All dealership principals know how beneficial it is to use telematics to maintain control of their vehicles, improve efficiency and reduce risk. However, choosing the right system for your business is another matter altogether.
To choose a solution that really delivers for your business, you’ll need to understand the complex telematics market and consider a variety of different factors. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to bear in mind when deciding on a telematics solution, and why it’s so important to select the right one for your dealership.
Why is it important to choose the right telematics solution?
Deciding on a telematics solution takes a lot of consideration and the option you choose will depend on your business requirements. This is because the effective use of telematics isn’t just about data collection, but also your ability to analyse and report on that data in a way that makes sense for your business. Without the right tools, this can take time, so you need to make sure you have a system that does all the hard work for you. That way you get all the information you need at a glance, and can increase your company’s efficiency as well.
Making sure your telematics solution is the best option for you will also improve your customer service offering. For example, offering extended test drives is a great way to boost your business, but it comes with many risks - from dangerous driving to road accidents or even theft, particularly if you’re offering test drives for prestige vehicles.
Through the use of in-car telematics, you can track vehicle whereabouts, driver behaviour and valuable information in the event of an accident. This gives you the peace of mind necessary to offer extended test drives as, should the worst happen, you’ll be able to determine who is responsible for an accident. Access to vehicle location data can also help locate and retrieve cars after a theft, providing the telematics devices themselves are sufficiently covert so they’re not to be discovered and removed by the criminal.
Finally, using the correct telematics system will enable you to offer a better courtesy car experience. Having a replacement vehicle whilst their own is in repair is very important to drivers, but thanks to risk of damage, expensive day-insurance and resource pressures, many dealerships struggle to deliver courtesy cars to every customer. However, with a good telematics system, you can get real-time driver behaviour tracking that enables you to reduce day-insurance costs and always have visibility of your courtesy fleet.
How to choose the best telematics solution for your dealership fleet
In order to offer extended test drives and courtesy vehicles to all customers, without running into risks and high insurance costs, you’ll need a high quality telematics solution that offers the following features:
The right telematics solution will offer scheduling support in the form of real-time vehicle data combined with diagnostic and servicing data to minimise unplanned downtime. Understanding ‘true’ vehicle location compared to the customer’s interpretation can help improve the availability and efficiency of your courtesy fleet.
By integrating scheduling with vehicle tracking and driver performance, telematics can also provide dealerships with real-time information on where their parts delivery vans are, allowing for rerouting where necessary. For example, if a part is needed for a vehicle in a heavy-traffic area, telematics systems can provide a clearer route and instantly let the driver of the parts van know.
Ability to track and identify high-risk behaviour and areas
As mentioned above, extended test drives are risky, particularly when the vehicles in question are expensive, prestige models. Any damage to the vehicle will be costly to repair, and there’s always the risk of theft and vehicles not being returned after the allocated time frame. Because of this, insurance premiums are often very expensive, which means dealerships are reluctant to offer test drives for extended periods.
Telematics that use tracking technologies offer end-to-end visibility of how your vehicles are used, so you always know where they are at any given time. That said, it’s essential that you choose the right specifications for your needs. For example, if theft is a concern, make sure you select covert devices that are less likely to be detected and removed by thieves.
Data collection and analysis
Reporting functionality is an extremely valuable way to make sure your vehicles are protected at all times. It also allows you to flag and account for any unusual driver behaviour. Often, making the customer aware that you’ll be collecting data from the vehicle they are driving is enough to prevent erratic driver behaviour.
Telematics solutions can provide detailed reports in the event of a traffic accident and analyse the data for you, so you can see exactly what happened and prove who was at fault. It is important that your chosen telematics solution provides the exact information your business needs, in an easy to understand and consistent manner.
Download our telematics guide
Find out more about choosing the right telematics solution for your dealership by downloading our free guide today.