Jason Church toured the 2019 NADA Show in San Francisco determined to find the tools and knowledge he'd need to offer pickup and delivery at Courtesy Volvo of Scottsdale in Arizona.
The information from NADA and the year head start to get employees trained and customers educated paid off during the pandemic. In April, Courtesy Volvo picked up 122 customer cars for service, up from a pre-pandemic average of 70 to 80 per month.
Church, the store's general manager, uses Volvo's Valet proprietary software, which customers can download to schedule service from their phones or other devices.
Church hired two extra porters and trained them in customer service. He equips each with a cellphone so they can stay in contact with customers and the store. And Church added six cars to the loaner fleet that are designated specifically to Volvo Valet customers.
There were a few challenges, Church says, but having his service manager on board right away helped the rollout go smoothly.
"While you are selling the offering to the customer, you are as much selling it to the internal staff who can talk about it and make it happen," he says. "If it is painful to use, the adoption will be slow."
Church says one thing he would have done differently is communicate the value to the customer even though they pay nothing.
"I introduced it at zero cost to the customer. In hindsight that was a mistake," he said. "What I should have done is said the value of this program is $40 [per service]. And then I should have offered it for free so the learning is I should have put a perceived value on it.
"When you give it away free, people don't think it is worth anything."