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Transforming aftersales’ service booking: webinar summary

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Sam EllisRegional Marketing Manager - UK&I
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Recap of the June 2023 Keyloop aftersales webinar

Led by Graham Stokes, VP of Sales UK, with Ben Whomersley, Service Booking GTM Manager and Curtis Blyth, Pre-Sales Manager.

Automotive market trends

The automotive industry is going through a period of disruption, and consumer behaviour and buying habits have changed.
  • Headcount reduction due to Covid
  • Supply chain issues leading to vehicle shortages
  • Changes to vehicles themselves, through increased functionality in autonomous driving, electrification, and connectivity

To offset these challenges, it’s paramount to maximise customer attention throughout their entire ownership lifecycle.

What are customers looking for?

Convenience, speed of response, and positive interactions. Research shows:
  • 75% consumers would pay more for a great experience
  • 47% said they lose trust after a poor experience and think about changing brands
  • 72% expect personalised messaging

To succeed, companies must stay relevant. We call this The relevancy imperative. Capture the consumer experience and you win key moments, earn loyalty and trust, and are rewarded with higher margins.

Keyloop’s digital aftersales research

We asked car owners how likely they were to use digital aftersales tools:
  • 21% extremely likely
  • 40% very likely
  • 29% likely
Only 10% fall into the little or no interest group.
  • 70% of UK customers said they’d like to be able to book a service online.
If having an online service booking tool is this important for your customers, it’s critical for dealers.

 Online service booking

In a live poll conducted during the webinar, we asked what the biggest challenges were with companies’ current online service booking solution. The options were:
  • We don’t have an online service booking solution
  • Lack of live availability with workshop diaries
  • Poor customer experience
  • High cost
  • Doesn’t support our internal process
  • Other

Responses were mixed, but the biggest group said lack of live availability.

What is Keyloop Service Booking?

Service Booking is an advanced platform that’s been designed with the needs of today’s consumer in mind, allowing them to book and manage service and repair appointments online, whenever and wherever they want. It offers:

  • 24/7 convenience
  • Speed – customers can book online in just 2 minutes
  • Full integration with Keyloop DMS and diary systems
  • Enhanced operations – increase your labour rate and book unsold hours
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction scores

Service Booking step by step

In a real-time demonstration, we walk through the steps the customer would take. The platform is dynamically designed to work on a computer screen, tablet or mobile.
  1. The customer inputs their registration number, mileage, and email address.
  2. Returning users are asked to sign in (new customers are asked to create an account later in the process).
  3. The customer is asked ‘is this your vehicle’? If they say yes, they move to the ‘find a workshop’ screen.
  4. The customer inputs their location or postcode and Service Booking brings up the nearest workshop, with details of what they provide. This screen is customisable, but as an example the customer can choose from:
  • MOT and services – make life simple for the customer with a pre-priced menu
  • Parts and consumables – take advantage of easy upsell opportunities by offering things like car shampoo, screen wash and wiper blades
  • Diagnostics – customers can ask questions, fill in a form or contact the dealer directly via email or, if they’re on a phone, SMS
As the customer adds things, the summary on the right-hand side keeps track, with prices.
  1. The customer decides to go ahead and clicks ‘book it in’. They can choose from collection and delivery, courtesy car, or waiting (again, this is customisable).
  2. The customer chooses a date, then a timeslot.
  3. The customer clicks ‘complete booking’ and receives a summary email that includes a route planner and add to calendar button.
The whole process is quick, efficient and personalised for the customer, but in fact they’ve done all the work, saving your service advisor’s valuable time.

Service Booking benefits for the dealer

Because Service Booking is an integrated platform, all its information automatically passes to your Drive or Autoline system. You can:
  • See what hours are being filled, as well as limit hours if you want to
  • View everything the customer has inputted on the WIP 
  • Use the admin button on Service Booking to see everyone who’s started the process (a session) and who’s completed (appointment), and get the conversion rate
  • Export those details into a report, allowing you to follow up on those who’ve started the process but not booked

Q&A session

The Q&A session was even busier than anticipated, with 67 questions in total coming in. The overall themes were:


Q: Does this work for commercial vehicles?A: Yes, we do have commercial and LGB vehicles on the system.Q: We’re a 24-hour operation – would it work for us?A: Yes, the system is autonomous 24/7.


Q: Can you limit workshops to only see our dealerships?A: Yes. You have control over what service centres are going to be shown. You can make it franchise specific, too, e.g. if you’re booking-in a Mercedes you won’t see a Ford workshop.Q: Will the branding on the website be bespoke for each brand?A: Yes. It’s your name and your brand on there. We can even change fonts.Q: Is there a limit to how many items we can advise for a customer to select?A: You could keep building up more options, but from our experience and research the consumer doesn’t actually want too much choice. Dealerships who already have Service Booking are reporting that the simpler they keep it, the more bookings they get.Q: Can we make the types of appointments available our own?A: Yes, you can make them bespoke, whether that’s collection and delivery, or while you wait. You control all this in the admin tool. It’s a nice feature that puts all the control in your hands, with no need to contact your Keyloop advisor.Q: Can the service MOT options be restricted to the vehicle age, ie I don’t want to display petrol services to a diesel customer, or offer MOT if the vehicle’s under 3 years old?A: You can make it age-specific and fuel specific.Q: I worry Parts and Consumables will be confusing for the customer. Could we not just have this as additional recommended items after the customer has selected their service?A: The platform can be tailored to your needs, so we can switch this part off or make it bespoke for you.


Q: Is there an option to integrate this into existing dealership DMS and push directly to customers?

A: Yes, we’ve put together some rec gen selections for both Autoline and Drive where you can pull job information by line detail out of the booking; so you can use existing campaign functionality or CRM activities to send confirmations or follow-ups to customers.

Q: Is there an option to send a CSS survey after a visit?A: Yes, you can set it to automatically send, or you can export the data to send to a third-party survey company.Q: If you get a new customer booking, does that create a new customer record in my DMS?A: A booking automatically creates a WiP, with the customer and vehicle information imported. If it’s an existing customer, a window pops up so you can compare any data that the customer’s input with what you already hold. If it’s a brand new customer, you’ll be asked to validate the customer and add them into CRB as part of accepting the booking.Q: How is the service pricing matrix bill created? Does it create a Repair Time Schedule code and send it directly to the DMS?A: It’s a bit different to that. In the admin tool, you define how you want to display the job – manufacturer, model etc. You then define which RTS code the job relates to, so when the customer selects the job in Service Booking, it hooks the correct RTS code for that job line in the DMS and then writes the detail across to that job line.Q: Is the admin designed to be maintained centrally or at dealer level? If it’s at dealer level, can access be restricted to managers at the site?A: There is an overarching management tool in My Keyloop through which users are invited and given permission, so you would use that to give permission by site (NB: this will be followed up to make 100% certain).Q: How quickly does the booking load onto the system? If we’re on the phone to someone to book the same appointment?A: It’s instantaneous.Q: Will customers receive a rough booking time if they choose ‘while you wait’ appointments?A: In Drive you have the appointment function, which is divided into 15 minute slots, and you can have multiple concurrent appointments. In Autoline, you’d set them up in the load diary, and then Service Booking takes whatever you’ve set up there. So if you specified 10 waiting appointments in the morning starting every half hour up until 12 o’clock, that’s what it will show. Remember, you’re literally deploying the diary into your customers’ hands and letting them fill It up for you.Q: Can the system ask the customer GDPR preferences and feed into the DMS?A: Service Booking doesn’t currently collect GDPR (the customer’s getting in touch with you, though, so GDPR is complicit to a degree). A good question – we’ll follow up with the product team.Q: How does the customer online account link to the DMS?A: The online account is not explicitly linked to your DMS. It’s more for the customer to track and manage their activity online. What is exported to the DMS is the customer’s contact details, their email etc, so when we create a WIP all that’s there.Q: Is there the option to do a warranty booking? I.e. Service Booking will recognise if a vehicle still has a manufacturer warranty.A: Yes, the system can make diagnostic booking with no charges, as well as recalls.Q: Could the diagnosis feature be linked to the manufacturer’s website, or could customers select from a pictogram?A: We’re working on a new Diagnostic workflow. Pictures haven’t been included, however this is a great suggestion and we’ve put it forward to the development team.Q: When a customer adds new details will these be pulled through onto our booking system:A: Yes. The details are pulled into your DMS and the SA or CCA will create a new customer when they access the WIP.


Q: What’s the best way to let our customers know we provide this facility?A: The best way is to use the URL link we provide. You can have it on your website as a button, or in an email, on Facebook etc.Q: How can you help with our service retention at the dealership?A: We have deep linking capability for a URL that will take the customer straight back in to their vehicle and to the jobs that you want them to book. This is great for service reminder activity, as it makes it super easy for the customer.Q: Does this use simple or advanced loading?A: It will take either – whatever you’ve got set up for that point of sale company will be interrogated by the API and then represented to the customer on that diary view.

Partnerships and integrations

Q: Are you currently working with any vehicle manufacturers for this program?A: Yes. We currently host service bookings for Mercedes Benz Worldwide, Toyota UK and BMW UK. We are also in discussions with quite a few OEMs about their Customer Digital Journeys.Q: If loan cars are managed outside of the system (eg through AX Manage), how can you integrate that into the booking tool? Is it a dummy car?

A: Yes, that’s right. See the answer above. 

Future scope

Q: What is the scope to grow the product further with OEMs and manufacturers?A: We’re talking to a lot of OEMs about the potential to integrate and make this available across their core platforms and then give us some functionality at a local level.Q: How can we ascertain whether a customer is a service customer, fleet or retail? Are there any scope or service plans?A: Yes, it’s on our product line plan. We’re happy to reach out and talk to companies individually about OEM line plans and also things like introducing a service plan information, VHC information etc. We can’t be specific in terms of timing and delivery, but there will be more functionality to come from service booking.Q: Is it possible for the system to notify the customer about an outstanding recall from factory and prompt them to book in this additional work?A: This is on our current road map, probably for Q2 next year. In the same way we return an MOT date from DVSA we hope to be able to pull vehicle recalls and thus be able to add it to the booking.Graham concluded the webinar by inviting those with further questions to get in touch directly, either with their account manager or with Sam Ellis in the UK marketing team at sam.ellis@thesportsearch.com

You can view the demo and complete webinar below

About the author
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Sam Ellis Sam is responsible for Keyloop marketing strategy and execution in UK and Ireland. With a background in media, sales, and marketing he has spent his career working with and for technology companies globally to generate demand and grow revenue. He has extensive experience working with scale-ups, helping launch several successful software companies into the UK in a diverse range of fields from prop-tech to blockchain and unified communications. Sam thrives on helping organisation connect with their audiences through engaging marketing communications and go-to-market strategies.

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