Griffin Fast Lube Sells Customers with Visual Storyboards

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A Jiffy Lube franchise turned to visual storyboard technology to strengthen customer relationships and make the sales process more transparent and streamlined.

When consumers step into the typical auto repair shop, they're often bracing for bad news, which can come in the form of expensive repair bills.

"There is a high level of anxiety and frustration," says John Griffin, former co-owner and chief operating officer for Griffin Fast Lube, which operates 57 Jiffy Lube stores in Colorado, Utah and Nevada. "In some cases, contempt levels are extremely high. Too often, people feel that the service center is pressuring them and taking advantage of them."

Griffin Fast Lube executives believed there had to be a better way, and they decided that information technology should drive the industry forward. As a result, the company spun out a separate company, G5 Technologies, which developed a visual story platform for its Jiffy Lube stores.

Simply put: Sales and service technicians pull out an iPad Mini, inspect the vehicle, and then provide the customer with a transparent 3D model that spins and rotates so the customer can see everything from the transmission to the brakes.

"It's possible to view the necessary work and add and remove repairs on the fly," says Griffin, the firm's CEO. "A customer can view the display in the store or in their vehicle."

The software solution, called iShift, was developed by G5 over a nine-month span. The firm turned to Citrix for guidance on automation and secure deployment. G5 relies on Xenmobile, Podio, GoToMeeting, GoToTraining and Concierge.

"The software was difficult to develop because we pull from legacy databases that contain customer vehicle information," Griffin explains. "We had to merge that data with real-time information collected on the iPad."

iShift went live in February 2015 and is now used at many of the Griffin Jiffy Lube service centers. "Because almost everyone uses a smartphone or tablet nowadays, it was very easy for employees to pick up the iPad and use it immediately," he says.

Customers Opt In, Sales Spike

The results have been outstanding. More than 90 percent of customers opt to use the system, and many of the stores using the system have watched sales spike by as much as 50 percent a month.

"We have witnessed the largest sales increase in the company's franchise history," Griffin reports. "It is the most profitable initiative we have ever developed."

He notes that the company has allowed individual stores to choose whether or not to adopt the solution, but it relies on the Citrix project management and collaboration tool, Podio, running over SharePoint, to share results internally.

"When one store sees that another is using iShift and the results they are achieving with it, they are usually sold on it immediately," Griffin says.

G5 plans to take the technology national and make it available to other automotive service firms. It will even allow different companies to link together to improve service even more. In addition, the company is developing a customer-facing app to complement iShift.

"The technology moves things to a permission-based approach," Griffin explains. "That lowers customer anxiety and changes the environment from one of frustration to a more pleasurable experience where the customer feels in control. It makes the sales process more transparent and streamlined."

This article originally appeared on Baseline.

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