Xtime Blog

Fixed operations focused articles with industry trends, expertise, and tips to keep your service department ahead of the curve.

3 Key Communications that Drive Customer Pay   By Darrel Ferguson There are two constants I’ve found in ​my​ 30-plus years in the auto sales and service industry that have persisted. First, the world is ever changing. Customers, trends, and tastes change. Employees (even entire…

Is your dealership winning the war for talent?  David Foutz, Vice President of Sales for Xtime You are used to competition. Most dealerships have multiple rivals within a few miles and fight for the same customers through the same channels. But there’s another competition happening…

How engaged are your service lane employees?  The best dealership service lanes are designed with the customer experience in mind. The entire process is finely tuned to provide a pleasant, more efficient experience that will boost customer retention and improve profits. But with so much…

Finding Opportunities in Declined Services When customers decline service recommendations, it can be easy to get stuck playing the waiting game. And eventually you resign yourself to the harsh reality that some other business will probably perform the service that you recommended. You turn the…

Honda of Downtown Chicago captures declined services, grows profits Honda of Downtown Chicago is one of the busiest service centers around. Every day—from daybreak to nightfall—cars stream in and out of the service bays. And Service Manager, Joel Adames, counts on us to keep business…

  Fight the Fear of Change with Accessible Data Written by, Tracy Noonan Fred Vice President & General Manager Fear is a funny thing. In humans, it generally evokes one of two well-known responses—fight or flight. In a split second, our instincts kick in and…

Kia Certifies ‘Xtime Suite for Kia Dealers’ Kia dealers know they have an effective shop loading tool with Kia Schedule. Now they also have access to a fully certified suite of Xtime products proven to help Kia dealers’ fixed operations become more efficient and profitable....

Learn the three-step process successful dealerships use to recapture more declined services. With more than half of additional service recommendations being rejected, this process can help auto dealerships boost service lane revenue.

Did you know that it costs 10 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain one?

We recently released a new Optimizing the Ownership Experience to Drive Profitable Growth white paper. Download to learn the importance of and how to create a superior ownership experience that increases retention and revenue.

Xtime Engage now has more tools to help improve your service process while delivering a world-class customer experience. The newly released Pay Type integration and Suspend & Resume features were built to add efficiency and consistency in your service lane. If you’re an Xtime Engage dealership with Dealertrack DMS, CDK Global or Reynolds & Reynolds dealer management systems (DMS), you can take advantage of the new Pay Type integration that enables service advisors to update and push the pay type from Engage to the DMS for a specific service during the vehicle check-in.

Today’s consumers are busier and more discerning than ever, which is why Xtime is constantly striving to help our dealership partners exceed their customers’ expectations. At NADA 2018, we’re showing the new features that will revolutionize the way dealership service departments keep customers coming back.

According to a 2015 Cox Automotive service survey, 50 percent of customers said that knowing the total cost of repairs and maintenance upfront was a critical component of their service experience. Additionally, the 2016 Cox Automotive Maintenance & Repair Study found that 34 percent of customers felt that the dealer will overcharge them—a perception that can be corrected.

58 percent of services are declined*—How are you tracking and following up on declined maintenance and repairs? Customers declining services at your dealership is nothing new. In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven society, people are busier than ever. But when you think about it, with the vehicle already in the shop, there are only three typical reasons why someone says “no” to an additional service recommendation. Either they didn’t budget the time, the money or they want to double check your recommendation.

Service advisors are able to build an online quote for vehicle owners with additional service recommendations (ASRs), and the customer can review the full vehicle inspection and approve or decline the quote through a secure microsite from their desktop or smartphone. Online approvals not only ensure a consistent and professional presentation of ASRs, but also facilitate quicker response rates.

Learn about the newest features from Xtime Spectrum—a fully integrated, cloud-based system to create an outstanding ownership experience. We introduced new features this quarter for Schedule, Engage, Invite and Inspect that help you make faster and better decisions for your customers.

Recently, Jim Roche, Xtime’s SVP of Marketing & Managed Services, sat down with CBT News to discuss how fixed ops can drive profitable growth for dealers in three ways.

“Less than one in three service visits in United States currently takes place at a dealership, and the average gross profit is about 46%,” said Roche. “So if your objective is profitable growth, you’ve got to give fixed ops a serious look.”

Happy New Year! It is my pleasure to be able to wish you a prosperous 2017.

We have had a great year and quite simply, we could not have done it without you. Your success is our number-one priority in 2017.

I am proud of the achievements of our entire team and the excitement that Spectrum has brought to the service customer experience within dealers.

In a recent Xtime study, data showed that price transparency and cost estimates topped the list of critical concerns for today’s automotive customers—not surprising in an age when even the least discerning of consumers have access to information at their fingertips.

Of the 668 study respondents, more than 70% considered cost estimates “extremely important” or “very important” when setting appointments. Price transparency even outranked all other factors surveyed, including appointment scheduling conveniences, transportation options and the ability to choose the service advisor.

Today’s consumers are hugely empowered with smarter purchasing decisions thanks to information right at their fingertips. Eight-six percent of Americans own smartphones, and when a customer whips out his or her phone to browse for information, dealership personnel should not be intimidated by this behavior. In fact, it’s precisely this kind of transparency that has also helped dealership service drives boost customer engagement and loyalty.

Xtime is honored to have been a sponsor at TU-Automotive Detroit, the world’s largest annual conference dedicated to automotive technology. With over 300 booths, 3,000 participants and 150 guest speakers, this year’s event attracted industry leaders worldwide and featured lively discussions on the future of connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles and automotive technology.

With rising consumer expectations of the service experience, most dealers state that customer retention is their primary concern. In fact, recent Xtime studies found that 94 percent of dealers consider the service experience to be more important than the repair itself. The key is delivering an automotive ownership lifecycle that is interconnected and integrated. However, 83 percent of dealers say that their current systems do not provide a superior ownership experience*.

Changing software or systems can be a daunting undertaking, but Xtime’s solutions are different. Xtime’s products are designed to deliver a premium experience for vehicle owners while streamlining internal processes—and continue to deliver new features and enhancements. The most recently released 7 Series software is the latest version of this award-winning product.

When you stop and picture your dealership on an average day, what does it look like? Perhaps phones are ringing incessantly, technicians are scrambling to get customers checked in and service managers are struggling to take appointments and accommodate walk-ins. Sound familiar?

In an age where customer expectations require immediate information and results, consistency is imperative to the customer-dealer relationship. This concept is nothing new but the process—and transitioning customer service practices—may be.

At the annual TU-Automotive Detroit conference, one question took center stage: Can telematics really drive a profit? Our panel, “Monetizing the Connected Car,” brought together four industry experts to answer just that. Moderated by Xtime Vice President of Product Marketing Chris Ice, the panel featured Michael Deitz, Senior Group Manager of Connected Car…

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