Today’s dealerships recognize that they can’t just offer shuttle services; they have to offer shuttle programs with premium efficiencies and customer service benefits. In improving and enhancing the nature of these shuttle service offerings, dealerships can continue to enjoy a competitive advantage and bottom-line results. With the right solution in place, dealers can transform their shuttle platforms into true profit centers.
One key efficiency feature that dealerships should look for in a shuttle service management software is route optimization. Having the necessary data in real-time can provide incredible benefits to both dealership customers and service management teams alike. Here are a few additional key advantages of incorporating route optimization metrics into any shuttle service solution.
Understanding Route Optimization Basics
Route optimization involves the application of real-time data and metrics to consistently find the most cost-effective and efficient routes for dealership shuttle services. It’s more than finding the fasting route from point A to point B, too. Any predetermined destinations, based on the service management teams' entries, can be effectively routed based on strategic goals. The route optimization software features will allow dealerships to determine what those goals are, whether they be based on time, fuel efficiency, or customer preferences.
Route optimization can present a variety of different efficiencies. Dealerships should explore those options that include real-time traffic updates, weather conditions, and road construction into consideration. Quickride’s route optimization software, for example, offers all of these key efficiencies, along with turn-by-turn directions, to ensure dealership drivers can make the most efficient navigational decisions while in route. Additionally, those drivers can have a full schedule of route optimized next stops, next pickups, and next drop-offs, streamlining every assignment without waiting. Add in the automatic dispatching, and dealership service advisors don’t have to manually assign those routes, allowing drivers to be extremely efficient across an entire day of route assignments. No technical equipment is required to begin using.
Managed Fuel Costs
With today’s rising fuel prices, dealerships need to be keenly mindful of fuel efficiency with their shuttle service programs. Having the right route optimization technology in place can help dealerships plan the most direct and fuel-efficient routes. When drivers can avoid unnecessary wait times due to traffic or construction, they can ultimately reduce fuel usage over time. Translate those few occasional dollars saved across an entire dealership fleet of shuttle vehicles, and route optimization can save hundreds or even thousands every year.
Improved Customer Service Metrics
Despite the ever-changing nature of how consumers buy and sell their vehicles, one constant remains true – customers will still need routine maintenance and repairs. The service center for any dealership will continue to be a pillar of its core offerings, and NADA projections (page 12) suggest service departments will continue to enjoy “good margins” and “large revenue upside,” with one caveat. Dealership service departments will have to “work hard to capture it.” Route optimization could be the resource dealers use to improve customer service metrics among service departments and shuttle usage.
When a customer participates in a dealer’s shuttle service, they expect a prompt, polite, and efficient experience. Having route optimization as part of the shuttle service platform will ensure drivers keep within the timeliest delivery routes, avoiding unnecessary delays or wait times along the route. When customers get where they’re going quickly, they’ll be more than satisfied. Adding in some of the other Quickride shuttle service advantages, customers will also know when and where to meet their drivers, receive convenient notifications, and have complete transparency in appointment times. When customers are happy with their shuttle service, or in these instances, impressed, they’ll be more likely to become loyal customers and recommend these dealership shuttle experiences to others.
Better Resource Management
When dealerships are running their shuttle programs efficiently, managers can have better control over their shuttle fleet availability. Improving the turnaround times for customer pickup and drop-offs means better resource management. Additionally, the quicker those drivers are available for the next customer, the more customers a service department can effectively manage. And when drivers aren’t wasting time stuck in traffic, they’re on the move, ready to take on the next pickup or delivery assignment. Without route optimization, a typical dealer shuttle usually peaks around 10 to 15 rides per day. With optimizations enabled, one shuttle could do upwards of 25 to 30 per day. This could make the difference between having one shuttle instead of two or having two drivers instead of three.
Improved Dealership Savings
As previously mentioned, route optimization can be a game-changer in reducing fuel costs over time. With a reduction in vehicles and/or driver headcount, these savings compound on themselves, especially at larger dealer groups.
However, there are other benefits to consider, especially with Quickride’s shuttle service software solutions. Quickride also streamlines the warranty ride manufacturer rebate process, which is intended to offset dealership costs of shuttling for customers who need warranty services. Implementing the right shuttle management software with robust capability for route optimization will help turn any dealership’s shuttle program from a cost center into a healthy profit center.
Increased Opportunities for Service Selling
Route optimization will keep the flow of a dealership’s shuttle service at peak performance, with the quickest turnaround times for fleet availability. When customers aren’t waiting at the dealership for their ride, they’re more likely to agree to additional service department recommendations. More efficient travel times will significantly reduce the amount of time customers spend in the lounge, which is an incredible benefit to them, as well.
Preserving Shuttle Fleet Conditions
With the right efficiencies in place, a dealership can execute deliveries with less road time for the fleet of shuttle vehicles. When vehicles spend less time overdriving, their conditions can be more effectively maintained. Reduce wear and tear with unnecessary or inefficient routing. Route optimization can also be great for reducing the number of miles a shuttle vehicle logs over time. In a way, route optimization will allow for improved shuttle maintenance, thus maximizing profit margins over time.
Dealerships continue to explore some of the best tools and features associated with operating a complimentary shuttle service. Route optimization should be the pillar of any solution with its many benefits for both service managers and customers. Quickride can be the ideal solution for transforming any dealership shuttle platform into a profit center, with a full menu of available features and metrics designed to improve efficiencies, increase customer satisfaction, and add to the bottom line.