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Auto repair industry must embrace online opportunities according to survey

A study regarding customer satisfaction and car aftersales has revealed a number of interesting statistics about the UK car repair industry. The research, which utilised statistics from the likes of Motor Codes and the SMMT, looked into not only the balance between dealership workshops and independent garages but also considered customer perception of the car repair and maintenance industry.

In 2012 it was found auto-repair franchises managed to attract just 25% of all servicing work, the other 75% being divided among local, independent garages. Franchises considered retaining customers as being their biggest hurdle to overcome in the marketplace, with 81% saying keeping old customers was their primary aim, as opposed to attracting new ones.

However, industry-wide, customer satisfaction in general was very high. Most car owners were found to be happy with the service they received and of the 4500 participants asked, the average satisfaction with aftersales services was 4.29 on a scale of 1 to 5. Of those who had recently purchased a new vehicle, the satisfaction rating was even higher, with the score at 4.46.

According to the survey, however, franchises and motor repair firms in general are missing a number of opportunities to maximise profits. It is said that dealers miss out on £1.5 billion worth of revenue every year by failing to sell parts for items identified by vehicle health checks. 90% of franchises were also found not to promote core aftersales offerings online.

With a huge 9 out of 10 vehicle owners now thought to search online for parts and accessories, it seems that the dependence on online marketing will only become more important into the future. Indeed, searches for tyres online are thought to be up 17% year on year, while only 4.5% of dealers were attempting to sell tyres online.

While service and customer retention will always lie at the heart of the auto-repair industry, it is apparent that for both dealerships and independent garages, the secret behind future growth will lie in exploring new channels and embracing online opportunities.


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