Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Audatex launches An Extra Hour in the Day report

Lengthy delays, a lack of transparency and phone-only communications simply do not cut it for today’s customers during the vehicle repair process. Audatex’s recent research into customer perceptions of making a motor insurance claim, found that 61 per cent would like to be continuously updated at every stage of the claims process.

Further to this, Audatex surveyed 250 independent and franchised bodyshops in the UK, forming the ‘An Extra Hour in the Day’ report. The overarching finding is that workplace inefficiencies cost UK bodyshops on average one hour per day, per employee.

The third in the four-part series, looks at how inefficiencies within the vehicle repair industry can be resolved through technology and ultimately improve customer service.

During the research, a panel of bodyshop owners were questioned on their current main source of business, with findings showing that insurance companies (70 per cent) and off the street (58 per cent) were the most common sources.

This might come as no surprise to bodyshops and vehicle repair businesses, however, industry leaders predict this business stream is likely to shift towards fleet and work providers such as accident management businesses, over the next few years. The shift in car ownership is also being altered by the development of car hailing services and apps.

Given that sources of repair work are likely to change soon, it is fundamental for bodyshops to think more strategically in terms of their service offering, as well as ensuring that their systems are up-to-date and working efficiently. One way to ensure a steady flow of work is through building strong customer relationships. Currently, most communication is done over the phone (88 per cent), but a successful customer relationship management (CRM) strategy ensures engagement with customers via a multi-channel approach of digital and transformational formats like email (10 per cent), social media (10 per cent) and text (28 per cent).

With so much uncertainty in the market, from changing vehicle technology to shifting work sources, it is important for vehicle repair businesses to remain focused on the most important outputs they provide – quality and safety.

These attributes run throughout the bodyshop, repairs and customer service staff. It is also important to ensure that the systems being used enable these vital attributes, to maximise customer retention and optimise sourcing new business.

Read the full Insight Paper – A Focus on Retaining and Attracting New Customers – here.