Auto Insights: Consumers crave convenience

Consumer's growing preference for convenience can help business operators achieve a competitive advantage.

2016-12-01

In Australia, on-demand services continue to increase in popularity, such as online grocery shopping and the likes of Uber and Deliveroo. These services help consumers save time and minimise the effort in their shopping experience.

This growing preference for convenience can however come at a real cost for traditional business operators, who need to compare whether the benefit of giving customers a streamlined, convenient experience aligns with the cost of being able to do so.

This dilemma is no different for automotive retailers and service operators. On a large scale in the United States of America, a Silicon Valley company called YourMechanic allows customers to book repairs online or on their smart phone, with the mechanic visiting the customer at home or work, 7 days a week. YourMechanic has a similar business model to Uber, and leverages off a network of mechanics which allow the business to provide its customers with this flexibility.

Convenience is a selling point that is stressed throughout the YourMechanic website, with taglines like:

  • “Our mechanics make house calls”

  • “Life’s too short to spend it at the repair shop”

  • “We make it easy”

For a business model like this one to be able to thrive, it is clear that customers place a high value on convenience, and are willing to spend less time and travel to get their car serviced and repaired.

Subaru in Australia are also embracing this concept, and have recently rolled out mobile servicing vans, which provides their customers with the convenience of having their vehicle serviced either at home or at work. For business and fleet customers, this is particularly convenient, and minimises the level of perceived disruption to their business.

This type of simple and effective service strategy helps reduce the perceived hurdles that a customer factors into their decision making process when booking in for a service or repair. The end benefit is that it is likely to encourage more customers to book in their vehicles more often and on a timely basis, and this should ultimately translate into happier customers and increased sales.

While such a mobile servicing strategy will not be accessible or even practical for all automotive retailers, the concept of increasing the overall customer convenience during the service repair process is an important one. Automotive retailers and independent service operators would benefit from reviewing their existing processes to determine what simple or practical steps can be taken to do so.

If the notion of customer convenience is already a strong priority within the service department, a simple improvement to help promote sales and retention would be to ensure that customers are fully aware of the extra efforts made.

If you would like further information on this article or trends occurring in the automotive industry, please contact your ShineWing Australia representative today: 

Brett Fowler
Partner,
ShineWing Australia

Clive Bird
Partner,
ShineWing Australia

Rami Eltchelebi
Partner,
ShineWing Australia

Steven Edmonds
Associate Director,
ShineWing Australia

Luke Fernandes
Senior Manager,
ShineWing Australia