Using Technology to Lure New Buyers towards Hyundai

In the quest to lure more new-car buyers back to dealership service drives, Hyundai dealers are getting some high-tech help.

Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system has helped more of the dealership’s new-car customers keep their first and second vehicle service appointments.

In May, Hyundai made standard for three years a package of service-related telematics features on vehicles equipped with Blue Link. It calls the package Assurance Connected Care.

One feature automatically sends service appointment reminders to customers via e-mail, text message or to their personal Web site when an appointment nears.

Also, the system gathers data from the car’s onboard computer and sends alerts to the customer or dealership or both. For example, if the check engine light comes on, the system notifies the dealer.

Also, Hyundai made scheduling a buyer’s first service appointment via Blue Link a standard part of its new-car delivery procedures.

Hyundai launched Blue Link in 2011, offering a complimentary three months of service before requiring a subscription. After making the system’s service-related features free for three years in May, dealers are beginning to see measurable improvements in service appointments.

“Before Assurance Connected Care, a significant number of people stopped using service after the free trial,” says Barry Ratzlaff, executive director of customer connect and service business development at Hyundai Motor America. “In many cases, the free trial ran out before the customer even needed their first oil change, so we were sort of providing a pitcher with no water in it.”

Ratzlaff says Hyundai also began what it calls its Welcome Call, in which salespeople push the Blue Link button during new-car deliveries to introduce customers to the service and schedule their first appointments. About 30 percent of first appointments are being made this way, he says.

Ratzlaff says customers with the Assurance Connected Care package who also go through the Welcome Call show up to their first service appointments 25 percent more often than customers without the service.

“It’s kind of like a safety net for the dealer,” Ratzlaff says. “If a dealer doesn’t have a sales process where a salesperson is not making the first service appointment, the Blue Link call center is helping the dealer do that.”


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