The traditional dealership business model is going the way of the Dodo. Driving down to the dealer, speaking with a salesperson that’s trying to nickel and dime you is slowly becoming a thing of the past. The switch over to digitalization is slow, admittedly, but it’s happening. To continue that switch to digitalization, Audi will be offering digital service stations in dealerships across Germany.
Audi will be the first automaker to use these sorts of digital service stations. With these stations, customers can conveniently drop off or pick up their vehicles and pay for servicing at any time, regardless of the dealership’s hours of operation. So customers can drop their car off for service, of pick theirs up, even when the dealership is closed. It makes dealing with a dealership far easier for any sort of service appointment.
“Digital service check-in helps us to reduce service bottlenecks and gives the Audi dealership’s service advisors more time to spend with customers,” said Raimund Thomandl, Head of Service Germany. “The Audi Service Station saves the dealership time while offering customers added convenience and flexibility.”
So if a customer needs to drop their car off for service, they can use the machine’s touchscreen to sign in, schedule the appointment and leave the key. Once done, the dealer is alerted that the key has been dropped off, even if it’s closed. A customer can also pick their car up via the service station, where they enter a specific pin code and the machine will give them their key back.
There will be a lot of changes like this in the future. Both the customers and automakers alike are sick of the traditional dealership business model. The traditional model hurts both the customer and the automaker. This will help streamline customer service among dealerships but it’s just the beginning. BMW is currently working on a service in the UK where customers can pick out, order and buy their car all on a tablet from the comfort of their couch. Expect that sort of car buying experience to be the future.