Service customers prefer human contact when booking their car in for a routine service, the latest research from CitNOW has found.
An overwhelming 44% of those surveyed said they preferred making their servicing bookings by phone. Worthy to note is that booking digitally is fast catching up, with 29% preferring online; 13.5% selecting to do so using a smartphone or tablet and 15.9% making their booking via a desktop or laptop. Meanwhile, just 3% selected instant messaging as their first choice of communication channel when booking a service although 13.5% do so in person.
It’s a similar story when it comes to approving repair work with 43% doing so over the phone and 18% online (8.5% via smartphone or tablet and 10% using desktop or laptop) with instant messaging accounting for just 3.6%. With video becoming more extensively used by the aftersales department to show work required or a clean bill of health, incorporating the method of a customer being able to authorise repairs at the touch of a button, is likely to gain greater ground over the next few years.
Whilst a quarter (25%) approving their repair work in person may sound high on first appearances, it is likely that most if not all, have opted to wait in the dealership customer lounge area whilst their vehicle is in the workshop.
If given the choice to pay for repair work online, customers back the most popular payment methods of debit cards (29%) and credit cards (28%). Paypal was selected by 15% although platforms such as ApplePay or WorldPay find favour among just 4%. Significantly, 17% either wouldn’t pay online or didn’t have a preference.
As consumer confidence continues to grow in the use of online in all service areas – bookings, authorising work and payment, video will be playing an ever more prominent role – from explainer videos to personal messaging, to help maintain the human contact customers value so highly.