Volume 24: What do costumers fear most about service appointments?

What do customers fear most about service appointments? Xtime’s latest research reveals the number-one concern.

cost estimate

In a recent Xtime study, data showed that price transparency and cost estimates topped the list of critical concerns for today’s automotive customers—not surprising in an age when even the least discerning of consumers have access to information at their fingertips.

Of the 668 study respondents, more than 70% considered cost estimates “extremely important” or “very important” when setting appointments. Price transparency even outranked all other factors surveyed, including appointment scheduling conveniences, transportation options and the ability to choose the service advisor.

However, this data should not be viewed as a negative. Using this research as a baseline, dealers can now position themselves more efficiently to increase profit and retain more customers in the service drive. While only about 30% of service visits take place in dealerships (mostly due to the widely-held belief that dealer service departments are more costly than their aftermarket counterparts), the reality is that the average cost of routine maintenance at a dealer service drive is comparably and competitively priced. Therefore, by providing cost estimates up front during the scheduling process, dealers can put their customers’ minds at ease that they are getting a fair price and a high-touch experience.

To learn more about the findings of this study, please click here.

Xtime helps Subaru Canada enhance communications initiatives between it’s dealer network and its vehicle owners


To enhance communications initiatives between Subaru Canada’s dealer network and its vehicle owners for a premium ownership experience, Subaru Canada, Inc. just announced an exclusive partnership with Xtime. Subaru Service Scheduler, now with the help of Xtime, will provide its dealer network with comprehensive solutions to deliver the type of high-quality customer engagement experience that boosts loyalty.

“At Subaru, we believe in adopting the latest technologies to better serve our customers,” said Floyd Jones, Senior Director, After Sales at Subaru Canada. “This partnership will help us deliver an excellent ownership experience, while working toward our long-term vision for the connected car.”

Subaru Service Scheduler now includes Xtime Scheduler and Two-Way Text Messaging, allowing Subaru customers to conveniently schedule appointments across multiple channels. These features will also enable Subaru to deliver the type of superior ownership experience that improves customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. Further, Xtime Scheduler provides dealership personnel with a high-level view of their shop capacity, allowing them to identify open appointment slots and maximize service-related revenue.

“Our customers love the convenience of scheduling appointments online with Xtime,” said Keith Leung, general manager of Downtown Subaru in Toronto. “Xtime’s Schedule tells customers what their maintenance requirements are, when they can get an appointment, and, most importantly, how much it will cost. I get positive feedback from customers on a daily basis.”

To read the full press release on how Subaru Canada is powering its Service Scheduler using Xtime, click here.

Service Star: First Texas Honda

Everyone made it through implementation and are experts with the Xtime solutions now,” said Tony. “That is due to the team of knowledgeable and exceedingly positive people who came to train us. We are thankful for the attention, a sense of urgency and the support we receive. Anyone who partners with Xtime will be better for it.

First Texas Honda

With only three years of operation under its belt, First Texas Honda in Austin, Texas, is already a proven technology-driven dealership that offers a first-rate customer experience—and it shows in its loyal customer base.

In 2015, Tony Pereira joined the dealership as Parts & Service Director. He quickly realized, having come from dealerships that effectively used tablets in the service drive, that First Texas Honda lacked a multi-channel appointment scheduling system. The dealership’s implementation of Xtime’s solutions added an immediate benefit of using technology to regulate the flow of service customers.

“I came from a previous dealership where Xtime was the tool for appointments, so I had experience with the tablets and the products,” said Tony. “When I first arrived at First Texas Honda, I saw this bright, shiny dealership in a progressive, technology-driven town yet with service advisors using pencils and clipboards, and felt like I had gone back years in terms of customer care. That can’t happen in a modern dealership, so I reached out to Xtime not just because I was familiar with them, but because I knew they could help.”

Upon partnering with Xtime, First Texas Honda implemented Schedule, followed by Engage and Invite. The solutions suite allows the dealership to take better care of customers, enhance service drive operations, communicate more effectively with customers inside and outside of the shop and manage appointments.

“We open our doors at 7:00 a.m., and it’s daunting when you see a line of forty cars waiting for service,” said Tony. “Partnering with Xtime and having the tablets and the software have been hugely instrumental in moving the needle on repair order dollars that came from appointments, and also helps us in that we don’t have to turn customers away either. The level of customer service that we can provide by using Xtime’s solutions has been a tremendous benefit to our business.”

Invite, Schedule and Engage have also enabled First Texas Honda’s to be consistent and transparent in their pricing structure and processes, further building trust and customer loyalty. The following metrics from September 2015 to March 2016 are indicative of just some of the ways in which First Texas Honda’s partnership with Xtime has been so successful:

  • Total RO dollars of $1,796,452
  • Over 2,000 new email addresses captured
  • 5% RO from walk-in appointments
  • Average in-dealership show rate of 2%

For more information on First Texas Honda’s success with Schedule, Engage and Invite, please click here.

Xtime’s Silicon Valley headquarters earns “zero-waste-to-landfill” status

In an age of go-green initiatives, Xtime is dedicated to sustainability, from recycling to composting—efforts that have previously earned the company a California Green Business certification and recognition in the automotive industry as environmentally mindful. In August, Xtime became the first Cox Automotive brand to meet enterprise-wide landfill-free status with a 90% diversion rate. This milestone is one of many the brand hopes to achieve through the Cox Conserves program launched in 2007, which calls for all Cox companies to send a maximum of 10% of waste to landfills by 2024.

“As a California-based company, a sustainable mindset is second nature for many of our employees,” said Andrea Jara, senior manager of facilities and purchasing at Xtime. “This milestone is a testament to how our team can come together and bring that mindset into everything we do.”

In addition to earning landfill-free status, Xtime also introduced efforts to reduce electronic waste through the implementation of ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances. The success of Xtime’s environmentally conscious endeavors inspired the company to replicate these practices in its offices in Minnesota, Missouri and Canada.

To read the entire press release on Xtime’s zero-waste-to-landfill status, please click here.