by Jon LeSage, contributing editor, Dealer Digest Daily
•In this era of sophisticated infotainment technology in the connected car, the trick for automakers and dealers is getting customers acclimated to, and engaged with, these new devices. There’s no real point in making the huge commitment to delivering these new systems to car owners if they don’t every really get used. Honda dealers are gaining experience working with customers on transitioning into satisfied, safe users of new technologies such as hands-free commands.
•Honda’s Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless technology, has been designed to take away distracted driving – drivers can make and receive calls and even text messages – while concentrating on the road ahead. Bluetooth HandsFreeLink communicates with the driver’s phone and uses voice recognition.
•Commands can be made simply by pushing a button and saying, “call” and the person’s name. Bluetooth HandsFreeLink will access the stored numbers and make the call. When calls come in, the caller’s number will display on a screen if it’s available in the system. Other functions follow this simple, hands-free process.
•Honda dealers are trained to not only explain the Bluetooth functionality, but to show and demonstrate the system to the customer at time of vehicle delivery by offering to pair their phone to the car. Web-based salesperson training helps the dealers in the process, so the sales staff can study at convenient times, according to a Honda executive.
•The hands-free experience can be adopted quickly and easily by customers following this training experience with Honda dealers. Customers are given the option of downloading their phone contacts, easing the call making process via steering wheel controls and voice commands such as “Call Jon LeSage.”
•The Honda website also is set up for consumer convenience and training. This helps out quite a bit if they would rather learn interactively instead of reading the owner’s manual, which they should be doing anyways.