Many manufacturers require that service customers are greeted with an appointment system. Why not wow your customers with digital service appointment boards? These boards let your customers know that you are prepared to fulfill their service needs in a timely manner and that you are happy they chose your dealership. Once the customer has been checked in, they can be kept in the loop with customer lounge notifications on the lounge television. Beyond convenience, both service appointment boards and lounge television solutions deliver dealer specific marketing to consumers on a platform that helps differentiate a dealership from their competitors.

There are several technologies that drive automated service appointment systems on the market today.

RFID systems identify customers and their vehicles using tags placed on each vehicle in stock. The RFID allows the dealer to monitor the complete life of the vehicle upon entrance into service, including service history, finance, payments, customer information, etc. Back-end software tools mine data based on parameters and allow dealership staff to be alerted when a
car comes in that meets a certain equity position.

Dealerships have expanded the use of RFIDs to include scanners throughout the property, including the car wash, to let customers know where their vehicle is at any time. The cost of the
RFID scanners, however, is prohibitive to some dealers. The scanners cost approximately $15,000 each and a large service drive alone might require up to eight scanners. Software for the RFIDs will range $1,500 to $2,000 per month.

Many dealerships have elected to utilize simpler, less-costly plug-and-play digital service
appointment boards that incorporate just the most important and necessary steps in the service process: “Scheduled,” “arrived” and “completed” statuses are updated directly from
the DMS. This solution tends to have a much lower barrier to entry and provides a marketing
platform for the dealership.

Dealerships simply connect the media players to 1080p LED televisions, or utilize a provider that offers a complete turn-key package. Most systems support a marketing platform as well, capturing customer’s eyes as they check for updates on their service status.

Digital service appointment systems allow dealers to install a single screen and add more over time, or install a completely integrated system all at once. Integrating the dealership and providing a cohesive marketing message has the largest return on investment and reaps long-term CSI, customer retention and ROI.

Once dealers start seeing improved retention and sales from using digital screens in the service department, many will add showroom systems, video walls and interactive touchscreens. These tools can help improve CSI and retention throughout the dealership while tying together the marketing that brought the customer in the dealership in the first place.

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