Customers have often been uneasy about the recommendations they receive from automotive dealership’s service departments and the trade-in values they are offered from the sales department.
Because consumers may know little about the condition of their car, they must rely on their trust in the dealership — a trust that can only be built up over time.
Increasingly, automotive service providers are employing technology to provide support for what they’re saying and to reassure their customers.
For example, General Motors (GM) is looking at expanding the use of UVeye vehicle inspection systems to the service lanes of more GM dealerships. Already used at a limited number of GM dealerships, this technology employs artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and high-definition cameras to check customers’ vehicles for defects, missing parts and other safety-related issues.
When a vehicle is driven through it, the system detects anomalies, including flaws, modifications or foreign objects.
“We are on a journey to create the best customer service experience possible, and the implementation of UVeye into our dealership service lanes helps us do that,” John Roth, GM global vice president of customer care and aftersales, said in a press release issued by UVeye. “Providing real-time, consistent and accurate feedback to our customers will help us ensure they are getting the best performance out of their vehicle.”
Adding a New Level of Credibility
UVeye offers systems that scan the underbody of the vehicle, the tires and the sheet metal and other exterior components.
Along with looking at expanding the use of the systems to other GM dealerships, the companies are exploring applications in used-car auctions, fleet operations and automotive dealership sales.
UVeye CEO and Co-Founder Amir Hever said in the release that the system is more accurate than manual inspections while also requiring less time — the automated process takes seconds to complete.
The news follows Volvo Car USA’s announcement in March that it was rolling out a program to equip its retailers with UVeye systems to improve both business efficiencies and customer satisfaction.
Volvo Car USA said dealers will use the systems to check the condition of trade-ins and cars coming in for service.
When cars come in for service, the systems will help technicians quickly identify problems, show owners that their cars are receiving high-quality inspections, and create digital “vehicle health” reports and photos that can be shared with customers.
When a customer’s trade-in is being inspected, the systems will show the vehicle’s actual condition, including flaws the customer may not have known about.
“This is a homerun for Volvo Cars and our retailers,” Rick Bryant, vice president for sales operations at Volvo Car USA, said in a press release. “UVeye’s automated systems will add a new level of credibility to the inspection process for us, for our retailers and for our customers.”
Increasing Transparency, Customer Confidence
These systems join some other ways automotive service providers are using tech to increase transparency and build customer confidence. For example, photos and videos are increasingly being used by service departments to show customers the parts that need to be replaced.
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With one platform, Kimoby, these are sent through text messages so that the customer can see them instantly without having to click on a link or visit a website.
Tech companies are also offering consumers data on the likely cost of a repair, based on their records of work done on other, similar vehicles.
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“The idea being that we would want to be able to empower car owners for when they need to go to the repair shops to better understand what they’re getting into,” CarBeast Data Scientist Ben King told PYMNTS in an interview.