Not so long ago, Mario from OBI+ was invited by the German consultancy firm Frenus GmbH as a speaker at one of their automotive and mobility-focused events to briefly present OBI+’s work in the automotive service and repair industry.
The topic is very much relevant today and even more so in the future. Why do we claim so? Simply put, the service and repair industry is falling behind on major aspects that would determine its market position in the future! Some of those major aspects are focus on the customer demands, adoption of new technologies, and integration of new online sales channels.
There are a handful of great analyses that can be found online. We urge you to read a couple of those. The goal of the below presentation was to share our view on the market, having in mind our experience of working with more than 250+ workshops in Denmark at that point and closely following 20-30 workshops on a quarterly basis.
The significant mismatch between customers demands and workshop services today.
Customers want an online-dominated experience, minimum efforts on vehicle-related tasks, and an easy overview of vehicle ownership. Unfortunately, they are facing a complete mismatch on the market. Their workshops continue to run offline businesses with no or limited use of digital channels and tools, waiting for customers to take all first steps and by default being the last to know what customers need.
Opportunities for workshops through the use of new technologies.
85% of the customers are comfortable sharing vehicle data relevant to repair shops. Using vehicle data amongst other digital tools opens a set of opportunities to increase customer retention, improve customer experience, and position workshops as trusted service providers.
The shift in roles pushing workshops to be proactive rather than reactive.
The existing mismatch between customer demands and workshop services is a key issue. Instead of waiting for customers to come, workshops can be proactive in contacting customers at the right time. This is a major shift in the roles as we know them today.
New digital sale channels are opening.
Taking advantage of different types of communication like messaging and video recording as means to interact with customers. It’s giving a new dimension to how workshops operate today, while vehicle owners are already using such digital tools in other aspects of their lives.
Increasing customer demands from business and individual customers.
Access to vehicle data can enable new workshop services. For instance, business customers can completely outsource the service and maintenance to their professional service partners. In this way, they won’t be responsible for such tasks internally. Individual customers can benefit from higher convenience, time-saving tools, and higher vehicle-related education. All of the mentioned benefiting their preferred workshops when the next decision is to be taken.