See a need, fill a need.
That’s what Juan Gartner did back in 2016 after taking a test drive with a friend in his home city of Medellin, Colombia.
A self-professed car and motorcycle lover, with a background in tech, sales, and marketing, Juan went for a test drive of a car he was really excited about. But when the test drive ended, so did the whole experience.
There was no follow-up to see what he thought. No one educated him about the car, or asked whether he wanted to buy it. He was underwhelmed.
Juan and co-founder Camilo Molina realized the car dealership was missing a trick.
So they created Test Drive, a platform that creates an exciting, personalized pre-sales experience for prospective car buyers, and delivers improved sales and critical business intelligence for dealerships.
“It’s a total solution for auto dealers”, says Juan. “Prospective customers book a test drive and that triggers a series of targeted communications about the car and the purchasing journey. It builds excitement for the customer. But it also provides a wealth of information to the dealer about what the buyer is looking for in their next car so they have the knowledge they need to close the sale.”
Test Drive is a complex framework that involves a number of software platforms. The online bookings element is the entry point for the entire system so Juan knew he needed to find an appointment scheduling software that was powerful enough to handle the complexities of integrating with different aspects of the solution.
“When we first proposed Test Drive to dealers, we didn't have the booking part resolved. I’d sold the idea of a lead nurturing platform and they liked it. They wanted to see a demo straight away. So I had to quickly find a booking platform!
“Thank God I found YouCanBookMe because it really had every feature that I needed. Other booking platforms only let you do things on their site, but YouCanBookMe was way ahead of the others because it offered webhooks.”
Webhooks are a powerful feature that lets you automatically send information from your bookings to other platforms. They allow Juan to create the personalized customer experience and up-to-the-minute business intelligence that Test Drive expertly delivers.
“That was something that I really needed because the booking data from YouCanBookMe goes to a database where our automation software, Make, creates all the actions that need to happen depending on what was booked, where and when.
“It’s like the brain of the whole thing. It assigns sales reps to cars based on the location. It gives dealers a dashboard of information they need. It also triggers our email marketing software, ActiveCampaign which can send or hold emails based on specific parameters.
“So Test Drive couldn’t work without YouCanBookMe’s webhooks.”
When the booking is made online, Test Drive sends a set of emails and SMS from YouCanBookMe. The first one immediately confirms the appointment. One day before the test drive, they send a reminder with the cancel and reschedule links.
“That’s pretty cool because our show-up rate is almost 100%.”
Test Drive handles the entire pre-sales process for its auto dealer clients. From a booking perspective, this means being able to track multiple cars in multiple locations. It also takes into consideration sales reps who accompany the test driver.
“Being able to link to more than one calendar and have YouCanBookMe search all of them for availability, that’s amazing.”
Juan creates multiple booking pages for each vehicle for added flexibility. One page is for public bookings. That is embedded into a website and is differentiated in two ways.
First, it has restrictions like a minimum notice period for scheduling. This ensures prospective buyers book at least two days in advance and can receive the full range of content in the run-up to the appointment. It also gives the dealership team time to prepare for the sale.
Next, it uses tags to pre-fill the booking form. That speeds up the booking process by pre-filling details about the vehicle and location. It also uses hidden fields which allow Juan to pass metrics about where the booking came from, like a specific marketing campaign.
The second booking page is an “in-house” version with fewer booking restrictions. This is for the sales team to accommodate more immediate requests. For example, if the customer is already in the dealership, and the car they want is available, the sales rep can schedule it straight away.
Even though Juan’s team is managing the whole process, the dealerships have control over the bookings which lets them offer a customer-first experience.
“We use the reschedule and cancel links in lots of different places. We add it to the database, in emails to the salespeople and in the calendar. So if a customer calls to cancel, the rep can use their own link to cancel or reschedule the appointment, rather than sending the customer off to search for the one they received days ago.”
Juan currently works with half a dozen dealerships that each have multiple locations. He says scaling up to meet demand is easy with YouCanBookMe.
“I think we’re on version eight of our YouCanBookMe set-up. If we get a new client that suggests a new way of doing something, we can roll that out to all our clients. The shorthand codes let us duplicate booking pages really easily. We only have to change the information in one place and it updates throughout the rest of the page.”
And with all the different booking pages they create, Juan says Folders are a must-have to organize everything.
“If a car is inactive we often don’t delete the booking page if we know the dealership is going to replace it. So we just turn that page offline. We have to keep track of active as well as inactive pages and folders helps a lot.”
During the process, customers receive an email with a quick survey asking what they are looking for in their next car. This provides valuable information to the sales team.
“We tell the dealership what they need to know to make that sale. If someone is thinking about a family car, don’t tell them about horsepower and performance. Instead they need to focus on seating, trunk space and security.
“We can see that people who answer that survey are 10% more likely to buy the car.”
Juan also knows that customers who use the platform buy their cars 15 to 20% faster than those who don’t.
All the YouCanBookMe booking data is sent into a Google Data Studio dashboard that the dealership can access for information about how many bookings they are getting, broken down for each car and each sales rep. That database is changing all the time because the webhooks are instant and always updating.
“They can use that information for inventory management as well. They know if any of their test cars aren’t being used, or which cars they should have more of because the demand is high for them. They can use that information to know what cars to buy next.”
YouCanBookMe is a valued partner for Juan and his team at Test Drive. It’s a key part of the product they deliver to boost sales and dramatically improve the customer experience for car buyers.