Automotive retailers around the world had to adapt fast when stay-at-home orders were issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re all doing our best. In some cases, however, new service experiences like pickup and delivery or at-home test drives require less-than-simple workarounds that might detract from the customer’s overall satisfaction.

The pain points we’ve heard about from dealerships using other vendors’ loaner management software create slowdowns without necessarily removing the need for direct physical interactions. 

For example, other vendors’ software requires dealership employees to manually enter driver’s license, insurance and credit card details. Within the framework of out-of-dealership services, this means employees need to physically handle customers’ documents, then both employee and customer need to remember to wash their hands and ideally disinfect credit cards and driver’s licenses – hard surfaces on which illness-causing bacteria might stick.

Thinking of hard-surfaced items handled during a customer interaction, the biggest pain point of new service experiences has to be sharing mobile devices or paper contracts and pens. One recommendation we heard touted by other vendors was to place tablets or mobile phones in a plastic bag when handing them over to customers, to prevent direct contact with the device screen.

There’s still some uncertainty about just how long the novel coronavirus survives on different surfaces, but there’s no question that germs will stick to paper, pens, tablet screens – and even plastic bags – for the few minutes between you and your customer handling these items.

And while it might seem simple to disinfect a tablet or wash your hands after sharing a pen, we know that customers are on edge. In fact, one Dealerware customer we recently interviewed about pickup and delivery services told us that customers who requested paper contracts also refused to share pens. Some even asked if they had to sign their loaner contract or if they could receive a vehicle with just a verbal agreement.

Obviously, adopting safe practices is important for delivering great customer service while keeping employees and customers safe – and ensuring that business can carry on (somewhat) normally. 

To that end, Dealerware now features Contactless Contracting capabilities as a standard feature in our Mobile Contracts.

WebMD compiled the above chart using data from the CDC and FDA. Click the image to navigate to WebMD's original article.

With Contactless Contracting, customers can receive their loaner agreement via text message and sign on their own device. And as always, Mobile Contracts allow dealerships to scan new customers’ license, credit card and insurance information without handling them. 

The video below shows the full process for starting a new contract and collecting signatures via Contactless Contracting.

Contactless Contracting equips dealership employees with a safer and simpler way to collect customer signatures. The Dealerware team is proud to provide features like Contactless Contracting that are developed from direct customer feedback. 

While other vendors ask your customers to print a contract at home and call that “contactless,” we’ve worked hard to enable a truly touchless experience that will remain useful well after the pandemic subsides, and we’ll continue improving upon this feature with your input.

To submit feedback or ideas for improving the functionality of Dealerware, email support@dealerware.com.