People have the power to do just about anything online, so it’s no surprise that many of your customers will be looking for a way to schedule their next service appointment online.

A recent study from Xtime, a Cox Automotive brand, showed that 23 percent of customers actually schedule their service visits outside of a dealership’s business hours. According to Xtime, scheduled visits generate an average of $54 more profit compared to walk-in customers. Your store can gain an advantage by offering this option to attract these consumers.

The Study

schedule an appointment online, online schedulingFrom May 2016 to May 2017, Xtime studied the connection between online scheduling and customer loyalty. It found evidence that offering online scheduling is positively related to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Taking things further, a recent report from Cox Automotive found that 76 percent of consumers who'd scheduled a service appointment online would want to do so again. Furthermore, 45 percent of customers who didn't use an online scheduling tool said they didn't even know it was an option.

Xtime notes that dealers can drive revenue and customer loyalty through fixed operations, but the profit potential can only truly be unlocked with communication enhancements, such as offering the ability to schedule service appointments online.

“Consumers today are accustomed to an always-on environment, and dealerships need to adapt to meet those demands if they hope to deliver superior customer service,” said Jim Roche, vice president of Marketing & Managed Services at Xtime. “Online scheduling is a highly effective way to meet customer on their terms.”

Additional Findings

NADA recently reported information that backs up Xtime’s research. Their NADA Data 2016 report, along with Xtime’s findings, determined that 315 million more service appointments were scheduled in the U.S. last year compared to 2015. In addition, 108 million of those were processed through Xtime’s online scheduling platform, resulting in $34 billion in service revenue.

Xtime believes that giving consumers the ability to schedule online can make it easier to deliver satisfactory experiences. If integrated effectively, online scheduling tools can make it easier for dealer personnel to follow through with customers, meet desired appointment times, and stage appointments correctly.

Bottom Line

Many dealerships are looking to their service departments to drive overall profit as sales slow. According to the Xtime study, giving customers the ability to schedule appointments online is one way to gain an advantage in your market, especially considering it's linked to increased profits and customer loyalty.

If your dealership is looking to build more customer loyalty and profits, Auto Credit Express can help. Our industry-leading products and subprime leads can help boost your store's bottom line. Learn more by giving us a call at 888-535-2277, or you can submit a contact form on our website and we'll get back to you.