Know your mobile service hardware and business process options before developing, building, and packaging your mobile service solution.
Mobile Service Considerations
Mobile service is not for every customer or dealer. Offering mobile service will not solve all of a dealership’s problems. That said, there are 5 factors worth considering when thinking about implementing a mobile service solution.
Consolidation, attrition, and uniformity describe the different strategies used by automakers to size their dealer networks. These actions serve to improve single-point profitability but strain service capacity.
As service drive traffic congests, dealers and customers are experiencing:
- Increased wait times
- New levels of dissatisfaction
- Declining retention rates
Mobile service will bring in new customers and cause others to stick around – without the cost of high-dollar promotional campaigns or advertisements.
Research shows that it costs between 4 and 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one. Automakers and dealers have for years been spending money urging new customers into their service drives. Meanwhile, the actual experience has caused many to leave.
Mobile service offerings allow dealerships to lead with their strengths:
- Factory trained technicians
- Genuine parts and service
- Authorized campaign services
Mobile service offerings also allow dealerships to address some of their biggest weaknesses:
- Service time
- Service Convenience
Convenience as a Currency
Customers have grown to expect and appreciate convenience. They demand on-line ordering, as well as at-home delivery of goods and services.
Such expectations are driving satisfaction scores and purchasing decisions. The process of driving to a dealership and spending a morning or afternoon waiting for service work usually results in dissatisfaction and defection.
Mobile service, where available, generally receives very positive scores from surveyed customers. This trend will only increase.
Mobile service winners and losers will largely be determined by simple hardware and business process choices.
COVID has popularized many different mobile service business models. In the automotive space, we see a growing mobile service presence in both the aftermarket and OE channels.
Most of the current solutions, in both channels, consist of outfitted vans designed to ferry tools and equipment to job sites. Such platforms usually lack the utility necessary to effectively optimize technician efficiency.
These limitations create opportunities for future technologies designed to improve efficiency and, ultimately, profitability.
New Customer Capture Rate
Both customer capture and retention are essential to growing a dealer’s customer base. Most automakers and dealers focus on customers with vehicles still covered under warranty. They have little success appealing to customers with older vehicles.
Dealers struggle to retain and capture customers primarily because they lack service ease and convenience. Industry surveys show that services take too long and many dealerships are inconveniently located. While one of these can be mitigated, the other cannot be helped.
Mobile service addresses both of these weaknesses. Surveys show that customers are interested in obtaining a dealership service experience without having to visit a dealerships. As a result, mobile service done right will help dealerships recapture orphan customers without a huge financial investment.
About 3ng Consulting
We are a full-service automotive consulting company. Our team specializes in fixed ops products and fixed ops consulting, as well as Channel Balancing – a process that leverages the strength of dealers, automakers and suppliers to provide a balanced channel that offers the highest possible service.