019, several dealers were already using some of the tools, through companies that are now Mazda partners in this program. Before launch, Mazda consulted many of them and learned that this technology had improved the experience for its customers. Today, as of November 1, 410 dealers, or 75% of Mazda dealers, are registered with Mazda digital service.

“We hear from dealers that technological features, especially video, lead to more service work as well as increased customer satisfaction scores,” said the MNAO spokesperson. “Word of mouth is spreading about the benefits of technology. “

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