Jaguar Land Rover of Englewood, New Jersey serves customers from four states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York, including customers who live in New York City.
The region is among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic that’s kept most Americans home for months, and the Englewood dealership sits in Bergen County, the epicenter of New Jersey’s outbreak.
Amid drastic changes to day-to-day life there, work at the dealership continues. “Day by day, little by little, you see more cars on the streets and customers are coming back,” said Service Manager Pedro Victorero. “We don’t have as many appointments as we did in March, but that’s understandable given what’s happening in the world right now.”
Taking the service drive to customer driveways
With the goal of retaining service appointments, Victorero and his team are relieved that a new offering for the dealership, vehicle pickup and delivery, is helping customers take care of vehicle maintenance even when they don’t want to leave their homes.
They started advertising their pickup and delivery service for all customers at the end of March, shortly after the New Jersey state government decided dealership service departments should remain open. “We might have done one or two [pickup and deliveries] in the last week of March, but now we’re doing two or three pickup and deliveries a day,” Victorero said, noting that now just as many customers are driving into the dealership to drop off their cars and pick up a loaner.
“Some people still want to come in. Obviously, they come in wearing masks and gloves, but like I said we are open and people are deciding they’re going to continue with their lives,” Victorero said.
Getting back to in-person visits is the priority for JLR Englewood, but Victorero knows that even in a “new normal,” customers of premium brands like Jaguar and Land Rover may expect concierge services like pickup and delivery. For now, pickup and delivery will help the dealership keep work moving, but Victorero expects they will continue to offer the service at least through the rest of the year to meet customers’ changing preferences.
Delivering great customer experiences outside the dealership
“My hope is that everything will bounce back, but now we just have to adapt to what’s happening,” Victorero said. “I think we will have a lot of work to do after customers haven’t driven their vehicles in a couple months and those vehicles need maintenance. We would like to try to get people here as much as possible because face-to-face is the best way to interact with our customers, but we will continue to adapt.”
Dealerware is one of the tools helping Victorero and his team respond to unfamiliar challenges. Jaguar Land Rover Englewood has used Dealerware’s Mobile Contracts, Connected Car and Toll Services for nearly two years. They use Connected Car and Toll Services to recover fuel and toll costs automatically, and Dealerware’s Mobile Contracts simplify their customer interactions, from recording driver information to opening and closing a contract from anywhere.
Simpler contract processes on mobile devices were part of a great customer experience in the dealership before. Now, they’ve become key to providing pickup and delivery services, helping Victorero’s employees collect customer information, present clear terms and collect a signature while maintaining a safe physical distance from customers.
Victorero and his team are also taking care to wear gloves and clean both mobile devices and loaner vehicles in front of their customers. “People have a lot on their minds, and we want them to see that we really do care about what’s happening in the world,” he said.
Occasionally, Victorero says, customers will request paper contracts or even insist on giving verbal consent to JLR Englewood’s loaner agreement terms so they don’t need to handle anything. He was excited to learn that Dealerware will add contactless contracts to the platform in the coming weeks, which will allow his team to text or email an agreement to customers so they can complete and sign the contract on their own device.
Building confidence in “New Normal” fleet operations
Drastic adaptations to typical, on-the-floor processes highlight the importance of flexibility in teams, technology and fleets. Across the industry, a reduced workforce and sluggish global supply chains are expected to result in longer loaner contracts (among other impacts, of course).
What and how fleet operations might need to adapt in a “new normal,” remains to be seen, however Dealerware’s Connected Car Services give Victorero confidence that he can protect the dealership’s assets.
Because of the dealership’s proximity to New York City, Victorero is well acquainted with Dealerware’s ability to recover fuel and toll costs incurred by customers. Before shelter-at-home orders changed customer driving habits, the dealership was recovering a monthly average of $120 in tolls and $40 in fuel per VIN. Now, with most New Jerseyans off the roads, fleet costs have fallen but Dealerware’s Toll Service is still paying for itself at JLR Englewood.
Victorero agreed that having Dealerware helps the dealership stay confident in the health of the business while they weather the ongoing pandemic. “It’s a good tool to have, I see it every morning when I come in and I can see where all my loaners are and which tolls they’ve gone through,” he said.
As for his advice to other dealerships, Victorero noted that since his was a smaller store, having the right technology to enable a small team was important. However, since the major limitation on Englewood’s pickup and delivery operations right now is driver availability, he noted that larger stores with more drivers might feel comfortable advertising pickup and delivery more aggressively.
Assigning employees still on the job to pickup and delivery might help dealerships of any size keep fleet vehicles moving out to customer homes, and more importantly, keep customer vehicles driving into service bays.
For more information on how Dealerware can support pickup and delivery services at your dealership, check out our recent best practices webinar, read our quick support article or reach out to [email protected]. We’re open and ready to help you keep business moving.