Surpass Your Service Customer’s Expectations — Every Time!
Pennsylvania-based dealer group, #1 Cochran claims “clearly better car buying starts here.” And that’s no idle boast — because #1 Cochran backs up those words with what this dealer group calls its “clearly better promise.”
So it stands to reason that this massive group, which features 23 locations, 18 service lanes and 16 brands, doesn’t just live up to the high customer expectations that it sets — the service experience that it offers surpasses them.
Implementing CDK Service made that possible. Customers can make appointments online, on the phone or in person, and when they arrive, advisors greet them in the lane using a tablet. Together, they conduct a walkaround inspection, so they can see exactly what repairs are needed — and avoid any surprises at checkout.
It wasn’t always that way. Before #1 Cochran began implementation in April 2015, “We had one program for scheduling, another for our Dealer Management System (DMS) and a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool from yet another vendor,” explains David Bernardini, process development and training director.
“They were all good stand-alone products; we could take care of the customer, but we also wasted time waiting for those products to talk to each other. We really needed one system that would take us and the customer from appointment to payment,” he states.
Team members spanning several departments tested solutions from various vendors and visited other dealerships to see how their systems worked in “real life.” CDK Service edged out the others because of several features, including the CDK Service Pricing Guide — a critical tool for arger groups that are sticklers for consistency no matter what side of town the customers are on or how they made their appointments.
The Service Pricing Guide also means that an advisor doesn’t need to plug numbers into (and out of) an unwieldy spreadsheet. “I call it the ‘live estimate,’” explains Bernardini. “The system automatically adds in or removes things in the repair order (RO), depending on what work the customer wants done. We click ‘approve’ or ‘decline,’ and the magic happens within the system,” he says.
The RO Dashboard feature also ensures consistency with each order. If one advisor prepares the estimate for a customer but that advisor is unavailable when the customer arrives for service, another advisor can step right in with complete visibility into the customer’s needs.
Another benefit to CDK Service: there’s no need to memorize op codes anymore. That means that #1 Cochran can easily move team members from one store to another and “because we have standardized pricing and the same multipoint inspection process, someone can come from another brand and be productive starting day one,” states Bernardini.
The anecdotal efficiencies are clear. But can #1 Cochran prove its return on investment? Yes.
The group measures four financial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): customer pay hours per RO, customer pay dollars per RO, labor gross profit percentage and parts gross profit percentage. #1 Cochran also tracks two process utilization metrics too: the percentages of the walkaround inspections and the multipoint inspections compared to the total number of ROs for the shop.
“Each and every KPI increased,” offers Bernardini. “We’ve become more profitable, and our Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) has improved. And so has our ability to drive more volume because we’ve become more efficient.”
He credits the #1 Cochran team members for their commitment to the new solution as well as “phenomenal support from the CDK Global implementation and training team.”
Bernardini, who at 17 began working for #1 Cochran and became a GM Master Technician, then a Service Advisor and a Business Development Manager before taking on his current process and training role, acknowledges that embracing the best technology is key to the survival of today’s dealer groups.
“There’s a stereotype in the auto industry that car dealerships are behind the times — and to an extent, that may be true,” observes Bernardini. “But this technology brings the customer experience and dealership together. If we didn’t have it, we’d be missing out on part of the experience, and we would be just like every other business out there. There’d be no competitive advantage for us. But now, we lead.”
"Each and every KPI increased. We’ve become more profitable, and our Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) has improved. And so has our ability to drive more volume because we’ve become more efficient."
— David Bernardini
Process Development and Training Director
Generate more sales from your service lanes.