The way we shop and the way we consume is evolving. We live in a world where convenience is king.
Retailers are competing to make things more and more convenient for the consumer. Not only do you have online retailers like Amazon, who has partnered with Wholefoods, delivering directly to consumers’ doors, but Wal-Mart and Target offer curbside pickup for everyday items. This doesn’t even include the numerous other grocery chains that are making it easier to shop.
I can purchase my groceries and get them delivered to my home, never having to set foot in a store. This is something I’ve actually done and I was willing to pay extra for this service.
This is the world we live in. Consumers want convenience at the touch of a few buttons, and are even willing to pay for it. The Experience Economy has grown to include convenience as an experience.
I can hear you saying, “What does this have to do with my business?” Well, the automotive repair sector isn’t immune from this evolution.
Pep Boys recently announced that it would be offering mobile repair service through its Mobile Crew. Large tire manufacturers, such as Michelin and Goodyear, have both tested mobile tire instillation. And, if you were to Google mobile mechanic, you’ll find services such as YourMechanic, Wrench and Otobots, all willing to bring service to your customers’ driveway and office parking lots.
I’m not suggesting that you start offering mobile repairs at your business. The cost of setting up a mobile repair business is huge, and a profit may only be made in volume. What I am proposing to you is to take a close look at your business and see what conveniences you’re currently offering to your customers. Like it or not, these mobile mechanics are your competitors.
The grocery chains and online retailers are setting new standards for the customer experience. Knowing that a heightened level of convenience is status quo in other industries should be the catalyst for change in your own business. If you’re not offering your customers what they perceive to be premium conveniences, you may be missing out.
There are a variety of ways you can offer convenience to your customers, starting with how they book appointments. Make sure you have online scheduling available for those who might not have the time to make a call. Offer loaner cars and shuttle service so individuals aren’t missing their vehicles. Extended hours or flexible pickup may also be helpful. Streamline your check-in process to save customers time.
Put yourself in their shoes. Think about if you were the customer, what would make your life easier? Figure that out and deliver it.
Bottom line: Customer expectations are changing, and you must change with them.