2020 has been a year of drastic change for automotive retailers. Because the entire industry is acclimating to new customer expectations and realities of day-to-day business, the Dealerware team is in constant contact with customers. 

We hear what’s working in their service departments, what customers are requesting and how Dealerware might help improve operations during uncertain times.

Back in April we responded to new demand for socially-distanced customer experiences with guidance on how to launch pickup & delivery services, so dealers could confidently extend their service drive to customers’ driveways. 

Now, we’ve expanded on the socially-distant capabilities of Dealerware’s Mobile Contracts to include Contactless Contracting. In a series of webinars held in mid-June, we walked through best practices for using this new feature and learned a little more about our customers expectations for Contactless Contracting.

How Contactless Contracting fits into daily operations

About 270 representatives from dealerships in the U.S. and Canada joined our Contactless Contracting webinars to learn more about the new feature. 

Through polling questions, we learned a little more about how Contactless Contracting would be used in loaner fleet operations. Almost two-thirds of dealerships in attendance expected they would use Contactless Contracting for 75% or 100% of their contracts.

Adding in the 28% of respondents who expect to use Contactless Contracting 50% of the time, we see that 90% of dealerships will likely use Contactless Contracting processes for half or more of all their contracts.

This marks a significant change to the way automotive retailers interact with their customer base. In April we saw that dealerships overwhelmingly plan to offer pickup and delivery services once normal life resumes, though at the time the volume of service appointments completed using pickup and delivery offerings hadn’t significantly increased.

When comparing Contactless Contracting data with these responses we collected about pickup and delivery in April, it’s obvious that touchless customer experiences are in high demand. We also suspect that more consumers are opting to take advantage of pickup and delivery services.

Simpler customer profiles with Dealerware

Among the major pain points that Dealerware solves for our customers is the process of creating and storing customer profiles. Dealerware allows service advisors to create a customer profile in 60 seconds, and when meeting a customer in the service drive or at their home, it’s simple to find their profile and assign them a new contract using Dealerware Mobile.

During our Contactless Contracting webinars, we heard from many customers that the one feature they’d like to see within Mobile Contracts is customer self-credentialing – and our team is working on it.

In the meantime, however, we were pleased to see that the simplicity of creating profiles on Dealerware still stands out with our customers. 98% of webinar attendees said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the current profile creation process.

And while Contactless Contracting is today used only to collect a customer signature, our testing and customer feedback during the webinar shows that profile creation can be done without contact. We’d recommend that dealership employees review our guidelines for contactlessly adding customer information in Dealerware, here.

Other ways to expand beyond the dealership lot.

Dealerware is the only fleet management solution on the market that was built to be mobile-first. We’ve viewed recent change in automotive retail as an opportunity to improve upon our products and continue building a new, more flexible future.

We stayed ahead of the curve by being the first to bring to market simple pickup and delivery solutions, powered by our PCI compliant Mobile Contracts with no integrations, upgrades or awkward workarounds needed. Now, with our free rollout of Contactless Contracting, Dealerware’s mobile approach allows dealerships to deliver an elevated customer experience at a distance.

New features on our near-term product roadmap will continue to help dealerships expand on the ways they serve customers, wherever they are. For more ideas on how Dealerware can help you create new customer experiences, we invite you to read our recent Guide to Retail Automotive in the New Normal.

And as always, your feedback helps our team focus. For input and questions about Contactless Contracting, contact support@dealerware.com