Italian drivers are ready for innovative services in aftersales
Over recent years, ICDP has carried out regular surveys looking at customer behaviour in aftersales and the interest towards innovative services, able to satisfy emerging needs exploiting also the use of technology and using new concepts. We are talking about additional services like pick up & delivery, service at home/workplace, all inclusive maintenance packages and service linked to connected cars. Compared to other European countries, the Italian drivers in the past shown a lower attitude towards innovative services, due to a combination of different elements: low availability to pay extra charges for these additional services, strong and long-time trust relationship with repairers, lack of marketing activities focused on the promotion of such services.
But the things are progressively changing, in fact a growing demand for innovation in service is emerging in the interest of customers to have a wider range of aftersales services that currently are not widely offered, or that are not yet known by Italian drivers.
In October 2018, Quintegia carried out a survey with the objective of analysing market trends for car maintenance and repair and highlighting possible areas of innovation. The research involved over 1,000 drivers aged between 25 and 65, responsible for the purchase of their car, that bought a new or a used car in the last 8 years and that performed maintenance and repair in the last 12 months.
These are the main results of the survey in terms of potential interest towards innovative aftersales services able to improve customer satisfaction and probably also retention:
Pick-up & delivery: it would be taken into account by over 65% of the sample (73% in case of premium car owners) and among those who would use this service, the 47% of the new car owners and the 41% of used cars owners would pay up to 30€ more to get it. The pick-up & delivery service would be interesting for the 74% of the new car owners aged between 34 and 44 and for the 84% of the owners of a new car that has a life cycle up to 3 years.
Service at home/workplace: car maintenance and repair at home or at the workplace would be interesting for around 45% of the sample (both new and used car owners) and among those who are willing to use the service, the 40% declares that would spend up to 30€ more for it. The 26% of new car owners would be available to spend between 30€ and 50€ for this service.
All-inclusive maintenance packages: it would be taken into consideration by two third of the sample, especially for practicality and if it was cost-effective. On the other hand, the high price of the packages and the desire not to be tied to a repair / workshop hold the use back. The maintenance package could be seen as a ‘limitation’ in the choice of the repair, and this could curb the purchase of the service since the customers mainly turn to a trusted repair where they have already gone previously. The 82% of the owners of a new car that has a life cycle up to 3 years and the 70% of the new car owners aged between 34 and 44 would consider the purchase of the packages. The 31% of the new car owners would choose a 3 year package.
Connected cars: many new cars are already connected and have the opportunity to share data with the car manufacturer and the service network. This can generate some advantages for car owners: the possibility of remote diagnosis, sending messages for the maintenance program, controlling the use of the car. The 50% of new car owners would be willing to share data of the car in order to have customised services and economic advantages. In particular, the most interesting are the owners of premium cars (62%) and those who travel more than 20,000 km per year (64%).
As shown, the availability of customers to pay for these additional services is often still not sufficiently high to compensate the extra costs to offer them, but it seems to be a progressive growth of customers interested in such services and probably with a better visibility and more marketing promotions the share of customer which will effectively use them will increase. And for the time being, probably dealers and authorised repairers could have an advantage compared to independent repairers in offering these services, mainly because the former has a bigger size which makes easier manage the necessary organisation.
Broadly speaking, the survey highlights that there are still many opportunities for OEMs and repairers to offer added value services, but most players need a change in culture and organisation in order to launch new initiatives or to exploit better existing solutions with the aim of improving satisfaction and retention. This is particularly important in the light of development of new mobility schemes, where many of these services should be potentially included at least partially.