Industry News

Convenience and Ease for Aftersales = Success

posted on 03/11/2022

With many customers only requiring an annual service for their car, travelling to an appropriate franchised dealer may not appear to be a burden; it often is. Less than half of all consumers want to travel more than 4 miles to have their car serviced. While price is often cited as a barrier to retaining aftersales work from owners of used cars, time and convenience are also significant issues.

Dealers need to optimise customer time.

As a 90% customer satisfaction rating for its mobile servicing model reveals, Tesla has tapped into this demand for ease and convenience. Embracing mobile servicing is an option for franchised dealers, but as Alistair Jeff, Commercial Director at Realtime Communications notes, even within the traditional workshop model, there is potential to meet the ease and convenience requirement.

"Fewer franchised premises meets longer servicing travel time. That these premises are commonly on out-of-town parks with limited public transport links and that courtesy car availability has often declined or become an additional cost only adds to the convenience challenge. A service may only take an hour or less, but the travel and 'hanging around' time mean that people see it as a day, which could require a day's holiday to be taken. Like visiting a dentist, it is seen as a necessary chore. If this is a less painful option to be had, customers will often take it."

Alongside the proven role of service plans, Alistair believes dealers can tap into the importance of time by packaging aftersales work. Combining a service with an MOT is an obvious opportunity, but he believes there is potential in leveraging preventative maintenance, noting;

"While cars are evolving with Ai and machine learning to highlight preventative maintenance, right now dealers can help customers by embedding such work into the service booking process and using this time saving as a marketing point.

"By simply asking customers to identify any preventative maintenance concerns, odd noises, vibrations, wheel wobbles etc., in the service booking and advising them in advance that a full health check will be undertaken, the dealer is promoting convenience. We are advocating that dealers reverse the classic eVHC, placing awareness of it ahead, not after the service. 

"We know that customers are often unaware that such a check will be undertaken until the car is already on-site. Low conversions, especially amber work, suggest customers may be defensive to the approach. By putting it front and centre in the booking process, customers are informed and appreciative. We are sure this subtle adaption can help enhance perceptions of the franchised workshop as a place that understands time and convenience."

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