BLOGS

            Stop the leak - Get Connected 15/07/2016

At a time when personal tech is moving faster than ever and customers understanding of that tech is more wide spread to all generations the implications to the independant motor sector have changed.
Over the last year and a half i have come to notice a small leak, when i talk of this i mean a small but noticable leak of customers back to the dealer, but not by choice i might add.
The offer of free or cheap servicing with connected services such as Vauxhall On star or BMW drive teleservice in with the purchase deal is a tempting offer.
Many companies i have heard talk of ways to combat this but to no end  yet maybe the connected car is our one chance?
As an independant myself i think we are on the brink of a change of how we communicate with our customers, the next gen customer is going to be armed with more information and greater levels of technical know how.
On offer first is a device from Launch called the Golo an interface which connects via a smart phone app to your car and transmits data and comms between the customer and car with access to the vehicles data from the OBD plug this data transfer offers a great sense of support and a real connection between the owner and the garage. I have seen Bosch and Delphi offer similar systems but to be a stand alone system with a sim card but i like the Launch idea better as it could work out cheaper but i am yet to see the device.
The technologies main advantage is the direct nature of the communication and could break the link back to the dealer.
As you would expect if the manufacturers use this system and see its benifits its not going to be long before we get in car adverts. BMW already send service and mot reminders with their Drive teleservice, this is a clever idea but its a hit them right now approach which could see us left out in the cold.
The evolution of  in car communication is going to cost, data costs alone could be around £3-5 a month which the customer would be expected to pay or have it hidden in a service plan.
Also to note when we are sending and receiving data from your phone apps, fuel prices, weather data and sat nav updates the list is endless all this from the vehicle network as we intergrate more features into our cars giving more information to the manufacturer on our habits so aiding them to target our customers.
So as smarter independants its time to offer an alternative to the dealer thus adding value to our network and keeping our market share as we move forward into the future.
The connected car and the service plan system is appealing to many and for around £5-16 a month is great for some to budget their car expenses as i have dabbled with the service plan system i am yet to see independants embrace the concept but still have an eye on it as i do not see it going away soon and could become a valuable tool in the future if a company can bring a viable device at the right price with a service plan the acceptance could be massive.


Only time will tell.


Graham Packer AAE MIMI
  

Service Standard  06/08/2016


On my travels I have seen many independent garages and have been impressed and disapointed with what I have seen, Independents that do it well and right appear to be thriving and prosperous the ones that dont are the opposite, scraping by with low earnings and a hard life.

Why would you want this?

Myself I have always tried to improve my garage and the things we offer and as a result I feel we are growing and looking to the future so being rewarded for our efforts.

As independents we need to be a viable alternative to the dealer offering like for like services with far better customer service but not neccessary cheaper all the time.

Attracting customers is not only about a good reputation but how you sell yourself, your external image is your first biggist impression to the customer on how you run your business (customers are buying you not the company as with a dealer).


The standard you you set yourself is what you are judged on and as an independant your image sets how we are seen by the public.

We only have to look at TV sitcoms to see how we are perseeved on Coronation street and Emmerdale, we are seen as not particually advanced and dirty and working from a shed.


That image needs to change!


Autocare who i have come to love have helped me learn how to look at my garage from a customer prospective and I have reacted and changed over the last 4 years and I am happy with the results so far and I am really please to be part of Autocare a caring helpfull group.

A sout out is necessary to the IMI, Autocare, Bosch and all independent gargage support networks that its Job well done so far but we still have a long way to go.


The big question is are you ready to be part of the revolution?


Graham Packer AAE MIMI