The thing about the automotive industry is that it can often be intimidating for people. For example, pushy salespeople will discourage motorists from buying a car. Male-dominated repair centres can make females feel uncomfortable. Especially with so many media reports of how unscrupulous firms repair non-existent problems.
As you can imagine, both men and women find the industry as a whole doesn’t offer a good experience. Thanks to the economic woes, the industry wants to make itself more customer-friendly. They want to keep customers interested in their products and services. The last thing they wish to do is discourage future sales.
Believe it or not, the automotive industry uses technology to make itself more approachable. This is especially so in the maintenance and service sectors. So, just what is the industry doing with technology? Here are some of the latest examples:
Video Service Reports
Many people feel like expectant parents-to-be when they have their cars serviced. They just don’t know what they will end up with when they get “that” phone call!
One of the bugbears of the maintenance sector is the widespread fraud. Some well-known franchised repair chains take advantage of their customer’s lack of mechanical knowledge. These days, car owners are wising up. Thanks to the Internet, they can research problems and come up with likely causes.
But, what happens when there’s a problem with no obvious source? One will have to pay a mechanic to diagnose the fault. Legitimate service centres are starting to offer video service reports to their customers.
How it works is simple. The customer gets emailed a URL link where they can see a video inspection of their car. This usually includes showing faulty parts that need replacement. It goes some way to offer proof to customers that they need certain work carrying out.
Mobile tyre fitting
Many studies have shown that people don’t like visiting tyre fitting centres. They are male-dominated environments that make people feel intimidated. Men or women, for that matter!
One often feels on-edge when getting tyres checked or replaced by such establishments. Today, technology makes it possible for tyres to get fitted at one’s home or workplace. Mobile tyre vans get equipped with balancing machines and air jacks that lift cars up on all corners.
What’s more, the prices offered are usually cheaper than conventional tyre fitting centres. A quick look at https://tyres.theaa.com reveals that to be the case.
Smartphone diagnostic apps
More owners want to diagnose problems with their vehicles themselves. The industry has made this possible thanks to the OBD2 or “onboard diagnostic” port in cars.
People can use smartphone apps with a cable or Bluetooth adapter. Doing so allows them to view the health of their vehicles as reported by the car’s ECU. One such app example is Torque (http://torque-bhp.com).
There is a growing trend to use tech to make the automotive industry less intimidating. This approach seems to be working for companies. And it’s inspiring more consumer confidence. Hopefully, there will be no more customer intimidation in the near future.