Getting the Support you need
It’s three weeks after your new system has been installed, and your staff keeps running into issues. These may be so small that they were nearly invisible at the outset, like metaphorical carpet tacks scattered over blacktop. But if you can’t clear them out of your path quickly, they could slow your operations down to a crawl — or stop you in your tracks completely.
That’s where Support comes in. How well your supplier provides it can have a major impact on your business.
Taking a test drive
Let’s focus on one issue as an example. After weeks of using the system, there’s a discovery in Accounting: transactions have been posting to the wrong accounts. This would feel like a frustrating step backward to a dealer, since the primary motivators for buying a new system are to improve speed and efficiency — goals that seem further away when you’re sorting out all those misplaced transactions.
How could Support help you here? By preventing it from happening in the first place.
As we’ve seen in our previous article, staff education can head off many potential issues. And this specific Accounting issue is so common that CDK Global has added a special learning module designed to address it.
This module, called On-Box Verification, gives the dealership team the opportunity to test-drive the new system before launch: Staff members are asked to bring several deals from their previous system (usually five from Parts and five ROs). These deals are then recreated in the CDK system and followed all the way through to Accounting. In this way, issues can be identified and adjustments made at the setup stage, instead of being discovered weeks later.
The need for ongoing support
In an ideal world, all issues could be addressed preventatively before launch. But as we’ve discussed earlier, attempting to cover every possibility and function would overwhelm your staff with information. That’s why ongoing support is so important.
There’s just one catch: Not all ongoing support is equally effective. In considering an option for your dealership, hold it up to these three criteria to determine whether it:
1. Enables the dealer to reach the supplier easily
2. Delivers the dealer’s information to the Support agent quickly
3. Resolves the dealer’s issue with speed and accuracy
Determining which type is best
For some industries, self-guided online menus are perfectly fine at providing simple answers (see Amazon): they’re easy to access, and resolutions are as quick as you can click. Dealer technology questions, however, are seldom as simple. Suppliers following this model end up sending you through menu after menu — leaving you feeling lost in a carnival Hall of Mirrors.
Email is another support option offered by some suppliers. And while it may seem convenient in terms of access and routing, it contains a hidden drawback: the miscommunication that often springs from the written word. We’ve all seen emails interpreted by the recipient differently than the sender intended. In a support context, the resultant back-and-forth of emails needed to clarify both the problem and solution can not only become exhausting, but may lead to lengthy resolution times.
Live Call Support, as retro an option as it may seem, just might be the dark horse who wins this race. Let’s examine the reasons behind this.
Voice can be the most productive
Consider the advantages you gain by speaking with a person in real time:
- Reassurance that both parties are being listened to and understood
- Clearer communication by keeping vocal inflections intact
- Ability to ask questions and receive replies without delays
That level of directness and responsiveness can be hard to beat. This was confirmed when CDK Customer Care shifted to Live Call Support and conducted surveys to track dealer response: 75% of dealers agreed that conducting interactions over the phone made it easier for them to explain issues — and for agents to understand and resolve them more quickly.
CDK Customer Testimonial
“The last few times I've had to deal with Support, the Techs were amazing. Thank you for all the help I received.”
Ease of access remains essential
As powerful as voice communication has proven to be, elaborate phone menu systems and long caller hold times can easily erode its benefits. Suppliers offering this option cannot ignore the first element of effective Support: easy access.
To address this, CDK evaluated caller hold times and the phone menu system. The results:
- Hold times were slashed to under one minute
- Phone routing was simplified and entire phone trees eliminated
- Dealers appreciated the difference — 61% agree the streamlined system made it easier to contact support
CDK Customer Testimonial
“This was the quickest, most professional and best service I have ever had from CDK. This call system works very well.”
Comprehension and training are also key
Once you get beyond the benefits of easy access to voice support, there are questions about the people answering these calls. How quickly can they comprehend issues, and how well prepared are they to resolve them?
CDK addressed these by instituting a number of training initiatives, which research credited for making a positive impact across the board. Of dealers surveyed:
- 78% reported improvement in professionalism
- 79% reported improvement in knowledge
- 79% reported improvement in focus
- 76% reported improvement in follow-up
- 81% reported improvement in resolution time
CDK Customer Testimonial
“Everyone I have talked to is very pleasant and knowledgeable. I don’t dread asking for help using CDK!”
Going deeper than a single department
While the numbers above are persuasive, we’ve saved two of our most compelling results for last:
- 93% Customer Effort Score Dealers found it easy to get problems solved
- 83% Cases resolved within 24 hours
All of this suggests the optimal Technical Support formula that dealerships should seek out is the one CDK has formulated: (1) provide streamlined access to (2) Live Call Support (3) staffed by agents who have been carefully trained to understand and resolve issues effectively. But there’s more to the story.
The call agents at CDK receiving these high satisfaction scores aren’t in a department called Support; they have another name: Customer Care. This isn’t an accident — it pinpoints a larger difference that sets CDK apart from others in the dealership technology field.
Support isn’t the role of a single department: it’s our culture, and it permeates every level of our organization. Whether you need equipment repaired, instructions explained or billing corrected, there’s always somebody to take ownership of the issue and help you reach a timely resolution. And after three weeks, three months or three years of working with CDK, that’s a distinction we think you will appreciate.
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