Using Technology to Maximize Appeal
“Hospitality System” for car dealerships
Panasonic Automotive Electronics Co., Ltd. (PCE) provides sales and follow-up services for Panasonic car electronics in addition to business solutions. Developed for automotive dealerships, which require high-quality customer service at all times, PCE’s “Hospitality System” provides comprehensive support for customers from the moment they arrive until they leave. The full capabilities of this system are evident at Toyama Daihatsu Corporation, where the complete system lineup has been adopted.
Advanced customer service with IT technology
The Hospitality System recognizes visitors based on the license plate numbers of their vehicles. The plate numbers are linked to customer information and are used to display a welcome message on dealership signage. The system also offers various other functions including a Store Visitor Map that helps dealership staff share information such as why the customers came to the dealership, which table they are sitting at, and when to provide complimentary drinks. Toyama Daihatsu also uses PCE’s Pit Visualization System. Using tablet devices provided by the dealership, customers can watch as maintenance and other work is being done on their vehicle and check the estimated time remaining while also enjoying electronic magazines. Dealership staff can also check the progress of pit work via monitors in the office.
Reference (Japanese press release):September 9, 2021, Press Release — Development of the Hospitality System with Pit Visualization System Connectivity, with First Adoption at Toyama Daihatsu Corporation
Mr. Kojima at PCE noted that Toyama Daihatsu was the first company to fully adopt PCE’s Hospitality System. PCE caught the attention of Toyama Daihatsu at a technical exhibition, and they later consulted PCE regarding the development of a new dealership where the Hospitality System could be put into use.
Mr. Yamaguchi at PCE notes that “hypotheses” are important when introducing a specific system. “Before discussing a specific system, we make various hypotheses about what problems the customer is facing, how they want to solve those problems, and what value the system should create,” he says. To do so, understanding the nature of the customer’s business is essential. Discussing specific on-site issues makes it possible to create systems that will be most useful to customers.
Improvements based on a company’s situation
“The system offers a variety of functions. The Store Visitor Map function provides information such as where customers are and how long they have been waiting, and is essential to providing high-quality hospitality. We have modified the software several times to better suit the on-site situation, and I am proud to say that the system we have created is greatly appreciated,” Mr. Kojima said. Mr. Yamaguchi added, “I am incredibly happy that everyone at the dealership is using the system so well.” Even after delivering the system, PCE continues to look for ways to improve and update its functionality. Responses to the new system have been favorable, and Toyama Daihatsu is currently considering expanding use of the system to a second location.
Looking to the future, Mr. Yamaguchi said, “I hope that the system we have fine-tuned with Toyama Daihatsu will find homes at other Daihatsu locations throughout Japan. PCE has received an increasing number of inquiries from individuals that have visited the dealership, and even though the needs of each location are completely different, we understand that working closely with customers can allow us to provide ideal systems for their specific needs.” Mr. Kojima added, “Our goal is to know more and more about our customers. Getting a more detailed look at what they do allows us to provide proposals that better suit their needs, including needs they may not yet realize they have,” he said excitedly.
More information on Hospitality System can be found here (in Japanese).
“Hospitality System” for car dealerships
Feedback from Customers
Providing a Brighter Future for the Community and Employees
Daihatsu cars are popular with women, so our goal is to create a store where women feel welcome and comfortable. We also wanted to make it easier for our staff to complete their daily tasks. Using information technology allows dealership staff to focus more on customer service. As with other industries, the domestic automotive market is facing the challenges of a declining birthrate and an aging population. Under these circumstances, we can undoubtedly expect fewer customers in the future. This dealership is the flagship of Toyama Daihatsu, and providing services that allow community members to experience next-generation hospitality helps improve the company’s brand image and trust. Improving operations at the dealership is also important for recruiting future leaders, which led us to make this positive investment. Once the system was set up, we focused on putting it to good use, and PCE staff regularly improve the included functions to ensure we can use the system to its fullest. We are also working together with PCE to find solutions to a variety of issues, such as linking the Store Visitor Map to customer data. We look forward to considering new proposals in the future.
Using the System to Improve Customer Service Quality
When a customer’s name comes over the intercom to announce their arrival, we go and greet them. The system’s ability to recognize and welcome customers even when they do not make their name known has been a favorably received feature. The Pit Visualization System has also received positive reviews, as it allows customers to easily check on their vehicles while they wait. The appeal of the electronic magazines and books available on the devices also helps to create an enjoyable, comfortable environment while customers wait. Some customers are so concerned about the work being done on their vehicles that they want to choose the mechanic, and the system allows us to give those customers a sense of security. The ability to check the latest magazines in electronic format is also great. Paper-based magazines are difficult to disinfect, but use of tablet devices helps us create a greater sense of safety. I think customers also recognize the sentiments the system exemplifies. Although other locations might use the system differently, we are the flagship Toyama Daihatsu dealership, and our goal is to master the system ourselves before introducing it at other locations, all with the goal of further improving the quality of the customer service we provide.