Autonet Mobile, the world’s first Internet Service Provider (ISP) for cars, has created Dealer Connect Powered by Autonet Mobile, a new connected car technology. This unique tool helps dealers leverage a customer’s vehicle data to communicate with the owner through an app on their smartphone. Dealers can identify service issues, send alerts, schedule service appointments and push targeted offers based on the car’s needs at that moment.
Dealer Connect uses a small OBD-II device that’s placed under the car’s dashboard, which continuously scans a vehicle’s status and reports problems. The accompanying smartphone app allows dealers and car owners to access the car’s vehicle diagnostic and safety data 24/7. Dealer Connect also enables dealers to receive messages from a customer’s car when it needs service, while simultaneously giving dealers the ability to send targeted messages and service offers directly to the customer.
Dealer Connect performs four primary functions for dealers:
- Vehicle Health is a checkup for the overall health of the car. This feature provides alerts when a customer’s car needs repair through the Vehicle Health Scan.
- Automated Scheduler provides a direct connection to dealer DMS systems, allowing for offers to be sent via text and/or email from the dealer to the car owner when service or maintenance is needed. Appointments can be made without phone calls or direct mail.
- Lot Tracker provides 24/7 location identification service while the vehicle is at the dealership and helps expedite sales with real-time inventory management from a salesperson’s phone.
- Messaging allows dealers to communicate service and marketing messages directly to consumers highlighted through the customer’s app.
Dealer Connect makes it easier than ever for customers to stay connected to the dealer through an easy-to-use Vehicle Health Report app on their phone and return for service by leveraging many of the same features as the dealer’s app:
- Vehicle Health – customers can check their vehicle’s health, and dealers can notify customers if the vehicle needs service. Customers can also receive special offers via text and/or email.
Dealer Connect also provides a platform for dealers to offer valuable safety and convenience features to customers, including:
- Driver Safety Apps – allow car owners to set speed limits through Speed Tracker, define where the car can be driven with Geo Zones, locate the vehicle anytime and anywhere with Find My Car, and set Curfews for when the vehicle is not to be driven.
- 4G Wi-Fi On Demand – a powerful Wi-Fi capability that does not require a subscription or preexisting contract with any network.
“Our goal is to change the way dealers communicate with their customers and enable them to leverage the data coming from cars to increase their service bay revenue and to provide more personalized services and products for their customers,” said Sterling Pratz, Autonet Mobile President. “Dealers have started ordering before we finished our pilot tests. They see it as an affordable way to stay connected with customers, manage inventory and optimize traffic through the service lane.”
Mark Snethkamp, Dealer Principal at Snethkamp Auto Group said, “This is a unique opportunity. We will have this included in the ‘Snethkamp Loyalty Package’ with our customers. The online scheduling is especially nice.”
In addition to the smartphone apps for dealers, Dealer Connect creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to bring their computers, tablets and gaming devices in the car and connect to the Internet. “The 4G Wi-Fi is an especially attractive sales advantage for us, in addition to the opportunity to drive customer retention,” said Ken Meade, Dealer Principal of Meade Auto Group. “A big opportunity we see for us is in the connectivity with our Certified Pre-Owned vehicles to ensure our relationship remains strong.”