DHL implements cutting-edge PDA technology for its test drive services

Inside Track, part of DHL Supply Chain and provider of automotive test-drive services, has implemented PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) technology to enhance customer experience during the test drive process.

With DHL delivering in excess of 20,000 vehicles per year to potential fleet purchasers, end-users and press, the new technology saves time for customers by keeping them informed of progress during the delivery process. The day before the test-drive, customers receive a reminder email of the vehicle's expected delivery time. On the day, the PDA's real-time vehicle positioning also means customers can pinpoint the location of their vehicle online. When the vehicle is approaching its destination, an SMS alert is sent advising the end user of the vehicle's imminent arrival.

The PDAs also eliminate unnecessary paperwork for both the fleet team and customers. During the vehicle's inspection following the test-drive, the vehicle's schematics are displayed on the PDA, and any damage that may have taken place can be identified and annotated directly onscreen. This is then supported with photographic evidence using the PDA's inbuilt camera, to ensure both parties are in agreement of the vehicle's condition.

At the end of the transaction, a PDF document is instantly sent to the user's personal email address, to improve handover efficiency.  This means any potential issues can be quickly and easily resolved.

Colin Stokes, Managing Director of DHL's Inside Track, commented "Following extensive research into the benefits of this technology, we implemented it in November last year, and so far have received extremely positive feedback from all stakeholders. Vehicle manufacturers are constantly searching for ways to increase sales and differentiate themselves from the competition.  The test drive is a critical part of the brand experience. Enhancing the experience at every touch point contributes to the customer's decision-making process."

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