What Pros with Service Advisor Training Need to Know about the “Uber for Auto Repair” App Trend
The convenience and speed of mobile apps has already made an impact in our lives and consumption patterns, with popular apps like Uber and TaskRabbit summoning drivers and handymen to our homes with the touch of a button. Unsurprisingly, new apps have recently appeared that are dedicated to summoning professionals offering auto mechanic services, with some services now operating in Canada. Below, we examine this trend, the potential impact it can have on customer experience, and how service advisors might be able to leverage this new tech.
Grads of Service Advisor Training Will Recognize Speed and Convenience as Attractive Features
Recent figures have indicated that 76 per cent of Canadians now own a smartphone. For the majority who do own one, roughly 85 per cent of time spent on the device is dedicated to using apps. This established pattern of use is what has helped power the rise of mobile mechanic apps like Fiix and Wrench, which aim to connect users with a trained mechanic.
The benefits of this approach are clear—it offers a lot of convenience to customers. Bringing a car to a garage or a dealer involves taking a risk in driving a compromised vehicle (if it can be driven at all), as well as looking up the address, travel time, and more. By contrast, customer time is hugely freed up by using an app, which works via a swift quote and digital transaction process. For auto service advisors looking to stay ahead of the curve, allowing customers to book services via apps, and allowing mechanics to make house calls, could allow them to tap into these benefits.
Professionals Will Be Wary of Service Limitations Without the Full Facilities of an Auto Shop
Professionals with service advisor training will know that there are limitations built into this model. The mobile mechanic’s van or truck will not be able to accommodate the range of tools or facility resources needed for bigger repairs.
With Fiix already up and running in the greater Toronto area, the company has indicated it will tow (free of charge) vehicles to a rented space should certain repairs require more tools, or if the weather makes outdoor repairs impractical. However, given the size of many major cities, this could entail a lengthy trip that undermines the convenience factor of using the app. Additionally, the use of independent contractors means that an owner of a slightly rarer or older vehicle may have grounds to worry about the ability of app-summoned workers to quickly and efficiently solve problems on their unique vehicle. This gives auto shops, with their specialized services, top staff, and excellent service, a distinct advantage over apps like Fiix and Wrench. Does that mean that customers will eventually need to choose between one or the other? It’s hard to say how these developments will play out. However, a crafty auto service advisor that allows clients to book auto shop services through an app might allow clients to get the best of both worlds.
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