IRVINE, Calif. — Software, training and consulting provider Universal Dealers Consultants Inc. (UDC) has announced the release of the MINI Virtual Service Assistant (VSA). The new online service scheduler follows last year's launch of a similar product for BMW dealers. Both feature a branded user interface built on UDC's proprietary VSA platform.

The system was designed to allow a customer to schedule, modify or cancel service reservations on their dealer's Website. Users can select which services and repairs are needed and choose their own service adviser, or have one assigned. After an appointment has been set, a confirmation notice is sent by email. Customers can also check the status of their repair orders and view their vehicle’s complete service history at any time, according to the manufacturer.

“MINI VSA streamlines the appointment-setting process and helps dealers more effectively manage their service department,” said Hans Van Order, CEO of UDC. “It’s an intuitive, extremely flexible tool that enhances customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.”

The scheduler was also designed to integrate with Revolution, the company’s service CRM, which is included with the VSA at no additional cost. MINI dealers who already use Revolution can add the MINI VSA as a free software feature and system upgrade.

“Before we implemented UDC’s MINI VSA, our service department show rates were running below 85 percent,” said Joe Gardner, BDC manager for Roadshow BMW/MINI in Cordova, Tenn. “Because customers can now manage their own appointments and receive automated reminders, in only a few short weeks, our show rates have climbed to 88 percent. It’s a great tool for MINI customers because it’s so convenient and, even when interacting with the service department, continues the MINI experience.”