When a dealership handles 4,000 repair orders a month, service advisors can get bogged down scheduling appointments.
That was the situation at Kings Toyota in Cincinnati, OH. With such high volumes, Service Director Dave Chilton sought a way to free up time for his advisors so they could spend more time with customers.
The volume of calls into the service department (250 calls per day at about five minutes a call) meant that each of the six service advisors was spending around 3.5 hours each day on the phone.
The service department would also bottleneck with customers at certain time because of unbalanced scheduling.
So Kings Toyota implemented real-time online service appointment scheduling. The TimeHighway.com system interfaces with the dealership's ADP system and automates the entire appointment-setting process.
It has improved customer service through customer interaction, Chilton says. Customers book online at their convenience.
It also has smoothed out the computerized process. In the past appointments were moved or disappeared or were mistakenly deleted from the system.
“We really needed a solution that would allow me to correctly stagger customers and put in time buckets,” Chilton says. “We run six tech teams and need to schedule each one separately to ensure that only one customer is scheduled with each service advisor every few minutes.”
The system replaces telephone-based scheduling with Internet technology. By scheduling appointments directly through the dealer website, customers make confirmed appointments instantly without call-backs.
All appointment scheduling has now shifted over to three service-appointment schedulers, taking a load off the service advisors.
“TimeHighway worked with us to streamline the process internally to allow someone with less experience than a service advisor to take the customer's request and translate it into an appointment,” Chilton says.
Next up for Chilton is to add a new drop-off scheduling system for customers to leave their vehicles for next-day service.
“Sometimes when we get really busy, we turn customers away and don't find out until the next day that the customer just wanted to drop off their vehicle for next day service,” he says. “Now we will be able to schedule customer drop-offs separate from those that are waiting for their cars.”