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Alphabet launches virtual handover service

Alphabet has launched a virtual handover service to all customers receiving new vehicles via its preferred dealership network, following a successful trial.

The service provides the driver with a video guide for their new vehicle from the supplying dealer, approximately two weeks before the vehicle is delivered.

Tony Long, network development manager for Alphabet, said: “While some leasing companies have trialled video technology for vehicle handovers, Alphabet are the only company providing a virtual handover across all manufacturer vehicles and for all new car deliveries fulfilled by our preferred dealership network.

“The videos are created by the dealers so drivers get an experience as close to that of a going into a retailer, without the inconvenience of having to visit a dealership.”

Customers receive an email with a link to a virtual handover film created by the supplying dealer.

Long continued: “From Alfa Romeos to Volkswagens, Alphabet customers and drivers can access a virtual, video handover of their new vehicle on demand whenever they want it.

“We worked closely with our network over the past 12 months to create a library of over 200 virtual handover films, providing guidance and feedback to Dealers on the content that customers really value and want to see.

“The customer feedback from fleet managers and drivers has been extremely positive so it’s been a well-received development for the industry.”

Virtual handover is available for all makes and models of vehicle delivered via Alphabet’s preferred dealer network of 26 dealer groups and over 80 retailers nationwide, with further films being created as new models are launched.

Although the service is currently only available for passenger cars, Long confirmed that a similar service was in development for Commercial Vehicle customers and drivers.

Matt Sutherland, chief operating officer, said: “We’re always looking out for ways to do things better or smarter.

“Through our ‘Voice of the Driver’ feedback platform we established that nearly one third of customer concerns stemmed from inconsistencies in the handover of the new vehicle.

“Our customers and drivers are busy people, they want their vehicles delivered at a time and place convenient to them – their home or workplace or somewhere else, not necessarily collecting it from a dealership.

“Customers may not have the time there and then when their new car is delivered to do a full handover to familiarise themselves with the key safety, technology, comfort and performance features. So we provide drivers with a link to video content – created by the dealer supplying the vehicle – a couple of weeks before they take delivery.

“Customers get the key information they need on the new vehicle but at a time and in a way to suit their requirements.

“Increasingly modern consumers turn to videos such as via YouTube when they need guidance on anything today – whether that’s to cook a recipe, change a fuse or replace a tyre. So it seemed a natural progression for us to provide a video handover which builds drivers’ excitement and anticipation about their new car being delivered, as well as being a handy reference guide to ensure their vehicle stays in in tip-top condition in future.

“While there’s a significant driver benefit in this, fleet managers are supportive too as it helps to ensure that they are meeting their Duty of Care obligations in the handover of new vehicles to their employees.”

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  • Busterrabbit - 08/03/2016 15:36

    "without the inconvenience of having to visit a dealership" Frankly if you can't be bothered to visit a dealer and have the "safety and technology" explained to you then you shouldn't be allowed to drive the car. So much for "building driver excitement" they can't even be bothered to fit a handover into their busy schedule. These are the same people that order a car from a car list on Excel and then complain endlessly (to their local dealer who almost certainly didn't provide the car) about something they would have picked up during a test drive. It's not about convenience or customer service, it's about lease companies buying cars on the cheap 500 miles from their customer, and passing a video off as a handover. Perhaps this is the reason so many BMW/Audi/Mercedes drivers seem not to know where the indicator switch is?

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  • Jim - 09/03/2016 06:23

    Not sure on this one - I have used you tube for many things - bicycle repairs and so on so I can see the argument. But if I'm an OEM and or leasing company really valuing service I would really want a personal handover. Be interesting to see LT feedback and what the competition do...But does feel a bit of "emperor's new clothes!"

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