CDK Global arrived in Las Vegas with a plan to improve the service it offers to its dealership customers.
The Hoffman Estates, Ill., dealership management system giant is launching a new pricing and rewards program, and it plans to finish the rollout of a simpler billing system by the fall.
In addition, CDK is enhancing its Fortellis open network development platform through a partnership with Microsoft, among other things.
CDK CEO Brian Krzanich said the customer service improvements come in response to hearing dealerships' frustrations with the company he has led since November 2018. Krzanich said in a letter to dealers this week that CDK plans to spend more than $300 million over its next three fiscal years on new technology and process upgrades.
In his letter, Krzanich wrote that CDK has hired 100 advocates and performance managers to work with dealership customers, with more expected to be added.
CDK said its new customer rewards program intends to achieve consistency in pricing through incentives, including discounts both upfront and per month, as well as quarterly rebates when customers hit specific rewards levels. Dealerships can earn points toward various tiers depending on how many CDK tools they use. New DMS customers can participate in the rewards program now, and existing customers can join when their contracts are renewed.
"Working with CDK will continue to get easier," Krzanich wrote to dealers.
Also at the show, CDK planned to announce a collaboration with Microsoft related to its Fortellis platform that aims to make it easier for dealers and software developers to build new products to serve the auto retail industry, such as online and mobile user experiences, CDK said. The technology advances gained from working with Microsoft ideally would mean dealers would need to know little to no computer code to develop a software solution.
CDK is using the show to unveil a repair order application programming interface, or API, on Fortellis that will link third-party vehicle service vendors and CDK's Drive DMS to boost efficiency in the service department, the company said.
The repair order API is being used by Cox Automotive's Xtime and, separately, by GoMoto, which uses the technology to power its customer check-in service kiosks, according to CDK.
"We are committed to cultivating open and agnostic spaces, where together we will create a new ecosystem that will foster an environment where industry-leading innovation can emerge and thrive," Mahesh Shah, CDK chief product and technology officer, said in a statement.