In a recent Dealerware Office Hours webinar, we introduced a few new features to Dealerware: Split Billing, Additional Drivers, and Web Contracting. These features are aimed at providing more flexibility in the ways contracts are created, signed and completed.
Office Hours webinars provide the Dealerware team with a valuable opportunity to communicate with customers directly and better understand their needs, while also giving them a chance to ask questions about new or existing functionality. We were pleased to have about 50 dealership, dealer group and OEM representatives join us for these Office Hours webinars and share their thoughts about the new features through some informal polling. A recording of the webinar is available at the bottom of this page, and you can read on to see what we learned from all our attendees.
One of the clearest signals we got from that polling is that Dealerware Mobile is still the primary tool most dealerships use to interact with their customers. When asked whether they’d use the new Web Contracting features, 79% of attendees said they may find use for it, but still expect to use Dealerware mobile the most.
We know from discussions with dealerships that the Web Contracting feature is a useful one with demand, particularly for contactless contracting and re-contracting processes.
About 15% of attendees said they would use the new Web Contracting features for most or all their contracts. We’re glad to meet the needs of dealerships who prefer using the Web app, but we’re also happy to see that Dealerware Mobile is at the center of so many dealerships’ operations. After all, simpler, faster contracts delivered on mobile devices can contribute to big CSI increases for dealerships that use Dealerware.
Flexibility helps in the effort to make the contracting process as smooth as possible, which is why we added the Add Additional Drivers feature. This feature allows dealership employees to easily add drivers to a contract and collect their signature, keeping contracts compliant and fleet vehicles covered.
With this feature, we hope to remove uncertainty about uncontracted drivers getting behind the wheel of a courtesy loaner or rental. It’s a less-visible challenge, but an overwhelming majority of attendees (90%) indicated they do sometimes (52%) or rarely (38%) need to add additional drivers to a contract. Making that process simple for customers to request and for dealerships to fulfill means there is less risk of loss to the dealership from an uncovered incident with an uncontracted driver behind the wheel.
When cars come back, our new Split Billing feature similarly makes it easy to divvy up the charges between multiple drivers on a contract, between vehicle owners and warranty claims, between insurance companies or corporate payers, and more.
Again, the goal of our new Split Billing feature is to build in more flexibility for the dealership and their customers to ensure fast and simple payments. Most of our Office Hours attendees (53%) again indicated this was a problem they face occasionally, though about 10% of dealerships said they charge other departments or other businesses for a portion of contracts. Previously, these dealers may have had to seek reimbursements from insurance companies or businesses, or force customers to deal with reimbursements—diminishing the positive experience they had through the dealers’ loaner program.
With the new Split Billing feature, invoices can be sent separately to responsible parties, so nobody needs to chase down reimbursements. And if a customer is charged the full amount of a contract but their insurance has agreed to pay a portion, the portion paid by insurance will go on the customer’s account as a credit.
We know how important it is for dealers to be able to say “yes” to customer questions about splitting a bill or having a family member drive a vehicle. Flexibility makes for a better customer experience. Having simple tools for adding Additional Drivers or Split Billing reinforces the positive impact that great customer service can have on CSI.
It’s precisely because of our customers’ participation in Office Hours webinars that we are able to learn about on-the-ground challenges and build new solutions. We’re happy to see that more than 80% of our attendees would join an Office Hours webinar once per quarter or more often, and we look forward to continuing to share product updates and learn more about the day-to-day challenges Dealerware can solve in the next Office Hours webinar, to be announced soon. Stay tuned!