How our AI is assisting Toyota dealers to digitize their services in the age of COVID-19 & beyond

October 15, 2020 10:03 AM

COVID-19 has shown us that customers are less excited to come in to service their car — which explains the rise of concierge-like car repairs.

Brick-and-mortar dealers can certainly schedule a pick-up and drop-off, or encourage their customers to drop off the car themselves. However, when the customer is not near the vehicle, finger-pointing can ensue — “that scratch wasn’t there when I dropped it off!”

Customers that are not present near the vehicle may also be more reluctant to approve additional work discovered during diagnostics, so the need for greater transparency from the dealer becomes acute.

In partnership with Toyota’s national franchise in Israel, Union Motors, Ravin has introduced a set of plug-and-play AI tools to assist with visual inspections and communications alongside existing management systems.

The virtual ‘360 walk around’ — without special equipment

A physical check-in walk around is designed to document any existing issues and ensure the right job is assigned. This takes time: service writer leaves her desk, walks the lot and actively assesses vehicle condition hopefully with customers at her side.

Ravin in this case leveraged a set of standard CCTV cameras at the entrance gate, to automatically register the vehicle and its physical condition. The service writer would not need to leave their desk, and deliver to the customer (whether they are near them or not) the check-in report including dozens of high resolution images.

The 360 walk around the vehicle is also done by pick-up drivers using Ravin’s AI-powered mobile web tool, or even by the customer themselves. We actually have found that customers tend to over-disclose existing damage versus common misconception they under-disclose!

In any case, no installation of dedicated software or sophisticated hardware was required. The solution blends seamlessly into the daily operations.

Images, and any issues documented on the Ravin tools, can be exported onto existing management systems and used for future reference — like booking the next service.

One thing we have observed is the amount of time spent by staff in communications with customer and among themselves.

Ravin assists in providing more evidence of required repairs, available via text / whatsapp. The AI helps mechanics to simply show an issue to the camera, and the AI picks the best possible images. That goes automatically into a report that the customer service rep can share with the customer.

We have seen that customers who receive multiple crisp images, clearly demonstrating the work that needs to be done, are happy to approve it and are satisfied to see the same images after the work.

Bottom line — powerful AI behind the scenes, but accessible tools for staff and customers, can make a big difference in the service experience and unlock efficiencies in the dealership.

Ravin works alongside, and can plug into existing management systems, making the capture of images and vehicle data, and export of them to the customer, simple and fast.

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