Ford is currently piloting a program that installs digital kiosks at dealership service departments, enabling customers to check in and select services via a touchscreen and, Ford hopes, improve and speed up visistors’ experience at the dealership.
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One dealership group involved in the pilot program, Ohio’s Liberty Automotive Group, estimates that of about 1,100 service customers who arrived at the group’s Brunswick location in December 2019, more than 20% used the kiosk, and that 85% of those customers said the kiosk made the check-in process easier. The seven pilot dealerships reported similar statistics, with 84% of users saying the kiosk made check-in easier and 90% saying the kiosk was able to answer all their questions. Average check-in time using a kiosk, according to Ford, is “just over two minutes.”
“The way I see it, there are two types of customers,” Andrew Bellavia, chief operating officer of Liberty Automotive Group, said. “Customers who are coming in for quick service or maintenance on low-mileage vehicles who want to get in and out quickly, and then customers who have unique cases that they want to discuss in-depth with our service staff. These kiosks provide an option to the customer who wants to move fast, freeing up service advisors to address the more complex concerns.”
Bellavia also says the average check-in time using a kiosk is roughly one-quarter of the time needed to check in with a service advisor.
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In addition to being able to check in and select regular maintenance services, the kiosk is also capable of displaying recall information related to a customer’s vehicle. Ford is also piloting an outdoor version of the kiosk for vehicle drop-off and pickup outside of operating hours, and says eventually the kiosk will be able to accept and return vehicle keys.
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