- Hyundai's high-tech Blue Link telematics feature is drawing recent buyers back to the dealership for routine maintenance while forging a long-term relationship in the process.
- The Welcome Call gets 70 percent of new customers returning to the point of sale for a scheduled maintenance.
- It also shows off the benefits to Hyundai's Assurance Connected Care program, a free three-year service that comes standard on all cars with Blue Link.
LAS VEGAS — Hyundai dealers are using a high-tech tool to draw recent car buyers back to the dealership.
The Blue Link in-vehicle telematics system begins a dialog with car buyers as they take delivery of their new car, Barry Ratzlaff, executive director, customer connect and service business development, Hyundai Motor America, told Edmunds from the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas. He was there to introduce the second-generation of Blue Link, which debuts in the 2015 Hyundai Genesis.
"It's called the Welcome Call," Ratzlaff said.
The salesperson pushes the Blue Link button and the driver is thanked, welcomed to the Hyundai family and asked to schedule a service maintenance appointment. About 30 percent of the appointments are scheduled with this initial call.
That initial contact has translated to 70 percent of new customers returning to Pugi Hyundai in Downers Grove, Illinois, for their first scheduled service, said Tony Hastings, service manager at Pugi Hyundai.
"We've come a long way since when we started tracking this about five years ago before Blue Link," he told Edmunds . The return rate was in the low 30s then."
The first appointment is an avenue to build a lasting relationship, Hastings points out.
"It's our chance to show them we're not just a service department to make repairs and fix things, but we're there to help with all their needs, including maintenance and enjoying their vehicle and future vehicles for many years to come," he said.
Blue Link works in tandem with Hyundai's Assurance Connected Care program.
It includes automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, monthly vehicle diagnostics reports and maintenance alerts that may be texted or emailed to the driver. The service is fully transferable to subsequent owners within three years of the vehicle's date of first use.
"There is a 'wow' factor in this technology," Hastings said. "We'll get a Blue Link report that a customer's tire is low, so we'll call the person to encourage him to come in and have us fix it and he is in complete shock that we know when his car needs some attention."
It's another way to tell the consumer that Hyundai cares about their safety, Ratzlaff said.
"This program is really starting to have an impact on our dealers, and how the service department works to create long-term relationships with customers," Ratzlaff said.
Edmunds says: Harnessing technology to make a long-term personal connection benefits both the dealer and the customer.