Those capabilities also mean VIN-specific quotes and estimates for customers, who can approve recommended work from the report link your advisors texted to their mobile devices. However, this contactless experience shouldn’t stop there, as digital multipoint inspections serve as a natural springboard to a remote payment experience.
Aside from a contactless experience, your service department doesn’t have to wait for a signed invoice and payment on a high-ticket repair because the customer doesn’t have time to pick up his car. Text-to-pay can also reduce your liability since the transaction happens in your payment provider’s digital domain, reducing your operation’s risk if a data breach occurs. Besides, you’re a service department, not a bank. Getting paid today is critical.
Some providers even offer fraud protection, which might be enough to get a break on your insurance. July through December 2021 data from TEXT2DRIVE shows that out of more than $143 million in revenue processed through its mobile payment solution, its advanced fraud protection saved $14 million from suspected fraud. The average repair order on those protected transactions was $2,016—nearly three times higher when compared to the $716 per-RO average on approved transactions.
Eliminating the payment discussion — and the embarrassment of a credit card decline — can be especially helpful to a pandemic-weary customer. According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with even $400 to pay for an unexpected bill — half of them have maxed out credit cards. In a poll conducted by The Ascent prior to the pandemic, the financial advisory site found that one in five Americans are dependent on their credit cards to pay for basic living expenses. If anything, your advisors can use that time to schedule a customer’s next appointment or communicate the plan for their next visit.
Of course, like implementing any technology, usage needs to be supported, expected, and monitored. Pay plan incentives need to be considered, and compliance needs monitoring. That means paying a visit to that technician whose inspections, according to your dashboard, always seem to show a lot of green. The Digital Age is here, and it’s time your service department dipped its toe into those digital waters.