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Headwinds in inflation: how does it affect car servicing levels?

Keyloop Insights Team
Keyloop Insights Team

Our Keyloop Insights Team gather and bring you the latest industry insights for all things automotive retail.

Headwinds in inflation: how does it affect car servicing levels?

Making the car service experience convenient for customers

By Harvey, EVP Alliances and OEMs at Keyloop

We’re in a bit of a mess at the moment; war, inflation, rising gas prices…not to mention a looming recession; and as a result, we’re all looking for ways in which we can tighten our belts. I’ve heard from many of our customers that they have real concerns consumers will put off getting crucial car maintenance tests and upgrades in order to save money over the coming months. However, compromising on maintenance can impact the safety of the car – and that is just not worth the risk. One way to counterbalance this is for dealers to make the car service experience as convenient (and enjoyable!) as possible for their customers.

Giving customers what they want

Customers are craving effortless and efficient processes in everything they do; from ordering dinner on Deliveroo to booking travel through Airbnb – the more technology allows people to easily navigate their to-do list, the better. We live in a digitally transformed world, so knowing what your customer needs when they need it should be something dealers can rely on their tech stack to enable. Furthermore, leaning on technology should allow you to be one foot in front of your end consumer by knowing what they need before they’re even aware.

Research we conducted with Frost and Sullivan highlighted that there are three key service areas where consumers would like their interactions to be digitised. Over two-thirds (70%) would like to book their service online, half (50%) would prefer to pay for their service online, and six-in-ten (60%) would prefer all their documentation to be digitised.

Going paperless

I bought a house last year and never touched one piece of paper throughout the entire process, so surely, I can get my car serviced with the click of a button, or at most, a finger signature on a screen. Consumers are used to reading, signing and paying for important assets on their phones/tablets and these expectations do not change from one transaction to another. Thankfully there are solutions, such as ours, that allow dealers to send customers key documentation related to their vehicle maintenance digitally. Combine this with an appropriate payment system and you can allow customers to securely pay for maintenance work before collecting their vehicle. This not only speeds up the check-out process but saves time for service advisors. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Alongside meeting customer expectations, digitising processes can have a myriad of other benefits; going paperless boosts a dealer’s green credentials, helps minimise mistakes and drives efficiency. Additionally, research shows removing paper from the service process can save up to nine minutes per job. The results are better customer service, end-to-end visibility across departments, and job packs do not go missing – imperative during warranty audits.

In the know

There are countless studies around package deliveries and the fact that customers care more about visibility of the delivery and less about the timing – the feedback loop is imperative to customer satisfaction. Why should car servicing be any different?

More than half would prefer to receive message status updates during their service. Whether by text or WhatsApp, status updates help the customer understand the work being done and how far it has progressed through the workshop. It provides peace of mind, saves valuable time spent on calls between the service advisor and the customer and speeds up important authorisations. With some systems today it is even possible to include a video of the work being done, which can further increase transparency and trust.

Retaining customers and driving efficiencies will be crucial over the coming months, and a dealership’s aftercare and service department is on the frontline of meeting, and exceeding, customer expectations. Changing with the times and digitising key elements of the service process will significantly enhance the overall customer experience and garner loyalty as a result.

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Keyloop Insights Team
Keyloop Insights Team Our Keyloop Insights Team gather and bring you the latest industry insights for all things automotive retail.

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