It is fascinating to be part of an industry that continues to evolve and succeed despite the many headwinds. It is my belief there has never been a more relevant time to lean in and leverage an association like AOCA, which is dedicated to supporting our business. In that vein and considering the current environment, I thought it appropriate to share learnings and insights regarding how consumer views have evolved as a result of the pandemic.
As you can imagine, safety is a top priority—not only the consumer’s safety but also for the technicians’. In a nationwide poll of vehicle owners, Jiffy Lube learned that many consumers are genuinely thankful that the automotive maintenance providers they visit are actively working to ensure their safety. Consumers appreciate the commitment to social-distancing measures, thorough cleaning protocols and available hand sanitizer.
They increasingly look for touchless payment options and digital receipts management. And just as importantly, they look to the facility’s employees to provide clear communication regarding each site’s safety protocols. Consumers acknowledge the enormity of this responsibility, and one in four surveyed agree that providers are challenged to ensure employee compliance.
What does this look like in your location(s)? Is there an opportunity to review your policies and procedures? Is there an opportunity for training and follow-up to ensure consistent execution? Looking across this very competitive patch, this might be an area to further distinguish your business from the competition.
Further on the topic of safety, consumers continue to view passenger vehicles as a “safe transportation.” Based on research conducted by Deloitte, 62 percent of those surveyed plan to limit the use of public transportation over the coming three months and 60 percent plan to limit ride-hailing. It is no wonder vehicle sales have surged, with demand strongest for used vehicles as consumers are much more comfortable with driving than public transportation.
To succeed, it is important to remind service center employees of consumers’ heightened awareness of safety today, and that small measures, consistently adopted, invite longevity in customer relationships.
Ignoring consumer expectations may lead to customer attrition. If you are interested in reviewing some of the survey results mentioned above, Harris Insights now offers free access, as a public service, by searching “COVID-19 tracker at www.theharrispoll.com.
Looking forward, you can count on AOCA and the board to share learnings and best practices that support our industry. We invite you to participate on AOCA Talk Live sessions and take advantage of peer-to-peer content. It remains our goal to ensure we prosper together.