Volume 26: Three Things Fixed Ops Can Provide in Order to Drive Profitable Growth

Three Things Fixed Ops Can Provide in Order to Drive Profitable Growth.


Recently, Jim Roche, Xtime’s SVP of Marketing & Managed Services, sat down with CBT News to discuss how fixed ops can drive profitable growth for dealers in three ways.

“Less than one in three service visits in United States currently takes place at a dealership, and the average gross profit is about 46%,” said Roche. “So if your objective is profitable growth, you’ve got to give fixed ops a serious look.”

To do so, Roche suggests that dealers look at the dynamics of the automotive industry. Studies show that it is more expensive to find new customers than to retain existing ones, and when you increase retention, you reduce your marketing and advertising costs.

“Logically, a better ownership experience means repeat customers,” said Roche.

So what three elements of fixed ops should dealers focus on?

“If you ask consumers what they want, they tell you they want value, convenience and trust,” said Roche.

Click here for the full interview on CBT News.

Can Leveraging Service Maintain Profitability for Dealers?

Despite strong auto sales in recent years, Xtime’s Jim Roche, SVP of Marketing & Managed Services—along with other industry experts—predict that we could be headed for a downturn. However, this does not mean that dealers need to batten down the hatches; it simply means that in order to stay profitable, they need to rethink where their revenue really comes from.

The key, Roche says, is to optimize the service drive. Studies show that providing each and every service customer with a superior ownership experience from the time they arrive to the time they leave is the secret to increased customer retention, which drives profitable growth. From loyal service customers to future sales and referrals, 85% of car buyers say that a positive, customer-centric experience increases their chances of purchasing future vehicles from that particular dealer.1 Yet, 72% of car buyers do not revisit that dealer for service within a year of purchase.2 Why? Because they don’t see the value in it.3

So how can dealers change this? The answer is price transparency and providing an outstanding service experience. A recent survey shows that 70% of service customers consider price transparency to be “extremely” or “very” important when scheduling service appointments.4 Think of it this way: you wouldn’t buy a smaller-ticket item such as a pair of shoes without knowing what the price is, so why should the price of vehicle service be any different?

According to Roche, in order for dealers to prove value to their new and returning customers and boost loyalty, they don’t need to charge less—they just need to ensure their prices are accurately quoted and transparently available.

While price transparency is crucial, offering customers a seamless, premium ownership experience is also vital to retention and reclaiming lost souls. Today’s customers expect convenience; in fact, 76% of customers surveyed stated that being able to schedule an appointment online greatly increases their chances of revisiting that dealer.5 Not only is that a tremendous number of customers, but online scheduling can also increase the chances of having customers book appointments in advance, further streamlining the service drive and enhancing the overall experience.

1. Cox Automotive Maintenance and Repair Study: July 2016
2. Cox Automotive Maintenance and Repair Study: July 2016
3. Cox Automotive Maintenance and Repair Study: July 2016
4. Xtime Market Research: 2016
5. Cox Automotive Maintenance and Repair Study: July 2016

What Do Car Dealers and Pizza Delivery Have in Common? More Than You Think

Jim Roche, Xtime’s SVP of Marketing & Managed Services, tends to experience a common reaction every time he compares car dealers to pizza delivery—a widespread “A-ha!” moment.

“You can go to the Domino’s web site, configure your pizza, pay, know when it’s being put together, know when it’s in the oven, know when it’s in the car, and track it to your front door” said Roche. “You can do that with a $10 pizza, but you can’t do that with a $40,000 car.”

Xtime is changing the way dealers provide service to their customers—not just in the service itself but with the experience in its entirety. Xtime Spectrum, the industry’s integrated solutions platform designed to optimize each essential part of a service experience, caters to today’s discerning customers who value convenience and transparency from start to finish. From the ability to send customers prompts to come in for scheduled maintenance and presenting them with the results of a multipoint inspection, to allowing them to monitor their car’s service progress in real time, Xtime is changing the way vehicle owners view “on-demand” service.

You can read the full Forbes article here.

With Xtime Spectrum, Dealers are Seeing a Boost in Revenue and Retention

Recent data shows that Xtime Spectrum, a fully integrated service experience platform that launched at NADA 2016, helps dealers continuously boost revenue and retention by improving the service experience. Using data from Q4 2015 to Q3 2016, a recent Xtime study shows that dealers using the full Spectrum platform — which includes Invite, Schedule, Engage and Inspect — are experiencing an average annual revenue boost of $660,000.

“Our initial love affair for Xtime was always tied to a service scheduling tool for ongoing communications with customers,” said Shaun Del Grande, president of Del Grande Dealer Group in San Jose, California. “After that, it became sort of a no-brainer for us to really look at the whole suite of services Xtime had to offer. The tools that Xtime provides make it a lot easier when we’re with a guest, because we’re using devices that they feel comfortable with, so it feels like it’s more of a collaborative discussion and not just us trying to sell them anything.”

Spectrum helps dealers in the key areas that drive retention and revenue. The platform helps service lane professionals offer consistent multipoint inspections for an average revenue increase of $141 per vehicle; provides the convenience of online scheduling, which has shown improved show rates of 8.7% on average; streamlines the service lane experience that can enhance CSI scores of around 67 points and also assists in the recovery of about 24 lost souls per month.

Click here to read the full press release on how Xtime Spectrum helps dealers increase revenue by revolutionizing the service lane experience.

NADA100 Recap

Xtime and Cox Automotive were honored to be a part of the 2017 NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans to celebrate the association’s 100th anniversary. Representing Xtime and Cox Automotive were Sales, Product, Events, Public Relations and Marketing, each of whom delivered some of the best product demos, presentations, workshops and other engagements to date.

“Our goals at this show were more about selling than entertaining, and the team exceeded those goals by a wide margin,” said Mark O’Neil, COO of Cox Automotive. “We’re off to a good start for 2017.”

Here are just some of the results from NADA100.

  • 2,802 demos
  • 808 signed deals (Over $15M in annual revenue)
  • 304M media impressions
  • 19 blog posts
  • 9,130 NADA Fuel page views

To read NADA’s full recap of the event, click here.

Service Star Article

In the short time that Manly Honda in Santa Rosa, California, has been a partner with Xtime, they’ve experienced impressive success. The dealership started with a goal of streamlining appointments using Schedule and has since adopted the entire Spectrum suite of solutions. As of February 2017, Manly Honda boasts a show rate of 93%, a 60% boost in retention and an average per-customer repair order of $382.

We sat down with Service Manager Luke Ammann to discuss how Manly Honda started using Xtime Spectrum and how they’ve succeeded in such a short time with the solutions.

What was the initial reason Manly Honda implemented Xtime?

I had worked at previous Honda dealerships that were partnered with Xtime, so when I came to Manly Honda, I knew we needed a better way to schedule appointments. So we started with Schedule, which allowed us to provide a more streamlined way of scheduling appointments and utilizing our technicians’ time more effectively.

Basically, we wanted to fine-tune our appointment scheduling based on our advisors’ availability, which we weren’t able to do with CDK. Before Xtime, we were facing about fifteen appointments per advisor, per day; needless to say, it wasn’t working! With Schedule, we couldn’t overbook an advisor. This was a huge win for us. None of our advisors were over- or under-booked, and having someone call out sick for the day or attend important off-site, job-related training was doable. Of course, this made our customers happy because they got the attention they needed for their cars.

We were so happy with what Schedule did for Manly Honda that we just launched the full Spectrum suite two months ago so we can have a more robust set of solutions for all of our needs.

What was your experience with the integration of Xtime?

We had great support from Xtime during the implementation process. They made sure everyone was trained on the tools and were there every step of the way. They continuously make sure we’re using everything correctly. When the trainer leaves, people tend to fall back on old habits, so I and the Xtime professionals make sure to stay on top of everyone’s on-boarding. [Manly Honda’s utilization rate is an impressive 99.9%.]

How have the service advisors and technicians responded to Xtime’s solutions?

At first, none of the service advisors were using Schedule! On our end, we transitioned away from the CDK completely so everyone had no choice but to use the Xtime tools. Now, our staff admits that there is no way they’d go back to using the CDK. We have four people operating the phones, and then advisors take the roll-over calls when we’re swamped. With Xtime, everyone has easy access to VINs, recall information, vehicles’ service history, customers’ driving habits… Spectrum is ten times better than the CDK.

How have your customers responded? Have you seen an increase in retention or any other metrics?

We’re a large-volume dealership, so we make it easy on the customers and ourselves to stay in touch. We have our customers opt in for email and SMS reminders. One staff member monitors the status board for appointments. Within thirty seconds, she can watch for missed or late appointments, send the customer a reminder text and reschedule the appointment, if needed. That alone has been a huge success for everyone because it creates a good line of communication between the dealership and the customers. Things happen—we don’t want customers to feel bad about missing appointments when they can just reschedule.

What would you say to a dealership that is hesitant to implement Xtime?

I would say to any dealership that is hesitant to get on board with Xtime that it is well worth the investment. I’m a big supporter of Xtime because our dealership has one hundred percent buy-in from everyone involved. Inspect, Schedule, Invite and Inspect all work together to make the return on investment worth it.

Don’t Miss Xtime’s Digital Dealer Workshop The Connected Ownership Experience: $99B Opportunity In Fixed Ops

Attend Jim Roche’s workshop and learn how to:

  • Develop critical strategies for improving service retention and owner loyalty, keeping consumers in-brand, and ultimately lowering marketing costs.
  • Define the commodification of service creates a capture opportunity for unrealized profits.
  • Identify and bust service department myths.