Audi launches 24/7 digital service stations in Germany

Article by Christian A., on December 5, 2017

Good news for current and future Audi owners, as taking your car to the dealership for its regular maintenance won’t mean that you have to take a day off from work anymore. The automaker has just launched a new 24/7 digital service station that they named the Audi Service Station. You are probably wondering how this works. Basically, customers will simply have to drop off their cars for service and pick them up anytime they are free.

Okay, that may not sound new to you as some automakers already provide after-hours drop off box for keys. Simultaneously, they accept payment over the phone and lock keys in the car when the service is done. So you can pick up your car as long as you have an extra key fob.

But with Audi’s Service Station, it is much more convenient. That is because the service station is not just about servicing the cars. It’s also perfect when you require a loaner car, or when you drop by the service station which has a long queue on your lunch break. How does it work? The new service center is like a huge vending machine or an ATM that acts like a computerized service advisor.

For customers, they simply have to input their basic information and deposit keys into the station. Same thing if you need a loaner vehicle, the station will assign a car and dispense the keys. One thing that customers will just have to do beforehand is to set an appointment, which they can do online or with a quick phone call.

After this step, Audi will take the cars for servicing and release the loaner vehicles. Customers will get notified through text message, and will be given a security code to use at the station once the work is done. To state the obvious, the next step will be for the customer to pick up their car at the station, after paying for it (if it was not under warranty). As for a loaner car, the station can facilitate the return, and this will be done anytime, day or night. Moreover, if you just need to rent a car for your weekend trip, the service station will take care of that too.

The main purpose of Audi’s Service Station is to save their customers’ time, while also saving time at the dealership. The convenience is an extra feature that raises its appeal exponentially. The automaker can also go full digital, but this will not help much in situations wherein the car is not repaired correctly, or if there is damage.

This is currently only available for Audi customers in Munich. About 30 new stations are expected to open at Germany dealerships. While we can’t confirm yet if this will expand globally, we’re hopeful.

Press Release

Next step regarding “digital retail”: Around-the-clock Audi Service Station lays on ultimate customer convenience

Digitalization meets service orientation: Audi is the first carmaker to use digital service stations in the retail sector. Customers can conveniently drop off or pick up their vehicles and pay for servicing at any time, regardless of the dealership’s hours of operation. The station can also issue a replacement vehicle and process its return. Following a successful pilot at two Munich Audi dealerships, the premium brand is now rolling out 30 additional Service Stations to dealerships throughout Germany.

Audi developed the digital Service Station in collaboration with Audi Munich GmbH, an Audi dealer. The new digital Audi Service Station helps dealerships with service check-in during peak times, for example, and also enables customers to receive premium service even when the dealership is closed. “Digital service check-in helps us to reduce service bottlenecks and gives the Audi dealership’s service advisors more time to spend with customers,” said Raimund Thomandl, Head of Service Germany. “The Audi Service Station saves the dealership time while offering customers added convenience and flexibility.”

After making an appointment online or by phone, customers can drop off their car key directly at the Audi Service Station, quickly and flexibly. All the car’s owner has to do at the dealership is finalize the process using a touch screen. A service advisor is then informed that the key has been dropped off. Customers can also use the Service Station to pick up their car once servicing or repair is complete. They receive a text message with a security TAN code and pay directly at the machine. The machine then returns the key.

Convenient pickup and drop-off of replacement vehicles via the terminal works according to the same principle. The digital solution also serves as a fully automated, around-the-clock rental station that anyone can use whenever they like. After verification of their ID and drivers license via video call and a credit card reservation, customers can conclude a rental agreement directly at the machine. They either take the key for the desired model they reserved or decide on the spot for any available rental vehicle. At the end of the rental period, customers can use the service terminal again to return the vehicle quickly and easily.

Source: Audi

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Topics: audi, germany

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