UDC Announces New Online Service Scheduler for MINI Auto Dealers

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UDC, the nation's leading high line retail automotive software, training and consulting firm, today announced the release of MINI Virtual Service Assistant (VSA), a new online service scheduler for MINI auto dealers. MINI VSA features a custom designed MINI branded user interface built on UDC's proprietary Virtual Service Assistant (VSA) service appointment scheduling platform. The scheduler integrates with Revolution, the company's advanced service CRM, which is included with the tool at no additional cost. It is also being made available to MINI dealers who currently use Revolution as a new software feature and system upgrade free of charge.

Because customers can now manage their own appointments and receive automated reminders, in only a few short weeks our show rates have climbed to 88%. It's a great tool for MINI customers because it's so convenient and, even when interacting with the service department, continues the MINI experience.

UDC, the nation's leading high line retail automotive software, training and consulting firm, today announced the release of MINI Virtual Service Assistant (VSA), a new online service scheduler for MINI auto dealers. MINI VSA features a custom designed MINI branded user interface built on UDC's proprietary Virtual Service Assistant (VSA) service appointment scheduling platform. The scheduler integrates with Revolution, the company's advanced service CRM, which is included with the tool at no additional cost. It is also being made available to MINI dealers who currently use Revolution as a new software feature and system upgrade free of charge.

MINI VSA reduces service department phone traffic by allowing customers to quickly and easily arrange vehicle service appointments online via the dealer's Web site. It increases service efficiency, improves shop loading and capacity management, and provides dealers with detailed service reports and metrics. MINI VSA is a companion product to UDC's BMW branded VSA, which was released last year.

"MINI VSA streamlines the appointment setting process and helps dealers more effectively manage their service department," said Hans Van Order, CEO of UDC. "It's an intuitive, extremely flexible tool that enhances customer satisfaction and brand loyalty."

MINI VSA seamlessly integrates into a dealer's Web site, allowing customers to schedule, modify or cancel service reservations online. Available service appointment dates and times are automatically generated by the system. Users can select which services and repairs are needed and even chose their own service advisor -- or have one assigned. After the appointment has been set, an auto generated confirmation notice is sent by email. While the vehicle is being serviced, customers can check the status of the repair order. Customers receive email service reminders the day before their scheduled appointment, and are notified by email when their vehicle is ready for pick-up. Users can also view the vehicle's complete service history at any time.

The online service scheduler eliminates the need for customers to contact the dealership by phone to set a service appointment. And, it insures that service advisors and technicians are available when the vehicle is brought in for repair, reducing time spent waiting in the service lane for assistance.

Because the scheduler automatically manages appointment times and shop loading, dealers never have to worry about overbooked service schedules or appointment conflicts. Detailed reports can be generated daily or on-demand showing total appointment dates, times and services requested, total number of service hours scheduled for the day, listings of service advisor and technician repair assignments and hours, shows and no shows, to more effectively manage service department operations.

"Before we implemented UDC's MINI VSA, our service department show rates were running below 85%," said Joe Gardner, BDC manager of Roadshow BMW/MINI in Tennessee. "Because customers can now manage their own appointments and receive automated reminders, in only a few short weeks our show rates have climbed to 88%. It's a great tool for MINI customers because it's so convenient and, even when interacting with the service department, continues the MINI experience."

The scheduler's user interface was custom designed by UDC to reflect the unique qualities and characteristics of the MINI brand. It provides a transparent user experience for MINI customers who access the dealers site to make service appointments.

"UDC's Virtual Service Assistant provides an excellent customer-facing interface that will allow MINI customers to schedule their own service appointments 24 hours a day," said Matt Russell, Service Retail Operations Manager for MINI USA. "When they do so, the appearance and experience are seamless, and precious time is saved for both customer and dealer."

MINI VSA is approved for MINI dealer Web site integration by both MINI USA and The Cobalt Group, a leading provider of automotive marketing services and the exclusive Web Site provider to all MINI USA dealerships.

The online scheduler integrates with both ADP and Reynolds and Reynolds Dealership Management Systems. MINI VSA pushes real time appointment data directly into the dealer's DMS, which in turn populates the scheduler with DMS vehicle history and other related vehicle and customer information.

TSD's Loaner Management Software has also been seamlessly integrated into MINI VSA, allowing qualified MINI customers to request a loaner vehicle while setting a service appointment.

UDC's MINI VSA is available as a standalone product that includes Revolution, the company's advanced service CRM. It is also been included as a new feature for Revolution users. Revolution facilitates and manages detailed client follow-up, provides advanced marketing tools and links the customer relationship process to capacity management.

About UDC
Headquartered in Irvine, California, UDC is a leading developer of CRM software solutions and a BDC consulting, training and hiring specialist for automotive retail sales and fixed operations. UDC combines state-of-the-art technology, industry expertise and proven strategies to increase bottom line profitability through client-care excellence. The company has helped dealerships nationwide enhance customer satisfaction, increase retention and loyalty. UDC is an authorized Mercedes Benz USA and BMW of North America CRM/BDC consulting, training and software provider. For more information call 888-284-5833 or visit http://www.udcnet.com.

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Donna Mealy
UDC
949-453-8000
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