Electric vehicle owners have a different level of expectations from their automotive repairer than those who drive gas-powered vehicles, according to an expert.
For instance, they’re digital natives. They use their mobile device as the key to their vehicle. And they’re not afraid to use the internet to educate themselves on how their car should work, noted Jake Rodenroth, manager of body repair program operations at Lucid Motors.
“As a repairer, product knowledge is king and understanding exactly how the cars are built and being able to talk intelligently about them is key,” he said at the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association’s Technology Conference.
Even when approaching their vehicles, some are used to having it light up and the door handles present themselves After being in a shop, it should continue to do these things.
“So these are all the things that, as a repairer, we have to go through and quality control check when we service these [vehicles],” Rodenroth said. “We have to make sure that all of those things boot the way they’re supposed to so the owner has a seamless experience.”
An EV is also tied to its mobile app. Customers can see everything the technician is doing — they know where the vehicle is at any given time and how much range it has.
“A way to make an EV customer angry is to leave their vehicle at a low state of charge. That is something that will definitely fire them up,” Rodenroth said.
That means repairers need to think about installing charging infrastructure in their shops. So that means looking at what you can do in your shop: Are you able to charge an EV? Did you remember to get the customer’s portable charger?
“Some vehicle owners use their portable chargers in their home garages. And quite honestly, they’re not thinking about you when they drop the car off,” Rodenroth said. “So they may leave that portable charger at their house. And if you don’t have the ability to charge the car, it becomes a bad customer experience. So remember, the customers have visibility.”