Retailers are missing a “key opportunity” to generate aftersales revenue by not offering an online booking service to car owners.
According to new CitNOW Group research, when analysing the functionality on the desktop websites of 100 leading dealers it was found that just over a quarter (27%) of retailers gave customers the option to book a vehicle service online and choose their preferred date and time.
This percentage is even lower on mobile websites, with less than one in five (18%) of dealers allowing consumers to make a date-and-time specific service booking on this platform.
Data from a recent CitNOW Group survey of 1,000 car owners highlights that this is a key priority for a large number of motorists, with 44% of respondents saying they want to be able to book a specific time and date for their vehicle service online.
The survey also found that the added convenience of booking a specific time and date for vehicle maintenance was most important to younger drivers, with almost three quarters (74%) of under 25-year-olds stating that they expect dealers to offer this service – the highest of any age bracket surveyed.
A further two fifths (42%) of car buyers stated that they expect the aftersales booking system to be easy to access and use.
Carol Fairchild, chief customer officer, CitNOW Group said: “There are simple steps that retailers can take to encourage the continuation of the customer journey from sales to aftersales, for example almost a third of retailers (30%) do not introduce their aftersales team to customers on the handover of their vehicle. However, our consumer survey shows that technology is the most important component for retaining customers in aftersales.”
Alistair Jeff, commercial director for REALtime Communications added: “Industry reports show that a growing number of consumers are putting off vehicle servicing in response to the cost of living crisis, making it more crucial than ever for workshops to offer tools like Online Service Booking, providing consumers the functionality they want, and helping retailers to maximise all aftersales opportunities.”