The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a whirlwind of change, accelerating years of consumer behavior as health and personal safety remain top of mind for most Americans. This shift led to the emergence of new trends like zero-contact services. The most significant change for dealerships is valet servicing: a new business avenue that service managers have been experimenting with to alleviate customer fears of coming in for vehicle maintenance.
Valet Service vs. Pickup and Delivery
Simply put, valet service is fancier packaging for pickup and delivery. The average valet service includes picking up a customer’s vehicle, bringing it to the dealership for service, then returning it to the customer. An increasingly popular option, previously exclusive to luxury brands, is to leave a loaner vehicle behind for the customer, which adds extra logistics to the appointment.
The critical component of valet service is the convenience it offers customers; another trend that’s been rapidly accelerated by the pandemic. The desire for convenient, frictionless experiences when buying a car, or having it serviced, has been growing for years. While the rise of valet service isn’t a direct result of the pandemic, its higher standard for convenience has created a customer experience both sought after and difficult to give up.
Pros and Cons of Valet Servicing
For dealers who have offered this service since before COVID-19, the positive impacts on customer satisfaction and retention rates are impossible to ignore. Brian Benstock of Paragon Honda-Acura in New York City shared with Automotive News that his department’s valet program expanded to more than 3,000 trips a month in just over two years.
On the flip side, valet services come with costs that may be too much for dealerships to bear. These can range from significantly increased labor spending and management software to the complexity of consumer-facing scheduling and potential accident risks to a customer’s car. As a result, while 67 percent of dealerships implemented some form of valet service in April 2020, only 59 percent continue to offer it.
Dealerships who introduce valet servicing and discover it’s not sustainable risk losing more business by rolling back pickup and delivery. Consumers are quicker to find more convenient alternatives than settle for a less convenient one, another trend that has grown considerably throughout 2020.
Finding the Right Solution for Your Dealership
If you’re on the fence about providing valet services to your customer, then the thought of expanding into mobile services may sound impossible. That’s where Digital Servicing™ comes into play. Rather than having to navigate high costs to create a new line of business, this complete package can be tailored specifically to meet your revenue goals right out of the gate. A variety of van types allows your service managers to lead a custom branded mobile fleet, while proprietary software simplifies every aspect of appointment booking, employee scheduling, and payments.
Digital Servicing offers an opportunity to supplement your existing business with a potential customer base that you may not otherwise be able to target. In most cases, these individuals may typically choose an independent service provider. Due to the pandemic, many are likely to opt-out of maintenance altogether due to driving less or financial concerns. By bringing your dealership directly to them, you’ll see an increase in overall business and customer satisfaction, by appealing to those who prioritize convenience and health safety.
Are you interested in learning more about Digital Servicing? Check out our free webinar, “Spiffy Digital Servicing for Dealers,” hosted by our CEO, Scot Wingo, now!
Posted in Digital Servicing