Shaun Del Grande, President of Del Grande Dealer Group (DGDG) in San Jose, California, knows how to take care of customers. In his 17 years of business, he and his team have built DGDG into one of the largest privately held dealerships in the San Francisco Bay Area, comprised of 14 locations. The key to their success, Shaun feels, is a trusted partnership with Xtime that allows them to utilise the tools in a way that best serves vehicle owners.
“Servicing a car for consumers today has been a challenge in a handful of ways, from making the appointment to the experience inside the service drive to the pickup and delivery,” said Shaun. “Xtime has provided a lot of ease for us in making the user experience—our guest experience—better, faster and more efficient.”
Having previously used a number of services from different providers, Shaun felt that there was a noticeable disconnect in the way those solutions helped DGDG personnel care for customers and their vehicles. With a need to enhance and streamline processes, as well as help advisors engage with customers through every step of the service process, DGDG turned to Xtime.
“Our initial love affair for Xtime was always tied to a service scheduling tool for ongoing communications with customers,” said Shaun. “After that, it became sort of a no-brainer for us to really look at the whole suite of services Xtime had to offer.”
To overcome the notion that taking a car to a dealership for service is an impersonal experience, DGDG wanted to enhance the way its service professionals communicated with each client. The challenge in a busy service drive, however, was how to spend ample time with each customer without creating a backlog in the service drive. DGDG’s partnership with Xtime introduced tablets to the service drive, which streamlined the walk-around process. DGDG now uses tablets in all 14 locations.
“The tools that Xtime provides makes 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,” said Shaun. “We’re utilising technology that helps bridge the communication gap and creates trust between us and our guests. It creates validity with what we’re presenting.”
DGDG’s successful partnership with Xtime not only helps the dealership increase business, but also helps create stronger partnerships between service advisors and customers. Specifically, the use of Xtime’s platform allows DGDG to take control over managing appointments, a start-to-finish customer experience, technician communication, ethical upselling and more to ensure the vehicle ownership experience and advisor performance both achieve peak levels.
I would say that it’s become a great partnership here in the last year. Some of the most critical pieces of forming a very, very solid partnership have been great communication, understanding, flexibility.
“Service advisors in general have a tough job—I think anybody in the business understands that,” said Shaun. “People are bringing their cars in either because something’s broken or needs maintenance, but either way, it’s going to cost money. So we want to give service advisors the tools to be able to provide the best guest experience. The last thing an advisor wants is an upset customer or to under-deliver what the customer’s expectations are, so every time we’re able to provide our advisors with more tools, you see utilisation skyrocket. Once you see utilisation increase… then guest experience improves and then the advisors are happier because the customers are happier.”
DGDG’s partnership with Xtime has allowed them to realise the following results in 2015:
From marketing to scheduling to the check-in, DGDG believes that most critical element of their success with Xtime has been the ongoing support they receive well past the sales and implementation process.
“There’s a million vendors in the automotive space, and we get calls every week for a new product that’s heralded as being the latest and greatest,” said Shaun. “The most critical question to ask, in our opinion, is will they be our partner? Are they flexible? Once they sell us something, are they still going to be there to support us? What does the rollout look like? How patient are they on helping troubleshoot, or are they just selling a product and expecting it to work? The implementation of technology on the business side can actually take longer than it does even on the consumer side, so making sure that our technicians, advisors and managers really understand the tool in its totality is critical. Xtime has done a great job at that for us.”