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[NADA Series] The Value of Service Delivery in the Automotive Space With John Woodman

John Woodman

John Woodman is the Vice President of Business Development at AutoService AI, a company that boosts sales and service teams’ productivity with AI. The company's product, Allio, is a virtual customer assistant that uses cognitive conversational AI to answer phones, talk to customers, and set service appointments. Before joining AutoService AI, John was the Internet Director at Cutter Automotive Galleries.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • John Woodman's transition from retail to the vendor side of the automotive space

  • Why dealerships should focus on service delivery

  • John's thoughts on providing service for electric vehicles

  • What is AutoService AI and how does the company measure success?

  • John shares his company's plans for 2023

In this episode…

Service delivery is an excellent tool for driving repeat sales in the automotive industry. Happy customers are the key to business growth, and long-term retention promotes company-wide success.

However, customer lifetime value can be difficult to achieve for dealers that focus solely on selling cars. With technology innovations and increased competition in the industry, providing excellent service can not only give dealerships a more competitive edge but also drive sales and profits.

John Woodman, the Vice President of Business Development at AutoService AI, joins Ilana Shabtay in this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast to talk about the value of service delivery in the automotive space. They discuss how AutoService AI's product supports service delivery in dealerships, John's transition from the retail to the vendor side of automotive, and how to assess customer service success.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by AutoLeadStar, a company that helps car dealerships engage quality customers on the web and convert them into car buyers.

Co-founded by Aharon Horwitz, Yishai Goldstein, and Eliav Moshe, AutoLeadStar’s state-of-the-art software automates a dealership’s entire marketing funnel and provides around-the-clock service for dealers.

AutoLeadStar’s innovative technology helps dealerships automate ads, connect with customers, and discover ROI and performance metrics

Visit their website at to learn more about their around-the-clock marketing service.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03

Welcome to InsideAuto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you'd want to talk to you in and out of the automotive industry.

Ilana Shabtay 0:13

Ilana Shabtay here, InsideAuto Podcast. We're here with John Woodman from auto services, AutoService AI. That's new.

John Woodman 0:23

Yes, it is.

Ilana Shabtay 0:24

From Colorado.

John Woodman 0:25

Was there for 11 years.

Ilana Shabtay 0:25

11 years. Wow. How's the switch been?

John Woodman 0:29

Um, so far? Still still adjusting? But really enjoying it? Yeah. Yeah.

Ilana Shabtay 0:35

That's great. And so you just moved from Hawaii to Dallas? I did. You went from retail to vendor? I did? And how's it been being on the other side?

John Woodman 0:43

Um, you know, I think I'm in a position now kind of like, my personal goal is to help dealers. And I think this way I can just, I can help more dealers than just one.

Ilana Shabtay 0:52

Yeah, that's, that's wonderful. And how's the show been for you?

John Woodman 0:56

It's been pretty good. I mean, nada is always a big, big event and exciting. A lot of things going on. But yeah, it's a good show.

Ilana Shabtay 1:02

Do you feel like there's an emphasis on you know, there's always like, the three things that the show really focus, like everyone is talking about when it comes to shows, right. It's always different every year. Do you feel like there's a heavy emphasis on service this year?

John Woodman 1:16

Um, whether or not the show is focused on service? I know me personally, I've been focused on service for a little while no worse? Yeah, I think it is one of the most important things a dealership really needs to get a handle on and gets fixed and tightened up.

Ilana Shabtay 1:33

I mean, it's like, the most profitable center for the for the dealer,

John Woodman 1:37

it is the most profitable center. And it's also one of the easiest ways to have, you know, some leaks in your marketing and some other areas that can really hurt a dealership. And I think, yeah, service is definitely something that needs to be tightened up and can make a dealership a lot more profitable with, you know, the crazy economy we've been in and what moving forward.

Ilana Shabtay 1:56

Yeah, and I think there's also a nice emphasis in automotive for creating customers for life, I think the lifetime value of a customer in automotive is so important. Service really helps with that, right? Instead of waiting three years to see your clients come back, because their lease is up, you get to bring them back with service throughout those three years and figure out how you can keep that, that communication and that relationship really strong with your, you know, your clients over time, right?

John Woodman 2:22

And not even just three years. I mean, there's a lot of people now talking similar to what we saw back in, oh, 809 customers are wanting to keep the cars even longer, right, which makes service department even that much more important.

Ilana Shabtay 2:33

Yeah. And then do you feel like dealers are preparing for what service will look like with Eevee?

John Woodman 2:42

I think with the rest of automotive, you're always gonna have, you know, 10% that are like way super forward. You're gonna have you know, another maybe 20% that are at least looking there, but not really making any set plans yet. And then a lot of other places that are still just what's going on?

Ilana Shabtay 3:01

Yeah, I'm hearing a lot of that I think like the 10% is going to be really important because they're going to set the stage for the rest of the dealers.

John Woodman 3:08

Right? I mean, what we typically see with like the Jeff Wyler Auto Group, Kevin Frye over there, they're always like cutting edge, trying out the next new innovation, and really trying to set the pace for a lot of dealerships. And they're a good group to look at and exemplify.

Ilana Shabtay 3:23

Yeah, yeah. We love Kevin, who was on this podcast as well, actually. So tell us a little bit about AutoService AI. So

John Woodman 3:30

AutoService AI. I mean, just to keep it simply, to me, it's, it's a small little product that is going to modernize any dealership almost immediately. But solving one of the oldest problems and that's answering the service phone, when it rings, we can immediately answer that call and schedule a service appointment for the dealership right then and there.

Ilana Shabtay 3:51

Now is that because you're integrated into the service appointment? Like Xtime? Correct?

John Woodman 3:56

We actually and not just Xtime. So what really sets AutoService apart is we integrate with all the schedulers out there, not just one or two,

Ilana Shabtay 4:05

every single one every single one. And so when when we even

John Woodman 4:09

had one store that like they were doing their scheduler with a Google Calendar. And

Ilana Shabtay 4:13

yeah, well that's probably the easiest one to integrate with. But when you when you do that, okay, so let's say I'm someone I'm calling the dealership, I want to get an oil change. I'm going to get an answering machine or AI automated service, right? I'm going to put in the date and time I want it's going to tell me it's available it's not available based on what it's seeing in in whatever service scheduler that dealership uses and then is there Do I get a confirmation is there a follow up what happens then how does it get pushed into their service scheduler

John Woodman 4:42

so it we basically will look at the next available appointments give you the option of three appointments that are upcoming okay? If you want to change the date from that we could accommodate whatever part of the script or whatever it may be okay, the script and then once the appointment set, you immediately get a text confirmation right into your phone.

Ilana Shabtay 4:58

Okay. And then it's in the CRM and it's already in the scheduler with

John Woodman 5:02

the DMS service department. That's awesome.

Ilana Shabtay 5:05

How many? Like do you see? How do you assess success? Is it look at how many look at the jump from service appointments? Look at how many phone calls were answered pre and post,

John Woodman 5:17

primarily. I mean, our big success metric is how many additional service appointments we are able to set for a store. We turned it on in one store, and they saw, you know, six additional service appointments every Sunday. Wow. Right. We've got other stores, we're setting over 300 appointments a month. Wow. That's incredible addition above beyond their own people answering the phone.

Ilana Shabtay 5:38

That's awesome. So what's what's on the roadmap for 23? For you guys,

John Woodman 5:42

we're getting ready to launch another product that can actually sell if a customer were to come into service, and say they needed parts while home with the car. But now we need to get them back end because the parts just arrived. They can actually drop their phone number into our system will outbound and then schedule that appointment to get the customer back in and get the parts off the books of the dealership? That's awesome. When's that gonna go live? Um, that should be actually here within the next month or so. Oh,

Ilana Shabtay 6:09

that's great. Awesome. Well, thanks for joining us today at InsideAuto Podcast. We learned a lot. I appreciate it. And good luck in the new role already. Thank you. Thanks.

Outro 6:21

Thanks for listening to the InsideAuto Podcast. Check out our other episodes with top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

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