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The Future of Fixed Ops Marketing

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Forget the “Big Brother” fears, digital marketer Ryan Alford says; telematics is not only pervasive when it comes to vehicle repairs, it will also soon affect marketing. Take the 2018 Toyota Camry that launched in July with Entune 3.0, says Marty Quinn, customer service operations manager for Toyota Division's Cincinnati region: The carmaker’s best-selling vehicle is now equipped with a telematics system that pings the dealership when a warning or maintenance light comes on. That’s a huge opportunity for dealers to instill trust and convenience—two of the most important customer satisfaction categories—with customers.

“Dealers that align themselves and are ready for these technologies play a part in the knowledge and informing of customers will have the advantage,” Alford, a former dealer owner, says.

It’s a sophisticated way of keeping a steady stream of information flowing, Quinn says, but it also requires dealers to be savvy and have systems in place to reach out to those customers. That could be a business development center or tasking service writers to reach out to customers upon being notified of an issue by the device.

Beyond telematics, Alford believes that machine learning and artificial intelligence, in general, will have a widespread impact, despite being in its infancy.

“The rapid development of [machine learning] will have a serious impact on all service companies and we are actually developing bots for testing with our clients Facebook Messenger apps,” he says. “These bots will improve customer service and provide them with access to information in a streamlined way even when they can't speak to a real person.”

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