It’s no secret that the Dealerware team is focused on powering pickup & delivery services for our customers who must adjust to drastic operational changes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

You may have read our recent blog post or even attended our webinar on how to set up pickup & delivery services on Dealerware Mobile, and we hope those resources have been helpful for your dealership.

Here at Dealerware, we’ve received lots of useful feedback from our customers via email or phone and through the polls we held on our pickup & delivery webinar. 

We’re learning how demand for pickup & delivery is changing and ways that dealerships might change in the future, and wanted to share some insights – and some informed guesses – here on our blog.

Pickup & delivery demand is hit-or-miss

graph showing change in demand for pickup and delivery offering during automotive service appointment

The 400 dealership, dealer group and OEM representatives who responded to our webinar poll questions indicated that the overall number of service customers opting for pickup and delivery services has fallen during COVID-19 mitigation efforts – not the most surprising insight.

However, 45% more respondents performed pickup & delivery services for half or more of all service appointments since social distancing measures went into effect. This suggests that demand for these services is high in some areas. 

What determines demand isn’t so easy to map – it would seem like population density might increase demand for pickup & delivery, but anecdotes from customers in large cities and their immediate suburbs tell us this isn’t the case. 

In fact, Chicagoland-based Fox Valley Auto Group (whose donation of vehicles to local hospital staff we recently highlighted) told us that though they’re offering out-of-dealership services for sales and service, many customers are driving themselves to the dealership as a way to get out of the house.

Pickup & delivery value is clear

To us, stories of bored customers braving a trip to the dealership right now suggest that when normal routines resume, demand for pickup & delivery services could increase. 

Polling data from our webinars suggest that our customers feel the same way – while slightly fewer than two-thirds of webinar attendees said they provided pickup & delivery before COVID-19, virtually all respondents – 92% – said they’d continue to offer the service when normal life resumes.

With that in mind, the current hit-or-miss state of demand may actually play to dealers’ favor, giving them time to test things like fees for higher-tier loaners or different strategies for handling contracts at customers’ preferred pickup spots.

The Dealerware team is of course happy to help, and we’ve got data to guide the strategic advice we provide. For instance, our recent research showed that customers are generally willing to pay between $25 and $75 for pickup & delivery services (though we’d definitely recommend offering it for free right now).

Rolling out the right way

Such a major shift in our collective mindset happening so quickly is enough to give you whiplash. While it’s understandable to feel urgency about launching pickup & delivery services for your customers, make sure the offering doesn’t open you up to new risks or costs.

A significant portion of our respondents – about 25% – said they had no system for tracking damage to vehicles employed in their pickup & delivery service. Most said they had a process in place to track damage, but only 15% said they used software to help track damages and manage loss recovery.

Dealerware Mobile simplifies damage recovery by giving you and your employees all the tools you need to collect damage info from a mobile device. You can take pictures or video through the app on your mobile device, add notes for additional detail and charge your customer all in less than 60 seconds.

To learn more about keeping your fleet safe and limiting costs while they’re in pickup & delivery duty, check out our support documentation on using Dealerware’s Mobile Contracts, or connect with a member of our team.