By Desiree Homer
An Industry Trend to Offer Vehicle Pick-Up & Delivery Service
Volvo announced this week it was launching Volvo Valet, a concierge style pick-up and delivery service for customers. The automaker is looking for safe solutions for vehicle owners who may need oil changes or new tires right now. Many manufacturers have offered relief options for dealers and customers alike, and this is just one of the latest advancements to embrace the safe distancing efforts nationwide. Volvo’s new app will help existing vehicle owners take care of their maintenance, repairs, or recalls, without having to leave the house. It’s a trend that may stick with the industry long after the shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
Introducing Volvo Valet
Anyone driving a Volvo can download the Volvo Valet app with either their Android or iOS devices, and handle their vehicle maintenance appointments without leaving the house. As an added layer of convenience, customers can call a participating dealer to schedule their service, as well. A Volvo service team member will arrive at the home with a loaner vehicle to exchange. Using the app will allow the users to see where their driver is, along the way. Customers will also have complete transparency during the service drive process and will receive alerts when the vehicle has arrived, is being serviced, and upon completion. Once the maintenance or repairs are finished, the customer can dictate a convenient time for a Volvo team member to return the vehicle.
Lincoln Way Launched In 2017
Lincoln launched a similar concierge service back in 2017 as an added luxury service for its vehicle owners. It was app-based as well and designed to allow users to schedule pick-up and drop off service. Lincoln also provided a loaner vehicle, and ongoing notifications from door to door. Ironically, a service that once may have been considered more upscale is now becoming a safety-focused offering, that may become a new standard for many brands moving forward.
Dealers Going the Extra Mile for Customers
Many retailers have instituted similar door to door delivery services at the dealership level, without the app technology. Minimizing foot traffic in the service drive can reduce the risk of spreading the virus, not only among the technicians and staff but also to customers. These services might not be best for harder hit markets or during peak viral exposure times. CEO of the Herb Chambers Auto Group, Mr. Herb Chambers, recently shared similar sentiments about being cautious with protecting dealer staff during high-risk times, in a podcast with Dave Cantin. But many dealer owners recognize this kind of valet or concierge type service may be the safest practice to keep service vehicles coming in the bays. The pick-up and delivery platform is helping some dealers keep employees working during government-imposed shutdowns, as well. It’s a service adaptation that many have embraced and plan to continue with as an offering of the service department moving forward.
Volvo shared that its new Volvo Valet app will be expanded later this year, to include concierge service to leased and purchased vehicles, as well as overnight test drives. Many automakers may start rolling out similar apps in the coming months. Pick-up and delivery from the service department may be one of many trends we adopt today for safety, but keep for the long-term as a best practice.