REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — New research from Xtime (div. Cox Automotive) reveals that 23% of customers schedule their visits outside of a dealership’s business hours. With scheduled visits generating an average $54 uplift compared to walk-in customers, having the latest technology options is critical for dealerships seeking to capture this business, according to Jim Roche, Xtime’s vice president of marketing and managed services.

“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,” Roche said. “Online scheduling is a highly effective way to meet customers on their terms.”

Roche also pointed to a Cox Automotive report which found that, while 76% of customers who scheduled service appointments online would be willing to do so again, 45% of customers who did not take advantage of online scheduling did not know it was an option.

For dealers seeking to combat sluggish sales by expanding their fixed operations, these findings underscore the growing importance of online scheduling in delivering a connected ownership experience, Roche added.

“Fixed operations remains a huge growth potential for dealers — and ever more important in light of slowing sales momentum. When service is seen as a seamless extension of the dealership experience, it creates an opportunity to develop repeat customers in the service bay, and texting becomes a way of keeping them engaged, loyal, and driving revenue.”

Originally posted on F&I and Showroom