Lower Costs for Service Loaners – With This Free Application

The economy was still thriving 18 months ago when Habberstad Nissan in Huntington Station, Long Island, New York, one of the top 20 Nissan dealers in the United States, began using the Automated Rental Management System (ARMS®) application from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Now, with the nation's economic challenges in full force, the dealership is even more pleased with the ARMS® application's ability to help lower rental car costs for service loaners, simplify invoicing and improve service to customers.

Tina Negrete, Warranty Administrator for Habberstad Nissan, estimates that nearly 40 percent of the dealership's customers have a service contract, which includes a rental car while their car is being serviced.

"In addition to helping our service department better manage costs by sending electronic authorizations directly from the dealership to Enterprise, including the number of rental days authorized, the ARMS® application makes it faster and easier to provide rental cars for our customers," said Tina.

Available from Enterprise at no charge to dealerships, the ARMS® application allows service advisors to create an electronic purchase order for a rental car at the same time they are initiating a repair order for service. Because all of the renter's information, along with the number of days authorized, is sent to Enterprise electronically, the rental car is ready when the customer arrives for the service appointment.

Per a special agreement with Habberstad Nissan, which does not provide service loaners from its own inventory, the rental car from Enterprise is usually a Nissan. This benefits the dealership's new car sales department by giving customers the opportunity to experience driving a newer vehicle during their everyday routine. According to Tina, this can be more relaxing for the customer than the usual test drive situation, which can be more like taking a test for a driver's license all over again.

An important customer service feature of the ARMS® application allows Tina to use a special notes section to communicate to Enterprise any specific details or individual customer information. For example, Tina says, it's important for a mom with four kids who is used to driving a minivan to be given an appropriate size rental car while her car is being serviced. The ARMS® application makes it easy to make that notation ahead of time, so the right size car is reading and waiting.

Reduced Errors and Costs
No matter what management systems a dealership uses, it can easily be enhanced by the ARMS® application.

"Combined with our management system, the ARMS® application helps us better analyze and manage the rental process on every level, while making it easy to significantly reduce errors and unnecessary delays that can impact customer satisfaction," said Tina.

Tina added that the ARMS® application also reduces costs for the Service Department, which is especially important in the current economy. Savings include being able to close the contract for the rental car as soon as it's returned to the dealership, having the ability to view and print invoices in-house, and reducing the amount of time spent on the phone with the local Enterprise office regarding the rental.

Because the ARMS® application is easy to learn and simple to use, all employees in Habberstad Nissan's service department have access to it. "Using the ARMS® application makes our jobs a lot easier and less stressful, saving us time that we can use to focus on customer service issues rather than spending our time managing rental cars, which does not generate any additional revenue," said Tina.

For Habberstad Nissan the ARMS® application's two-way electronic communications creates a seamless process that streamlines invoicing and helps them better manage costs. According to Tina, it also is one of the dealership's most valuable "tools" in keeping customer satisfaction high.

Want to learn more? Email ARMSDealership@erac.com or click here to have someone contact you.