Pendragon’s Pinewood Technology has launched a new online payment feature for car retailers’ aftersales departments – enabling customers to pay before collecting their car.
The DMS specialist said that the rise of contactless trading as a result of the COVID-19 crisis had made clear how important an adaptive online retail platform would be to consumers.
Managing director, Neville Briggs, said that the pandemic has highlighted a need for automotive to offer a wider breadth of service online – emulating other parts of the retail sector.
“If you think of common bookings you might make – for example, plane, train and cinema tickets – you can just book and pay online and you’re done,” he said.
“Automotive retail shouldn’t be any different or any more difficult. Our new online payment solution helps to provide a hassle-free and modern customer experience.”
Pinewood’s dealer partners can now offer their customers the ability to pay their service invoices online before collection.
Facilitated by Barclays EPDQ solution, the system is is fully integrated with Pinewood DMS and once the customer pays on the portal, the money is directed straight to the dealer’s bank account and appears in the DMS Accounts module.
Barclays EPDQ accepts all major debit and credit cards, including PayPal, to make it even easier for dealers to receive payments.
Alongside the suite of mobile apps, online booking and digital documents, online payments in the workshop completes the no-contact collect and deliver cycle.
Pinewood believes that the new functionality will help to mitigate against a situation where multiple customers are required to wait in a dealership for their vehicles.
In an interview with AM last week, Arnold Clark chief executive, Eddie Hawthorne, highlighted the value of additional speed at service reception as his dealerships tried to optimise its social distancing measures by adhering to a strict ‘by appointment’ policy.
Aftersales customers are now keeping to their appointment and service desk transactions and cut the duration of their visits from around a quarter of an hour to just three minutes, on average.
“There’s no doubt that added efficiency will be present in many areas of the business, post-lockdown,” said Hawthorne.
Using the new Pinewood aftersales solution customer can book their service in on a retailers’ website and also use the job progress tracker to tell the exactly what stage the vehicle is at while it’s in the workshop.
Briggs said: “It’s a challenging time for our industry and dealers are looking for ways to keep their staff and customers safe alongside making a profit.
“Adding online payments to our already digital and paperless system, gives our customers the edge that will set them apart from the rest.”