Nearly 1,200 General Motors dealerships have started using a new tablet tool to help service departments increase customer retention, boost efficiency and increase business. The mobile tool is part of a software program called Service Workbench and lets advisors quickly pull up a vehicle’s history, look through an inspection and recommend service items based on a vehicle walk-around.
When the customer arrives in a service lane, an advisor can perform a quick walk around and rate certain items, such as battery life and tire tread, in green, yellow or red based on the urgency of the service needed. The customer may decide on which services to have done and will receive a print out of services accepted and declined.
If a customer declines a certain service, the program remembers the input and GM will send a customer a mailer with a discount on the said service.
“The main goals are to get a more consistent, better customer experience and to help the dealer and service director to manage their business better,” says Brian Hoglund, who oversaw the tool’s rollout as a director in GM’s Customer Care and Aftersales division before recently taking a new position at the company.
According to Automotive News, Chrysler and Hyundai have rolled out similar systems for their service departments, but GM’s may be the most unique. This is because the company has made the tool widely available and began roll out to 4,300 dealers in 2013 for free.
The new tech also allows managers to see if their technicians are doing their inspections correctly, providing a baseline for what they need to be checking for.
“Consistency was always a problem with these inspections. If you had five techs, they’d have five different outcomes,” he said. “This lets us see which techs are doing a good job and which ones aren’t looking the car over as closely as they should. It’s used as a training tool and a way to hold people accountable.”