According to a recent Babcox Media survey, 88% of the shop owners we surveyed (202 out of 230) have an interest in learning more about telematics, and that is great news. This stat alone raises my confidence that we as a collective group of professionals working in the auto care industry are aware of the potential impact that telematics will have on our business.
Here’s another stat that should raise your awareness about telematics: By 2020 — only three short years from now — virtually every new car sold will be equipped with this technology.
Regardless of your stance at the moment, telematics should be taken seriously, and here’s why:
• Most of your customers will expect it.
• Your future success will be dictated by it.
• Your competitor’s success will be driven by it.
In other words, if you don’t take telematics seriously, someone else will.
Our survey also indicated that while about 65% of respondents (shop owners) do not currently have a telematics-driven customer service solution in place, they plan to implement one. Based on my personal conversations with shop owners around the country, I think that number may be even higher — maybe closer to 80%.
The connectivity telematics offers (e.g., linking a customer’s vehicle data to your shop) could prove to be priceless in the near future; however, at the moment, it will require an investment of your time to learn more in order to capitalize on it. Promise to pay more attention to telematics and identify how to leverage this technology sooner rather than later in order to grow your service and repair business.
I’ll leave you with this: My 26-year-old son, who drives a three-year-old vehicle, relies on an independent shop for maintenance and repairs. He prefers to support family-owned businesses in the community in which he lives. He also likes the idea of telematics being able to send data about his vehicle’s performance to his phone. He doesn’t necessarily like the idea of paying for the “dongle” or device, or paying a monthly fee for that matter, but stated, “I would sign up tomorrow with a reputable shop offering me that service.”
By the way, I would too.