CARS reached out to leaders and executives in the automotive repair sector and asked them their thoughts on how business will change for shops in the year ahead, what the biggest challenge for the industry is moving forward and what they see as the top opportunity in 2022. We will present their answers in alphabetical order over the coming weeks…
Over the past few years — and intensified during the pandemic — we’ve seen a shift in consumer behaviour to a strong preference for convenience and online transactions. We expect this trend to continue moving forward, driving digital transformation. Customers expect features like contactless service, online appointment booking and automated checkout. While convenience is king, customers still want some level of personalization and personal interaction from their shops, so a seamless mix of online and in-real-life will be key.
The biggest challenge for our industry is supply of both physical and human resources. Strategies we’ve implemented include planning far in advance, working closely with our supply partners, and taking advantage of our national distribution network. Strong relationships and a little creative problem solving go a long way.
Labour shortages will continue throughout the year. Companies that provide a great place to work — with a safe environment, competitive pay and clear career paths — will have the edge when it comes to finding and keeping employees.
Shops can collect and analyze consumer data to better understand their customers. They can leverage technology to improve customer communication, provide transparency and build trust. They can also focus on their people to make sure customer expectations are constantly met — if not exceeded.
*Editor’s note: Jason Herle’s responses were submitted prior to being named the CEO of Fountain Tire.