Openbay's dealership partners include the Herb Chambers Cos., which operates 58 new- vehicle dealerships in New England. The tie-up has produced few new service customers, says Ed Clark, the group's corporate director of fixed operations.
"We price competitively through the Openbay platform," Clark says. "When we first started using it, we thought it would attract young buyers — new customers who would start to come here. But in actuality, it was mostly repeat customers who were now using Openbay."
Mercedes-Benz Manhattan in New York became part of Openbay's platform this year, says Anthony Christiano, the dealership's manager of fixed operations. The store aims to show Openbay customers "we are just as competitive as the independents they deal with now."
The dealership gets about 15 price requests from Openbay customers on a typical day, and converts one-third of those leads, Christiano says. The service department discounts parts and labor charges for cars that are 10 years old and older, he adds.
"Once you start taking care of the Openbay clients and they submit post-service feedback on the app, that is where your work customers really start increasing," Christiano says. "With cars having longer service intervals, we need to get other customers in here."
About 40 percent of Openbay customers schedule work with a service provider they have not used before, according to company data. Two of three customers select a provider primarily based on convenience rather than price, Infantino notes.
"If you take two or three hours to get back to them, chances are you will lose the job," Infantino says.
Openbay now partners with a former rival, the mobile mechanic service YourMechanic.com. The company's CEO, Anthony Rodio, would not say how much business it is getting from Openbay.
"We are sort of competitors and sort of not," Rodio says. "We are definitely seeing referrals from Openbay, so, yes, it has been a positive partnership."