How Dealer-FX uses Pendo to help customers predict and increase revenue and bookings
Dealer-FX creates service lane software that helps automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), dealerships, and service departments manage their operations, grow efficiently, and streamline how they engage with their customers.
In August 2022, Dealer-FX released a new, advanced online appointment tool, aimed at driving increased bookings for its dealership customers. They hoped that streamlining this key feature would not only increase their own customer retention, but in turn also help their customers retain more business. The Dealer-FX team turned to Pendo to inform the redesign, evaluate feature adoption, and continuously iterate based on usage patterns. And in the process, they uncovered some unexpected findings about which feature settings used by their customers ultimately drove the most success.
These findings from Pendo Analytics ultimately helped power Dealer-FX’s machine learning model, used to predict appointment volumes at dealerships, based on the online scheduling settings those customers are using. Thanks to this usage data, the Dealer-FX team can now predict appointment bookings with an 80% accuracy rate.
Uncovering surprising usage trends with Pendo Analytics
After launching Dealer-FX’s new appointment scheduling tool, Anna Harris (Sr. Product Analyst at Dealer-FX) wanted to find out which configurations in the new scheduling feature were contributing to the best customer outcomes. “Our dealership customers have over 40 different highly customizable options for how they can set up their online scheduling,” she explained. “We wanted to know which options were the most effective at driving people to schedule appointments.”
What Harris and her team discovered surprised them. “What we thought was not a very important setting actually turned out to be a good indicator of whether [dealerships] were going to get more appointments,” she said. She found out that the dealerships that listed things like “free coffee,” “free WiFi,” and other amenities at their locations were more likely to receive more appointment requests, compared to dealerships that did not leverage this amenities feature in the Dealer-FX platform.
“Pendo [gives us] insights on how our customers actually use our product—[which helps us] drive growth, retention, and customer satisfaction.”
Anna Harris | Sr. Product Analyst, Dealer-FX
Using Pendo data to power predictive learning models
Harris explained that findings like these have been crucial in powering Dealer-FX’s machine learning system. She and her team exported this data from Pendo—combined with other data from the backend of their platform—and used it to fuel their machine learning model. This model helps Dealer-FX predict how many appointments a dealership can expect in an upcoming month, based on the features that dealership is using in the Dealer-FX online scheduling tool. Now, Harris and her team can confidently forecast appointments for these dealerships with an 80% accuracy rate. And the model continues to get better with more Pendo data it takes in—and can even make recommendations to customers to help them better plan staffing and project revenue.
Harris noted that the ultimate goal of building this predictive model was to help dealerships operate more efficiently. “We built the predictive model to better predict how the dealerships are bringing in customers, and to help them manage their shop flow,” she explained. “Booking online means there are [fewer] people calling into the dealership and having to wait for someone to answer the phone to make an appointment,” she said.
This Pendo-data-driven machine learning model has helped Harris identify improvements in overall customer satisfaction, too. “We’re finding that it’s really helping to improve the actual usage of the online scheduling [feature]—and that’s helping out both the dealership and their customers,” she said. “People have been coming back and booking more appointments online—because they’ve already booked online and had a great experience. This is improving [the dealerships’] efficiency and handling of those customers.”
How Pendo is helping Dealer-FX drive digital transformation
Harris also noted that Pendo has a key role to play in Dealer-FX’s commitment to helping dealerships through their own digital transformations. “Dealerships are generally lagging behind [in terms of] technology,” she said. “You see it a lot when you go into a dealership—[everything’s done] on paper. Our products are geared towards moving dealerships forward into a technology-based, faster, more efficient solution.”
“[Partnering with] Pendo has felt like we’re making really great progress. We’re moving the dealerships forward, as well as moving our own product forward.”
Anna Harris | Sr. Product Analyst, Dealer-FX
Pendo has also enabled Dealer-FX to go from guessing to knowing—giving them the data they need to make informed product decisions. “A lot of times, people have observed a certain behavior at a dealership. But Pendo has given us the data that allows us to see whether or not that behavior is true, or if it’s an individual that’s doing a certain thing. It’s allowing us a lot more insight into how people actually use our product vs. what we were doing before, which was very observational,” Harris explained.
Dealer-FX’s OEM customers have also been extremely receptive to these changes. “The response from our OEMs has been stellar. They’re very excited about where we’re going using Pendo, and how we’re using data to make product decisions,” said Harris. “We’ve increased and improved our relationships with our OEM partners . . . [which has created] a lot of innovation in how we’re working on our product.”