According to an article in Tire Business, it is essential for automotive service repair facilities to adopt and embrace technology. Last year was the first year Millennials outnumbered Baby Boomers and GenX in the workplace, representing 35 percent of the workforce vs. GenX at 33 percent and Baby Boomers at 29 percent, and that percentage will only increase.
Millennials have grown up with technology that enables one-click ordering, instant access to information and just about any convenience you can imagine. They simply expect businesses to accommodate those wishes and give their loyalty to companies that do.
With five generations in the marketplace, it can be difficult for dealerships to tailor their advertising to everyone. However, a good commonality for all generations is convenience. It doesn’t matter which generation a consumer belongs to; time and convenience are important to them when choosing where to spend their money – and that’s especially true in the automotive service industry.
For instance, millennials are used to convenient payment methods including Apple and Samsung Pay. They like to be able to pay for items with their phones or watches. It is convenient, simple, and they don’t even need a wallet. Today, many consumers would rather load up their Starbucks account to pay via smartphone than open their wallets to slide a card. In fact, according to the Starbucks COO, 25 percent of all transactions at Starbucks are via mobile payment!
As technology and payment convenience become more important to consumers, those dealerships that fail to adapt and offer service customers all available payment options – cash, traditional credit, mobile payments and financing – will increasingly find consumers leaving with a less than satisfactory experience – and today it’s all about the customer experience.
Of course, payment options are only a small piece of customer convenience. It extends to every aspect of the transaction including ease of scheduling, speed of transaction, delivering the vehicle repair within the promised timeframe and the quality of work performed.
If you can master all of these things and provide a frictionless experience to your customers on THEIR terms, you should find that they appreciate your service and return. And that’s not all – they will also recommend you to others and bring family and friends. The younger generations are more in tune with the power of word-of-mouth and online reviews – they are more than willing to share their experiences with the world.
Technology exists that can decrease friction in every area of the sales and service end of the car-buying experience. Consider whether it’s better to gain the business at the convenience of the customer, or lose the business because you don’t have the technology or options in place that your customers need and demand.
Author: Tim Clay
Tim Clay, Chief Revenue Officer, Confident Financial Solutions. Tim Clay is Chief Revenue Officer with Confident Financial Solutions, a consumer finance company that offers an auto repair financing program for service centers and their customers. Clay has more than twenty years of experience in the automotive retail space and is a graduate of NADA Dealer Candidate Academy. Previously, he was COO and Co-Founder of ClickMotive, an automotive technology company. He has instrumented one successful automotive startup exit and one successful medical company exit.