Is the industry ambivalent towards digital? [VIDEO]

According to the Mark Twain quote there are three types of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Thing is, we rely on statistics to gauge opinion, judge performance and make the case for something – product, service, even governmental policy (though with the latter there seems a greater possibility of a few ‘damned lies’).

If the statistics from a recent online poll are to be believed, there is a worrying ambivalence amongst car retailers towards one of the key money-making digital tools.

AM Magazine asked its online readers the following: ‘Does your dealership allow customers to book in for a service online in real time?’  The results thus far are worrying when looked at in the context of an industry still struggling to adapt fully to the web.

Of all responses, just 5.6% stated that their website has a service-booking function; 77.8% don’t have this feature and only 16.6% are planning to add it.  Of course, the respondents will include a mixture of big-budget groups and small independent retailers, but 5.6% is still a worryingly low figure when you consider the potential benefits of an online service booking system – and the readiness of fast-fits to capture service market share by embracing digital tools.

The latest figures that GForces has collected on the Top 200 UK car retailers paint a slightly more positive story.  However, with just 30% of the nation’s top car businesses currently having a web-based service booking system, there is still a very long way to go.  This is a major issue given the public’s growing appetite for transacting via the web.

Consumers’ desire for convenience when it comes to booking a service can be measured through – you guessed it – statistics.

Take Harwoods for example.  Ranked 29th in the UK’s Top 200 automotive retailers with a range of prestige franchises, the Group constantly strives to provide the ultimate in customer service.  Realising that their customers wanted to book online at their own convenience – whether it be 10am or midnight – the Group installed NetDirector Service Bookings onto its website.  The results prove the case for this digital tool.  Revenue from service bookings for January and February 2013 exceeded £40,000 and the tool delivered 76 bookings in February 2013 alone, up from just eight in February 2012 when Harwoods used an enquiry form.

These figures aren’t what Twain might have referred to as ‘damned lies’.  One dealer group generated over £40,000 in revenue in just two months, so why are only 16.6% of car retailers looking to add a service booking function?

Ambivalence towards the potential that digital tools offer is dangerous.  Consumers are already expecting to be able to undertake these simple transactions via the web, and if they can’t do it at one retailer, they’ll simply go elsewhere.

NetDirector Service Booking is a plug-in solution that can be integrated onto any website. You don’t have to have an existing GForces solution to have this piece of software. For more information and a free demonstration contact robert.playford@gforces.co.uk

 

About GForces

GForces is Europe’s leading provider of digital solutions to the automotive industry. Working with more of the UK Top 200 dealer groups, more OEMs and more international businesses than any rival, we help our clients navigate and maximise their online presence across mobile and desktop platforms.
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Author: GForces (634 Articles)

GForces is Europe’s leading provider of digital solutions to the automotive industry. Working with more of the UK Top 200 dealer groups, more OEMs and more international businesses than any rival, we help our clients navigate and maximise their online presence across mobile and desktop platforms.

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