Friday, September 27, 2013

The Connected Car’s Not Yet Connected – Maybe This Will Help

 by David P. Carlisle

For the past several months, we’ve been researching the technology behind the “connected car.” Today we will be releasing the executive summary of the “Market Assessment of Extended Service Technologies” - a 150+ page MyGuy research report that highlights the current state of Service Technology. It is free to MyGuy subscribers and contains opinions, knowledge, and wisdom gleaned from thousands of survey data points, dozens of interviews, one focus group, and about a thousand hours of thought.

We conclude that we are, as an industry, not prepared for the “connected car”.

The dream of many OEM strategists is this:
Imagine that you are driving your car or truck and something goes wrong. Your vehicle diagnoses the problem and walks you through an appointment scheduling process with the nearest dealership. As you arrive at the dealership, you are embraced by a quartet of hugs and kisses, the paper work is all set, the parts were already ordered, you have a half-decaf extra mocha latte, and, hell, you are even ready to go in about 45 minutes.
Well, for the most part, that ain’t happening … yet.

If your dealership does provide this kind of service experience, then you are most likely a mega-dealer who “gets it”, embraces MyGuy, and has engineered your own connections to your customers and their vehicles. However, if you are a smaller, traditional dealer then you either can’t spend the time to dream up and deliver a MyGuy service experience or don’t spend/have the money to facilitate it.

What about all of those tablets we keep hearing about? Nope, tablet installs are still fairly microscopic. Every rational service manager knows that tablets and high technology are the future of the service lane experience. But…errr…that’s still years off…let the other guys figure it out first.

There’s evidence for both success and failure from those who have installed Service Technology (ST) for scheduling or for managing their service lanes. Further, there are dozens of vendors in the space. Really, choosing a Service Technology provider right now is like trying to select the winner of the World Series during Spring Training (I would have told you Toronto…). So, how do you pick your ST winner when we are still in the technology’s early stages? Easy:
  • Look at how satisfied dealer Service Advisors are with the current lot of technology suppliers.
    • Hint: Not very satisfied.
  • Figure out why some dealers are not adopting ST, which promises to connect them to their brand of vehicles.
    • Hint: Too expensive, poor DMS integration, and unsure of any benefits.
  • Evaluate the improved efficiency imparted to the service lane process by these technologies.
    • Hint: Zip. Nothing. Nada.
Bottom Line: So then, what do you do? Some OEMs profoundly get it and have begun preparing their dealers for the “connected car”, others are struggling with what to do. Read the executive summary – it’s 24 pages – and find out some of the keys to unlocking the secrets of “connection.”

Download the executive summary at:

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