Auto Service World
News   April 30, 2024   by Adam Malik

Why shops can’t have a one-size-fits-all consumer approach

There are three types of customers out there and an expert explains who they are and how the aftermarket needs to treat them

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While shops may want to cling to the traditional consumer, customers are changing how they want to do their business in their repair shops. Ignoring their desires will only leave your shop in the dust, an industry expert warned.

There are three types of customers today, explained Neury Freitas, partner with business management firm Roland Berger, which works with the aftermarket. They are the traditional customer, the convenience-first customer and the contactless one.

The traditional customer has a very offline journey through the repair process. These customers identify the need — a vehicle repair or service — and they want to find a shop that provides them with a great experience in person. This is the customer who will stay in the waiting area and watch as the technician works on the vehicle.

Then there’s the one who focuses on convenience. They prefer to have a digital inspection report. Videos are great. They also want to book their appointment online and have remote drop off, meaning they drop their car off in the lot and leave. They want regular updates on the work being done, along with videos and pictures to show them. They will come in person to pay and pick up their vehicle.

The third type is completely contactless. They want maximum convenience. It’s everything the convenience customer wants but no physical interaction. They don’t want a detailed report though – just give them the highlights in a simple digital report.

Shops don’t need to pigeonhole themselves into serving just one type of client. But rather they will need to find a way to cater to all of these types of clients.

“Do we think that every single shop or every single consumer will look the same? Absolutely not,” Freitas said. “We believe that the shops, they need to be prepared to serve [a variety of different people].”

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1 Comment » for Why shops can’t have a one-size-fits-all consumer approach
  1. Rob Nurse says:

    You only have to google “digital vehicle inspections” and watch a couple of videos to learn how much of a joke these are to consumers and for shops. A vehicle report can not be correctly completed in a time according fashion, leaving too many items checked off as O.K. without properly being inspected. This only gives false reassurance to the consumer after them being ripped off and gouged from unnecessary upselling. We rely on the consumer to inform us of the issues with their vehicles. They know their cars better than us because they drive them everyday. Implementing a quick road test before and after any repairs or maintenance performed will isolate any issues missed or not mentioned by the customer like sway bar links, wheel bearing , brakes etc. During a simple headlight replacement I am not going to spend 2 hours to properly inspect their vehicle for additional revenue, specially not for free. As for pics or videos I just need to have the customers cell phone number and text them a pic of the brakes and price. They don’t need or care about the history and evolution of the brake pad.

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