Samantha and Michael talk about how dealerships can gain back business from independent shops with tools such as UVeye that make easy-to-miss car issues more visible. By incorporating AI technology that analyzes a vehicle and presents issues, dealerships can create more transparency and trust with their customers.
Tactical Tips Episode #24 Transcript
BRAD: All right, we’re back here with another Tactical Tip Tuesday. I’m super excited. I have Samantha Foster. She’s the Marcom Director at UVeye, and then we have Michael Kirk. He’s the Head of Account Directing at UVeye. So I’m super excited to have them today. I learned about these guys at NADA and I knew Sam when she was on the dealer side and she’s great and she went over there. So I went by and I checked this out. My wife actually went by and checked it out too, because she works in a dealership. So, Michael, tell us what all you guys do at UVeye.
MICHAEL: Yeah, so thanks Brad for having us on. So UVeye actually does a lot of things, but we’re essentially, at the end of the day, a hardware/software combination, and we have developed a touchless vehicle inspection system. So essentially, there’s a few applications in the dealership that we fit well, one being on the service drive. So customers that are coming in to bring their vehicle in for service, oftentimes we have our platform set up there. They can drive right through and within 30 seconds, we can scan the underbody of the vehicle and then all four tires, as well as the body. So that’s on the service side and for the sales side, the tool is great for appraisals. And what we’ve also developed that’s really exciting is an AI. So I think we started here about in the US about 14 months ago and in that time we’ve scanned somewhere around 2.5 million vehicles. So our AI’s had the opportunity to look at all of those images and learn, so we’re starting to see some trends there as well. Besides that, as far as the sidewall is concerned, we pull all of the data off of the sidewall of the tire. We can also tell you if there’s any damage on the sidewall. We look at a good percentage of the front of the tire itself, so we can see nails, scratches, dents, those kind of things as well. And then on the body we have a platform called the Atlas that scans the entire outside of the vehicle and again, the AI’s looking for dents, scratches, all of those kind of things. We also have developed some pretty amazing data compression. So all of that takes place, the car drives through, and then we have all of that data and information. We compress that in about 45 seconds. So from the user standpoint, they can see all that information in less than a minute.
BRAD: Wow that’s fast!
MICHAEL: Yeah, so that’s kind of an overview of what we do. We’re a hardware/software combination.
BRAD: So that’s kind of cool because, we just talked to Marcus Aman from Bayley and we were talking about KPIs and how long it takes this, how long it takes that. And what’s one of the number one complaints on it. We’re talking about customer service. It’s how long this stuff takes, right? So if you can shorten that process with technology, I think that that’s a good example. Now, what sort of stuff do you do after you have to have these inspections? I’m sure you got to focus on other areas like training and things like that. Sam, tell us a little about what you guys focus on when it comes to training and what are some opportunities that you see as you’re going through this inspection product? I have to think that you uncovered some stuff, as you guys rolled this out.
SAMANTHA: Yeah, absolutely. It’s really evolved over the last couple months that I’ve been there and I’m sure for the last couple of years, and Mike can really speak to this on the account management side. But what’s really great about our company is the custom approach that we take to training. So we build processes with the dealership based on their process inside of their dealership. I think that technology is only as good as the training that you put behind it. So it’s really important for us to have really solid training steps before launching it into the dealership set up. Mike, you could speak a little bit more to that, right?
MICHAEL: Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things for me, I came from the CRM world for ten years, and it seems like a lot of times it’s kind of a cookie-cutter approach. It’s trying to make every dealership sort of go through the same process. And, like Sam said, what we’ve tried to do differently as we spend a lot of time during the onboarding of the customer to really sit out on their service drive or sit up at the appraisal desk and watch how they do things. You know, oftentimes we walk in a store and I’ll ask the service manager, “Hey, do you have a flow written out for your process?” And they kind of laugh because there’s what’s written and then there’s what we actually do, right? And oftentimes those are two different things and there’s a lot of steps that get skipped and everything else. So, to just speak to that, we spend a lot of time documenting the process and then hey, this is what UVeye would look like as a part of that process and we’ve documented that for you as well. And when it comes to training, that’s another big part of the training is this is the way the process should be now that you have UVeye as part of your service offering. I would say the other thing, as far as what you mentioned on uncovering. It’s crazy how much we’re uncovering that’s missed right in the dealership. I’ll give you one quick example. Yesterday I got an email from a service manager. A lot of times a customer will come in for something that doesn’t require that that vehicle gets put on a lift. In this case it was a bad battery. So the customer came in to have a battery replaced, came through our system, it was scanned, and during the scan it was found, hey, it needed four tires. In most cases and most shops across the United States, that car would have went straight to a technician, they would have put a battery in it and shipped it on its way, and we might see that customer six months from now if we’re lucky. But because of our technology, the service advisor was able to consult the customer to say, “hey, you need four tires as well while you’re here, would you like to go ahead and do that?” So that’s a big part of what we do. And as far as what we’re finding on scans, it’s unbelievable.
BRAD: I mean I think that’s interesting because-here’s a couple of things that I think. So, being a dealership guy, and Samantha you’ll totally get this too, when I’m thinking about this, whenever you’re in a dealership, you know you have your car buying program that you kind of brand as itself. Whether it’s “the name of the dealership buys your cars” or whatever. This is something you could brand under a brand umbrella. Pretty easy and say hey, look, we have this and it’s a separate check system to make sure that you’re safe. But what it does also, and what our mission is, and it sounds like you guys align with this, which is really cool, is to set the service advisors up for success, like we do the salespeople, and so by you scanning that and figuring out that that needed that, then that just set that advisor up to have that conversation. And it’s not a conversation about, hey, I need to upsell you this or that. It’s a conversation about, hey, this isn’t safe and if this isn’t safe, this is something that we need to look at. And who knows, that customer could have come in because that’s the only place that had a battery in town, or that type of battery in town at that point. So there are a lot of things that we can do on that side of things to gain back that business from those independent auto repair facilities that, frankly, eat our sack lunch right, they beat the heck out of us all the time. So I think that’s beautiful.
MICHAEL: It’s that extra validation, it’s somebody other than the dealership also saying hey, there’s an issue with your car, the equipment is actually showing the customer. So there’s some 3rd party validation there as well.
BRAD: Yeah, and I’m going to be honest with you, it’s cool shit, right. It’s cool.
SAMANTHA: It looks cool!
BRAD: Yeah, people love technology, they love cool stuff. I mean, why do you think Tesla’s are so popular? Because they’re cool.
MICHAEL: Can I ask another question, Brad? How many test drives? How often do you think it is that we actually, on a vehicle appraisal, on the sales side, how often would you say that we’re putting a vehicle on the rack?
BRAD: Not very often, dude!
SAMANTHA: If ever.
MICHAEL: What we’re finding when we go through these process reviews with the dealerships, is if they’re being honest, 97% percent of the time they’re not. They’re going to drive around the parking lot. If they’re lucky they go on the highway, and so it’s that extra layer of visibility and, just a real quick example on that, we had a car that came in that drove straight, smelled right, had the right mileage, Carfax was good, right. But what they found on the scan is the customer actually tried to repair their exhaust system and broke a really important bolt right in front of the converter. Literally, on the scan they took a vice grip and put the vice grip on there, and tied wire around it. It would have cost the dealership $2500.
BRAD: Y’all do some weird things out there in Kentucky, man, I don’t know, that sounds like Mike Davenport repaired that exhaust. You gotta double-check. You need to scan any car that comes from him for sure.
SAMANTHA: Sure, yeah, but in the service line the biggest thing is it’s building trust and transparency across sales and service, allowing technology to really guide those conversations because, let’s face it, the dealerships still haven’t won over the complete trust of the customer at this point. So what can we do? What can we put in place that’s going to help bridge that gap?
BRAD: Yeah, well, it’s crazy because a lot of people will trust some machine over a person a lot of times. Which is kind of interesting, but I think, here’s some takeaways that I had from our conversation, which is really good and we’ll wrap up with this. Is it allows your used car manager who’s finding vehicles to run it through and you might find things that they miss, and so that makes your recon more exact, which doesn’t cost you as much money on the used car department, and used car acquisition is really, really important right now. The other thing that I see that’s really interesting is it speeds up the process for technicians. It speeds up the process for advisors. It gives you more at bats when you’re when you’re looking at multi-point inspections or people running through and that’s all we can do. Continue to give more at bats and I think you can market it as, hey, we’re the only one in town, or we’re the one that does this, or we’re doing this to get you in and out. So you can put it within your marketing plan, and I think that’s excellent. I know that’s a big reason why they brought you on, Samantha, is to help with what that kind of stuff. I want to thank both of you for coming on today. If someone wants to reach out to you to know more, what’s the best way to do that?
SAMANTHA: You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can connect with me or Mike on Linkedin and we’ll get you in front of the right person.