(Note: Spanish version of the Chevrolet Ricardo Garate Case Study is available here. Although most ClearMechanic clients are based in North America and Europe, we have recently expanded into Latin America and therefore will occasionally publish English and Spanish versions of our marketing materials.)
Overview: Chevrolet Ricardo L. Garate is one of the most respected, longest-operating GM franchises in Mexico. The dealer implemented ClearMechanic's visual selling service in late 2012 and immediately saw a change in consumer attitudes toward additional service recommendations. Real-time inspection photos and video clips built trust and made the selling process easier. In fact, the dealership had previously attempted to share photos with its employees' own cameras and phones (not using iPhone or Android mobile applications), but found the process too time-consuming. ClearMechanic enabled an automated, efficient visual selling process that could be repeated for every customer.
Key Accomplishments with ClearMechanic: In November and December 2012, Chevrolet Ricardo L. Garate uploaded over 1,500 vehicle photos and videos through ClearMechanic, supporting 400 additional service recommendations. This helped the dealership to break two records in its service department.
First, the dealer experienced record monthly volumes of additional service recommendations sold. In Q3 2012, before visual selling with ClearMechanic, the average monthly labor sales volume for additional service recommendations was $162,940 pesos. After ClearMechanic was implemented, the service department recorded $241,339 pesos of labor sales for additional service recommendations, its highest November in franchise history. This represents a dramatic 48.1% increase in a short period of time.
(Two quick notes on these figures for those who want to understand this dealer's reporting metrics in more detail: 1) The monthly averages referred to are labor sales only and intentionally excludes parts, but of course parts volume increased substantially as well; 2) These figures are ONLY for customer pay additional recommended services. These exclude warranty sales and scheduled maintenance. Customer pay additional service recommendations are the toughest repairs to get sold because they are off-warranty and expensive. This is exactly where ClearMechanic is helpful.)
Second, on several days in December, the service department achieved 100% consumer approval on its additional service recommendations, an incredibly rare approval rate in the fixed operations world. This means, on the days in question, all consumers approved every additional service recommendation presented by service advisors. Again, a rare feat that even surprised the dealership.
See Excerpt of Dealer's Financials on its Record-Breaking Days: The dealer has been kind enough to let us share a screenshot of a handful of Repair Orders approved during its record-breaking month. (Note that the figures are in pesos, so to translate into U.S. dollars you can divide by 12.5.) Notice in the left-hand column that every single recommendation received a response of "Sí" ("Yes" in English). In addition, some of these recommendations resulted in service work of $3,000 to $4,000 U.S. dollars.
Question and Answer with Dealer Principal Ricardo Garate:
CM: Why did you start using ClearMechanic's visual selling service?
Ricardo Garate: Our dealership has always focused on providing the best customer experience and I was searching for ways to use iPads, iPhones and Android devices to help in the service department. I came across ClearMechanic as the most downloaded mobile app among service centers and realized it was very similar to my vision. I believe it is powerful to show a customer a photo or video of his / her own vehicle when explaining an expensive service recommendation.
CM: Had you tried sharing photos or videos before ClearMechanic?
Ricardo Garate: Yes, at the time there was no Spanish language version of ClearMechanic available, so I tried having our employees use digital cameras and their own smartphone cameras to share photos. It was a difficult process that we could not keep up. We had to take a photo, then e-mail it to ourselves, then save it down to the computer and file it by RO number, and then e-mail it again to the consumer. It took several minutes for each Repair Order! Interestingly, that process still did work, in the sense that it proved photos really help to sell service recommendations. So, I could prove the benefit of 'visual selling' but I needed an efficient way to repeat the process for every customer. It really does require a combination of mobile applications and automated web services. That's why I reached out to ClearMechanic and asked when a Spanish language version would become available.
CM: What has been the most surprising part of the ClearMechanic process?
Ricardo Garate: I think I am surprised by how effective this is as a sales tool. It is not just a customer service tool. This genuinely helps to sell additional service recommendations. We have hit record levels of service because we are successfully getting customer approval on a high percentage of our additional service recommendations. I knew it would help, but the results so far have exceeded my expectations.
See Examples of Photos and Videos Shared through ClearMechanic: To see a live feed of the dealer's visual recommendations uploaded through ClearMechanic, you can visit the Live Gallery feature embedded on its website.
For specific examples, please see the photo and video clip below, which are actual recommendations from Chevrolet Ricardo L. Garate.