Marcelle, whose company was acquired by dealership technology provider Reynolds and Reynolds about a year ago, said a growing number of customers prefer a contactless service experience. In fact, Ford, which has tested GoMoto kiosks, said 84 percent of customers who used them said the check-in process was easier.
And a July survey of consumers by Cox Automotive showed 58 percent preferred a dealership that allows scheduling an appointment electronically. That same percentage said they favored reviewing and approving a repair bill on their mobile phone.
Kiosks allow customers to check in for an appointment, specify the needed service, pay their bill and retrieve their keys. During the pandemic, Volkswagen halted its piloting of kiosks to save money. There was some concern about whether kiosk touch screens would transmit the virus. Marcelle said GoMoto screens are antimicrobial and "kill any virus 99.9 percent effective."
Adopting the latest contactless technology also can free service advisers to follow up with other customers about the results of multipoint inspections and what repairs are needed for their vehicle. Kiosks also can help ease the stress of adviser turnover or business downturns, and they are always available if an adviser is out sick or running late, Marcelle said.
Self-service technology, he emphasized, is not about replacing people, but enhancing their work.
Technology such as kiosks can also collect important customer information.
"When we speak with dealers, they often [say] that acquiring contact information is a huge challenge," Marcelle said. "Why that's important is 90-plus percent of consumers prefer to communicate via text and/or email, and if we aren't capturing that properly, how do we expect to be able to leverage technology to enhance the shopping experience and the service experience at our dealerships?"
Also, having an exchange of information helps a department present opportunities for additional services. Marcelle said 25 percent of customers who use self-service technology will opt for additional work.