Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA

Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA

Untapped Potential in
Automotive Aftersales
How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA

FOREWORD                                                                                                                                                 WEBSITE
                                                                                                                                                         Touchpoint with

             he car dealership business model is undergo-                         CREATING A NEW CUSTOMER
 T                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              30
             ing a fundamental change, Mercedes, for                              EXPERIENCE
             example plans to sell by 2025, 25 percent of                         It is not just a matter however, of replacing the existing
             its new cars in Europe together with its distri-                     analogue structures with digitalised offers, it is necessary
bution partners, via the internet. In contrast to other in-                       to expand them. It is important to relate to the customers
dustries, however, this conversion to online selling is                           as they stand at any particular moment, this, for example,

taking place much less dynamically. The majority of                               could work in the form of customised offers. The goal
customers generally (still) prefer a personal contact where                       should therefore be to achieve a seamless transition be-                                                                                                                                                                                                               CAR
purchase and service are concerned, simultaneously the                            tween online and offline customer experience. Customers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Premium theme,
use of digital channels by users is on the rise as online                         are willing to switch when it becomes more individual,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         best dealt with
offers and the opportunities for customer interaction                             faster and more convenient for them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         together with the car
increase. Customers, retailers and OEMs are currently
involved in a learning process.                                                   ANALYSIS OF FOUR TOUCHPOINTS                                                                                                       APP
                                                                                  The industry at present is essentially concentrating on the                                                                        All manufacturers are
REPOSITION NOW                                                                    four digital touchpoints of website, app, Connected Car                                                                            already offering apps for
Any kind of disruption in selective distribution causes                           and social media so coming closer to the customer than                                                                             their vehicles                                                                                          SOCIAL MEDIA
difficulties to the new-car business and consequently in                          ever before. The comprehensive study presented by NTT                                                                                                                                                                                      Channel for image
Aftersales. Until now no such an attempt has been able                            DATA and AUTOHAUS closely examines the players:                                                                                                                                                                                            cultivation and more

to harm the present business model allowing time to now                           OEMs, dealers and customers by analysing the current
reposition accordingly. Car dealers are simultaneously                            state of digital communication within the individual facets
losing revenue in the lucrative service business and like-                        of the customer journey. Deficits are uncovered and rec-
wise the OEMs in the lucrative parts business. The mar-                           ommendations for action are given, thus making future
kets are no longer growing, the quality of the vehicles and                       communication in Aftersales business more digital and
safety through driver assistance systems are increasing-                          more efficient.
ly improving, e-mobility will probably halve service reve-
nues, and in addition the new mobility offers ensure that                                                                                                1                                                                                                                                  6
the existing fleet is used more extensively.
                                                                                                                                                         FOREWORD                     ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������   2    ANALYSIS OF THE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             FOUR TOUCHPOINTS ��������������������������������������������������������� 12

IN DEMAND - WITH STRATEGY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6.1 WEBSITE: HIGH FREQUENCY, GREAT POTENTIAL                             14
It is of advantage that the customer communication with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      STATUS QUO                                                               14
the car dealerships has been given a new boost due to                                                                                                    MANAGEMENT SUMMARY �������������������������������������������� 4                                                                  POTENTIAL FOR AFTERSALES	                                                18
experiences gained during lockdown. When personal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION 	                                             21
contact is no longer possible alternatives are needed.

                                                                Image: NTT DATA

Having become aware of this, the industry has undertak-                                                                           Kristina Neff                                                                                                                                              6.2 APP: CREATE ADDED VALUE	                                             22
en appropriate measures, at the moment however, neither                                                                           Managing Consultant                                                                                                                                        STATUS QUO	                                                              24
a strategic nor a sustainable approach is being pursued.                                                                          Customer Journey                                                                                                                                           POTENTIAL FOR AFTERSALES	                                                27
Those responsible at the OEMs and in the car dealerships                                                                          NTT DATA Deutschland   STUDY DESIGN ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION 	                                             29
are convinced of an increase in customers' needs for more
online information, and for the possibility to acquire ser-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             6.3 CONNECTED CAR: THE “PREMIUM” THEME	                                  30
vices digitally.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             STATUS QUO	                                                              32
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             POTENTIAL FOR AFTERSALES	                                                35
                                                                                                                                                         STRUCTURE AND APPROACH                                                                                                              RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION 	                                             37
                                                                                                                                                         OF THE ANALYSIS ����������������������������������������������������������������������� 8
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             6.4 SOCIAL MEDIA:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             A TOOL FOR IMAGE CULTIVATION	                                            38
                                                                                                                    Image: AUTOHAUS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             STATUS QUO	                                                              40
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             POTENTIAL FOR AFTERSALES	                                                44
                                            Ralph M. Meunzel
                                   Editor-in-Chief AUTOHAUS                                                                                              USAGE OF THE FOUR TOUCHPOINTS                                                                                                       RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION 	                                             46
                        Springer Fachmedien München GmbH                                                                                                 IN COMPARISON �������������������������������������������������������������������� 10                                              Imprint                                                                  47
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA
MANAGEMENT SUMMARY                                                                                                                                                                                             AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                with the infotainment system in their own vehicle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                High-resolution displays, intelligent voice control and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                touchscreens are tools with which customers can be in-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                troduced to the touchpoint and once the use of the Con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                nected Car touchpoint becomes easy, clear and reliable,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                their acceptance will increase. If those conditions men-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tioned can be fulfilled, it is expected that half of the cus-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tomers would book a service appointment via the info-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tainment system. Manufacturers have high hopes of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Connected Car for obtaining information via the infotain-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ment system and in the near future, the booking and or-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                dering of digital services should be possible. Here enor-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mous potential lies untapped. Soon it should also be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                possible to book appointments for customised service

                                                                                                                                                                                          Image: Stock Adobe Production Perig
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                requirements - a function that is in strong demand by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                customers. This recommendation for action must be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                addressed at manufacturers and should state that the
       MANAGEMENT SUMMARY                                                                                                                                                                                                       user's appetite be stimulated by the easy use of the info-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. SOCIAL MEDIA: A TOOL FOR IMAGE CULTIVATION
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The dealers can maintain a social media presence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                with a manageable effort¬ and besides local
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                offers this touchpoint can be easily used to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                present special Aftersales services with vide-
           ales is leading the way: The entire process,        already generate ten percent of their Aftersales revenue                  3. CONNECTED CAR:                                                                      os or customer experience reports. When,

           from obtaining information to finalising a          via their websites, however, the precise amount of the                      THE "PREMIUM" THEME                                                                  however, presenting the entire portfolio retail-
           purchase, can be carried out online. The study      success in generating sales is actually known to few of                       The Connected Car touchpoint is basical-                                           ers should switch to alternative touchpoints.
           soberly shows that Aftersales is still a long       them. Here dealers should begin, and be prepared to in-                       ly of high significance and value found                                            Facebook Marketplace shows how important it
way off from this status, it does however, reveal how          vest. Knowledge about the use and effectiveness of the                        primarily in premium class vehicles. The                                           is to consistently follow new developments in the
approaches can be initiated.                                   individual opportunities a website can                                       infotainment systems offer similar tech-                                            market. By using this channel, the dealers can offer parts
                                                               offer is an essential prerequisite for the                                  nical capabilities as apps, however, the po-                                         and accessories inexpensively and appropriate to target
FOUR TOUCHPOINTS -                                             successful use of the touchpoint.                                         tential that infotainment systems hold is a                                            groups. Similar developments can be soon expected from
THE MOST IMPORTANT STUDY                                                                                                             long way from being fully exploited. Customers                                             ebay motors and Amazon.
        RESULTS AT A GLANCE                                    2. APP: CREATE ADDED VALUE!                                  have already expressed ideas of their requirements from                                             The constant change in social media landscapes de-
                                                               Similar to the touchpoint website, the                       such a touchpoint and above all they demand user-friend-                                            mands permanent attentiveness, but this is precisely
                     1.WEBSITE: HIGH FREQUENCY,                touchpoint app also enjoys a high level                      ly systems. They also attach much importance - as with                                              where a great opportunity is available to the automotive
                      GREAT POTENTIAL                          of acceptance amongst customers.                             the other touchpoints - to the correct presentation of                                              industry. The challenge lies in the early recognition of the
                       The website provides a large            Apps are used as a matter of course in                       overall costs. The great potential of Connected Car lies in                                         innovations presented by social media, utilising them
                       amount of space for the presenta-       many areas of life and are generally well                    its unique features because with no other touchpoint the                                            successfully for oneself, thus becoming a pioneer in
                      tion of offers and allows the exten-     recognised. Much customer data that is already               customer is more directly and exclusively reached than                                              winning new customers.
                     sive communication of information.        available to dealers can be used for an app in Aftersales.
                   Customers already know and use this         Telematic-enabled vehicles together with an appropriate
                digital channel, therefore this touchpoint     app can open up opportunities for presenting customised
deserves continued heightened attention and should             offers and service booking suggestions. For this purpose,       THE PERMANENT TASK OF DIGITALISATION
definitely be developed further by the dealers. The dealers’   there is a necessity to define binding price information
website should ideally present Aftersales services on their    and create links with specific data of the customer and         What applies to digitalisation as such, also applies to                                          it is important to create an equally agreeable atmos-
homepage, including the corresponding price information        vehicle e.g. the personal calendar, and mileage of the          the digital touchpoints in Aftersales. Work on digital                                           phere from initiating the process to the follow-up
for the various standard services and a short guide            vehicle. This can generate the currently missing added          touchpoints is an ongoing and permanent task that                                                procedures. "Digital natives” are used to having their
through the whole business process. It is equally impor-       value for customers, which probably is one of the main          involves a lot of attention to detail.                                                           digitally transmitted requests processed immediately.
tant that binding booking confirmation can be carried out      reasons for its sporadic usage. Working on this touchpoint      The main task for the dealers involves setting up a                                              The present study takes stock of the situation. The
in a customer-friendly way. Dealers who have already           is a complex but rewarding task as it requires much co-         complete digital process in Aftersales which creates                                             four digital touchpoints - website, app, Connected Car
established their own customer accounts including the          operation between dealers and manufacturers to combine          a positive customer experience; starting from obtain-                                            and social media - have been analysed for their poten-
storage of customer and vehicle data, are well positioned      all data and functions into a single app. However, 80 per       ing information, through to transparent, binding price                                           tial for Aftersales business and recommendations for
to present customised offers. A responsive design web-         cent of company car drivers and 60 per cent of private          details, online appointment scheduling, and finally to                                           action have been identified and presented. It enables
site with user-friendly representation of the dealer on PC,    customers are waiting for apps that offer them added            real-time tracking of the workshop process, whereby                                              every car dealership to deduce its own targets.
tablet and smartphone should now be standard. Dealers          value in Aftersales.
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA
MANAGEMENT SUMMARY                                                                                                                                                      STUDY DESIGN                                                  AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021

OUR CONCLUSION: FIVE KEY                                       of digital channels is an important strategic measure for
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION                                     the further development of digitalisation.

OFFER REAL ADDED VALUE                                         ACCELERATE SYSTEM INTEGRATION
Customers request digital business initiation in Aftersales.   The full potential of digitalisation in Aftersales can only
To achieve this, each touchpoint needs more content and        be boosted when the necessary internal adjustments of
better functionality. Tangible added value is the only pos-    the dealers’ IT systems are adopted. Digitalisation must
sible means to create the necessary acceptance and in-         lead to streamlining processes including cost savings.
creased use amongst customers. If real added value is          Only then it will catch on with the dealers. For this purpose,
offered, dealers and OEMs can inspire their customers          a better integration of all the systems is necessary, so
with enthusiasm thus making the unpleasant necessity           avoiding breaks in information flow and double entries.
of Aftersales more agreeable for them.                         60 percent of the dealerships see system integration as
                                                               an important strategic measure to expand their digital
CREATE A CLEAR TOUCHPOINT STRATEGY                             business volume, specifically, to offer the customers a
Each touchpoint has its own potential and when creating        digital customer journey in Aftersales. This not only in-
the individual digital touchpoints, further elaboration of     cludes system integration between the dealers and man-
these potentials is of paramount importance. A clear           ufacturers but also the integration within the different
touchpoint strategy must therefore be achieved, making         systems existing at the dealers. The dealers require here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Image: Stock Adobe metamorworks
their use efficient for dealers and OEMs. Digital touch-       supporting tools that reduce the administrative effort,
points are the cornerstones of interaction both offline and
online - not only in sales. It is necessary to monitor the
                                                               making it as low as possible.
                                                                                                                                                                                       STUDY DESIGN
change in digital offers to be able to swiftly adapt the       IMPROVE COOPERATION BETWEEN DEALERS
touchpoint strategy to the changing customer expecta-          AND OEMS
tions.                                                         There should be urgent rethinking in the cooperation be-
                                                               tween dealers and manufacturers so that they are suc-
ENSURE RETHINKING IN THE DEALERSHIPS                           cessfully positioned for the future. 60 percent of the
Process harmonisation within dealerships is urgently           dealers would like to have more support from the manu-
needed so that the potential e.g. of online appointment        facturers in order to digitally market Aftersales services
scheduling, can be maximally exploited, and the respective     online. The touchpoints app and Connected Car cannot be
touchpoint most efficiently used. Standard services such       controlled by the dealers alone as they are dependent on                                                             he study "Unused Potential in Automotive           The institute responsible for interviewing was “puls Markt-

as wheel changes should be booked online in the future,        the support of the manufacturers. When designing these                                                               Aftersales" is based on a survey of private and    forschung GmbH”, Nuremberg.
this having the advantage of reducing the number of            two touchpoints the consolidation of dealer and manufac-                                                             company car drivers. 270 of private car dri-       The results of AUTOHAUS panel interviews were also in-
telephone calls and allowing the service assistant to pool     turer data is of great value whilst the issue of data protec-                                                        vers and 270 of company car drivers were           cluded in the study. The panel interviews were carried out
the processing of appointments. Furthermore, it leads to       tion and data sovereignty also plays a major role.                                                       interviewed online between 18 and 29 June 2020. The            during two consecutive months, whereby during the in-
a reduction of the employees’ workload, they save time         A fully comprehensive Aftersales experience offered to                                                   average duration of an interview was approximately seven       terviews each participant was asked a maximum of eight
and can make those appointments for services which are         the customers will have to entail "data sharing" between                                                 minutes.                                                       closed questions. The questionnaires were prepared joint-
not of a standard nature directly with the customers, and      manufacturer and dealer. How this is to be created and                                                   The survey method was an online interview using expe-          ly by NTT DATA and AUTOHAUS.
can properly qualify them. A change in thinking of the         what the possible future cooperation models might look                                                   rienced panel partners.                                                                                                ■
employees is necessary so that they themselves use the         like is a topic that is urgently waiting to be solved. All
touchpoints and actively point out the digital touchpoints     players involved, dealer associations, dealers and manu-
to the customers. The majority of dealers have therefore,      facturers are under obligation.
already identified that employee training in IT and the use                                                              ■
                                                                                                                                                                         SURVEY STRUCTURE                                              EXPERT INTERVIEWS

                                                                                                                                                                        Sample           n=540 interviews with drivers of              Three Aftersales experts present their assessment of the
                                                                                                                                                                                         Private cars (n=270) and                      situation as shown in the study:
                                                                                                                                                                                         Company cars (n=270)
                                                                                                                                                                                         Online by experienced panel partners          ■ Bas Viveen, Director Customer Care & Aftersales
                                                                                                                                                                        method                                                           Opel/Vauxhall Europe

                                                                                                                                                                        Survey           18 to 29 June 2020                            ■ Lars Eßmann, Head of Service Germany Volkswagen
                                                                                                                                                                        period                                                           Pkw

                                                                                                                                                                                         Approx. 7 minutes on average                  ■ Simon Saretzki, Head of Service Mercedes-Benz Cars
                                                                                                                                Image: Stock Adobe Blue Planet Studio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sales Germany

                                                                                                                                                                        Institute        puls Marktforschung GmbH,
                                                                                                                                                                        responsible      Nuremberg

                                                                                                                                                                        The interviews were quoted in accordance with KBA data on
                                                                                                                                                                        market shares for new registrations in 2019.
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA
ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                      AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021

Four Touchpoints in Focus                                                                                                        FOUR TOUCHPOINTS IN FOCUS
                                                                                                                                 Four digital Aftersales touchpoints were analysed:            used via the infotainment system in the car were
                                                                                                                                 Websites hold the first position - manufacturer and           examined. In terms of social media, the focus was
                                                                                                                                 dealer websites alike. Also analysed were the apps            on the four platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
decision                         1                         2                      3                       4                      from manufacturers or dealers. By the touchpoint
                                                                                                                                 Connected Car, services and performance that can be
                                                                                                                                                                                               and YouTube.

process                          Obtaining
                                                                                                          Parts and

                                                                                                                                 QUESTIONS ARISING ALONG THE PURCHASE
                                                                                                                                 DECISION PROCESS
                                                                                                                                 The present study focuses on the purchase de-                 DECISION
                                                                                                                                 cision process and examines the question of how               In the decision-making phase, customers select a
                                                                            #                                                    far this process is already mapped digitally in
                                                                                                                                                                                               provider based on the information obtained, and de-
                                                                                                                                                                                               cide on an appropriate service or product. Transparent
                                                                         Social                                                                                                                price information at this stage plays a decisive role in
                                                                         Media                                                   REQUIREMENT                                                   the decision-making process.
                                                                                                                                 In the initial phase, there is a requirement – e.g. an up-
                                                                                                                                 coming service, wheel change, tyre purchase, or repair.       PURCHASE
                                                                                                         Car                     Either the customer’s attention to the upcoming service       Ideally, after the choice of provider has been made
                                                                                                                                 requirement is alerted through a notification from the        leading directly to the purchase of a product or to a
                                               Website                                                                           vehicle, or he/she acts on his/her own initiative.            workshop service, an appointment booking should be
                                                                                                                                                                                               made online. In future, it should also be possible to
                                                                                                                                 INTEREST                                                      book and pay for services at a binding price rate.
                                                                                                                                 The following phase is that of interest. Customers start
            STRUCTURE AND                                                                                                        actively searching for information. What services are
                                                                                                                                 offered, where and how? What do they cost? What

            PROCEDURE OF THE ANALYSIS                                                                                            competitive offers are available?

SURVEY OF PROVIDERS AND USERS                                  does not only limit itself to describing the status quo but    3. APPOINTMENT BOOKING                                           4. PURCHASE OF DIGITAL SERVICES, PARTS AND
The aim of the study is to uncover deficits in Aftersales,     also points out possible potentials in Aftersales for the      At each touchpoint, the relevant question is whether a           ACCESSORIES
to identify optimisation opportunities and to provide spe-     touchpoints examined.                                          service appointment booking can be made here, and if a           Finally, it is established whether customers can order
cific recommendations for action for the successful ap-                                                                       direct booking, i.e. with real-time confirmation is possible.    parts and accessories, and can buy or add digital servic-
plication of digital touchpoints. The initiation of business   IMPACT OF THE RESPECTIVE                                       Also included are the questions of whether requests for          es. It also establishes how user-friendly and binding the
for customers should be as agreeable and simple as             TOUCHPOINT                                                     individual additional services such as replacement mobil-        purchase is, and whether secure and fast payment is
possible and offered 24/7, digitally anytime, anywhere.        To determine how strongly each touchpoint supports the         ity are met, and/or if there is the possibility to book addi-    possible.                                              ■
The study focuses on what already is being offered digi-       digital purchase decision process (see box above) in Af-       tional services or products.
tally to customers; what information do customers cur-         tersales, the touchpoints were analysed in terms of their
rently receive via the digital touchpoint and how easily can   applicability in the following four topic areas:
they book or purchase Aftersales services online? In ad-
dition to the present user behaviour, preferences and re-      1. OBTAINING INFORMATION
quests for the future use of touchpoints were surveyed.        “Obtaining information" concerns how easy it is to find Af-
Furthermore, dealers were questioned about their present       tersales information in the respective touchpoint. The study
offers, and their respective future strategies for digital     also poses questions as to user-friendliness with regard to
touchpoints. Interviews with industry experts comple-          finding and subsequent processing of information.
mented the findings.
                                                               2. BINDING PRICE INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Image: Stock Adobe H_Ko
ACTUAL STATUS PLUS ANALYSIS OF                                 Of central importance is the question of whether prices
POTENTIAL                                                      for services will be shown at all, also whether binding
Firstly, the actual status is evaluated i.e. how well the      prices are quoted and/or whether the prices are custom-
purchase decision process is already mapped in After-          ised to customers' requirements.
sales by the respective touchpoints. The study, however,
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA
USE OF THE TOUCHPOINTS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Image: Stock Adobe ©nnudoo
               IN COMPARISON

          he study shows a clear ranking concerning                                   where online workshop appointments are offered, the

          the question of which channels dealers al-                                  order of the first three places is identical. In terms of
          ready use to communicate Aftersales ser-                                    the channels actually used for service appointments,
          vices. When it comes to the question of                                     the telephone is clearly in the lead.                 ■
which channels are used to quote binding prices, and

  PREFERRED CHANNELS                                                                    CHANNELS WITH PRICE INFORMATION                                                        CHANNELS OFFERED FOR ONLINE BOOKING                                       CHANNELS USED FOR SERVICE APPOINTMENTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Service appointment arrangement
Which digital channels do you already use to offer Aftersales                         Through which channels do you offer price information                                  Through which channels do you offer the possibility of                     How do you typically arrange service appointments
services (workshop services, parts & accessories)?                                    for workshop services?                                                                 booking workshop appointments online?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        with your / a workshop / car dealership?

                  Own website                                                   85%                     Own website                                                    65%                  Own website                                        83%                                                                             76%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               By telephone

     Manufacturer's website                                            66%                 Manufacturer's website                                         41%                    Manufacturer's website                            52%                              In person                   22%
                  Social media                                    54%                                    Social media                        23%                                            Social media                 25%                            Differs, depends on             11%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the repair situation          7%
            E-mail newsletter                                44%                           Connected Car services                      13%                                       Connected Car services              15%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Online, via the            11%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          workshop website             8%
     Connected Car services                      15%                                                         Own app               6%                                                           Own app            10%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     By email
          Manufacturer's app                 9%                                                 Manufacturer's app                4%                                                 Manufacturer's app            9%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Online, via a        %
                       Own app               9%                                       Multiple answers possible                                                                                                                                               workshop app          3%
                                                                                                                                                                             Online appointment scheduling presents a similar picture. This func-
                                                                                      Basis: Only dealerships that offer binding price information for workshop services
                                                                                                                                                                             tion is offered by most dealers (83 percent) via their own website.        Walk-in, go directly to
                                                                                                                                                                             25 percent of the dealers advertise it via social media. Very few offer   the workshop without        2%
           No digital channel               6%                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     2%
                                                                                                                                                                             the possibility to make an appointment digitally via Connected Car              an appointment
                                                                                      Websites are also in the lead when it comes to binding price informa-
                                                                                                                                                                             functions and apps.
Multiple answers possible                                                             tion, followed by social media and the Connected Car. So far, hardly                                                                                                                           Private cars       Company cars
Basis: Only businesses that offer binding price information for workshop services     any binding price information has been provided via the apps.                                                                                                                        Basis: Private cars=270, Company cars=270 | Data displayed as %

Dealers have indicated that they offer Aftersales services mainly via                                                                                                                                                                                   The potential for online appointments is high, given that almost
the website, followed by social media and the email newsletter. Only                                                                                                                                                                                    80 percent of the customers state that they still make their appoint-
15 percent use Connected Car services and 9 percent offer Aftersales                                                                                                                                                                                    ments in the traditional way - by telephone.
services via apps.
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA
WEBSITE                                        APP   CONNECTED CAR   SOCIAL MEDIA   AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021


6.1 // WEBSITE
    The website - a touchpoint that deserves
    a lot of attention. The touchpoint has high
    number of users and offers a large amount
    of space for presenting information con-
    cerning Aftersales.

    Dealers already generate ten percent of their
    Aftersales revenue via the website. Given
    a good visual presentation of the services
    available, Aftersales themes can maintain a
    prominent position on the website.

    The strengths of the website should be
    exploited in a targeted manner. Dealers
    should place Aftersales services on the
    homepage and indicate binding prices for
    standard services. Creating user-friendly
    booking is also of paramount importance.

                                                                                                                         Image: Stock Adobe onephoto
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA
WEBSITE                                                         APP                                                  CONNECTED CAR                   SOCIAL MEDIA                                                                                        AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021


           he website is the oldest and most frequented
           digital touchpoint for Aftersales customers,
                                                                          manufacturer websites are visited by 66 percent, and
                                                                          dealer websites by 58 percent of customers. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The automotive business is no longer imaginable without the

                                                                                                                                                               Image: Volkswagen
           both by the manufacturer and by the dealer;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 website touchpoint. Almost all customers get their information
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 online, not only in the automotive business. It is therefore enor-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 mously important to get this touchpoint right, i.e. to meet the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 customers' information requirements and provide them with the
Hersteller-Websites werden vonARE MORE FREQUENTLY
                               Kund*innen             VISITED
                                          häufiger besucht      BY CUSTOMERS THAN CAR DEALER WEBSITES
                                                           als Autohaus-Websites.                                                                                                                                simplest and most convenient service possible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Statement by Lars Eßmann,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Head of Service Germany Volkswagen Passenger Cars
   Manufacturer      9Private car 65 %          Company car 67 %
                                                                             Autohaus-             Private car 60 %          Company car 56 %
        website                                                               Website:

                                                                                                                                                        OBTAINING INFORMATION                                                                                cases, customers can access customised service offers
                                                                                                                                                        Aftersales information is offered by dealers via their own                                           via the login area.
                                                                                                                                                        website (85 percent) and via the manufacturer's website                                              Customers use the manufacturer's website for informa-
                                                                                                                                                        (66 percent).                                                                                        tion on new cars, services and current manufacturer
                                                                                                                                                        However, Aftersales services are not usually present on                                              promotions. The dealer website is accessed for informa-
                                                                                                                                                        the homepage and the information content varies greatly                                              tion on the company itself, including opening hours,
                  STATUS QUO                                                                                                                            between different dealers and manufacturers. In some                                                 contact details and contact persons.

                                                                                                                                                          COMPARISON OF THE USE OF MANUFACTURER AND DEALER WEBSITES

                                                                                                                                                        a. Manufacturer's website: Information about new cars                                                b. Dealer website: Information about service, opening hours
                        Obtaining                       Binding price                     Appointment                   Purchase of digital             Most frequently information on new cars is looked for                                                and contact persons
                        information                     information                       booking                       services, parts &               Q 13.0: Which of the following information do you usually look for when visiting                     Opening hours, services (private cars) and
                                                                                                                        accessories                     your manufacturer's website?                                                                         contact details (company cars) are looked for most often.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Q15.0: Which of the following information do you usually look for when visiting
                                    2                                                                                              2                                                                                                                         the website of your (last visited) workshop?
                                                                                                                                                                                       Information about                                   48%                                                                                      42%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             54%                   Looking up opening hours                                        39%
                                                                                                                                                                                         specific new cars
                        Actual status                   Actual status                     Actual status                 Actual status                                Information about services                                 32%                                                                                                 39%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Information about services
                        Aftersales content available,   ¼ of the dealers without         63 Percent of dealers offer   Online shops available at                                                                            23%                                                                                            23%
                        but expandable                  binding price information         appointment booking online    many dealers but of differing
                        Aftersales rarely represented
                                                        on the website
                                                                                          ¼ of customers have already
                                                                                                                        qualities                           Information about current                                              31%                                              Contact details                               32%
                        on the homepage                 When price information is         made an appointment online    Parts & accessories             promotions of the manufacturer                                            28%                                          and contact persons                                   42%
                                                        available, then mainly only for                                 available for order but
                        Access to customised service
                                                        standard services or                                            without fitting and/or cost                                                                          29%                                                                                            23%
                        offers via the login area                                                                                                             Information about the brand                                                                        Information about new cars
                                                        maintenance appointments                                        information
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          18%                                                                                               24%

                                                                                                                                                                                       Information about                 17%                                                    Online booking                             22%
                                                                                                                                                                                        specific used cars             12%                                            of a service appointment                             22%

                                                                                                                                                          Dealer search (address, contact                              13%                                      Information about used cars                            13%
                                                                                                                                                                  details, contact person)                               18%                                                                                           13%

                                                                                                                                                                                       Ranking by private cars     Private cars          Company cars                           Ranking by private cars            Private cars      Company cars
                                                                                                                                                        Basis: Website visits from "rarely" to "frequently"                                                  Basis: Website visits from "rarely" to "frequently"
                                                                                                                                                        Private                    2     56                                                                  Private       4           55
The actual status of the degree of digitalisation in the                  digitalisation for obtaining information, binding price in-
                                                                                                                                                        Company 4                        62                                                                  Company 3                52
website touchpoint for Aftersales usage is presented in                   formation, appointment booking of Aftersales services,
four main topic groups as follows: What is the level of                   and the purchase of digital services, parts and accessories?                                                    Basis: Private cars=177, Company cars=179 | Data displayed as %                               Basis: Private cars=163, Company cars=150 | Data displayed as %
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA
WEBSITE                                                                     APP                                                            CONNECTED CAR                                   SOCIAL MEDIA                                                      AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021

For which workshop services do you offer
                                                                                               EASONS FOR REFUSING TO PROVIDE
                                                                                              PRICE INFORMATION
                                                                                             What In your view speaks against binding price information?

                                                                                                                                                                                                     Image: Mercedes-Benz
binding price information online?                                                                                                                                                                                               Our goal is to provide our customers with maximum individu-
     For standard services
                                                                                               Risk of cost responsibility
                                                                                                                                                                                        56%                                     al and personal guidance and to offer them a consistent and
                                                                                                     for complex repairs
   (e.g. main service/MOT                                                      39%                                                                                                                                              innovative world of experience. For this purpose, in sales we
          & emissions test)                                                                              Too high website                                                                                                       combine personal contact with digital elements in our advice,
For maintenance appoint-
ments (service, oil change,
                                                                                                      maintenance when                                                         46%                                              sales and service roles. In car dealerships this means that the
                                                                     34%                                 presenting offers
       wheel change, etc.)                                                                       Too high administrative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                conversational atmosphere between advisors and customers
    For simple repair work                                                                            effort in settlement                                                40%                                                   benefits from dialogue-supporting media. Customers can, for
          (glass, brake disc                                        27%                                              process                                                                                                    example, obtain workshop services, by using our service app
            exchange, etc.)
  We do not offer any price
                                                                                             Infrastructure of the systems                                                                                                      'Mercedes me', to conveniently arrange service appointments
                                                                                                         does not allow for                                   27%
 information for workshop                                             29%                    automated price information                                                                                                        online or, for example, also book a replacement vehicle in
             services online                                                                      Lack of tools to make such                                                                                                    advance for their continuing mobility.
       We do not offer any                                                                     information available to the                              22%
 price information online                                  16%                                                      customer                                                                                                    Statement by Simon Saretzki,
                    as a rule                                                                                                                                                                                                   Head of Service Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales Germany
                                                                                                               Customers are
Multiple answers possible                                                                                      not interested            3%

                                                                                                There is nothing against
                                                                                              binding price information                       9%                                                For company customers, regarding transparency the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     BOOKING VIA THE WEBSITE
                                                                                                                                                                                                following emerges: two-thirds are well satisfied with the
                                                                                             Multiple answers possible                                                                                                                                             Booking via the website is quick, uncomplicated and better
                                                                                                                                                                                                situation, whilst one-fifth classify transparency as being
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   than other alternatives, especially for company car drivers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                a pain point. The touchpoint website in terms of us-
                                                                                                                                                                                                er-friendly presentation of Aftersales services and price          Reasons for booking a workshop appointment
                                                                                                                                                                                                information indicates the need for optimisation - especial-        directly via the workshop website
BINDING PRICE INFORMATION                                                                    Origins of the heterogeneous picture of binding pricing                                            ly because here the competitors are so much better:                Q 21.0: Why did you book a workshop appointment online via the website
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   of your (last visited) workshop?
The study shows that a large backlog is recognisable in                                      lies in the fact that the car industry finds it difficult to deal                                  Bosch, for example, communicates clear price offers and
terms of binding price information on websites. Almost a                                     with price quotations due to a lack of any pricing strategy,                                       A.T.U is also well structured in this area. Basically, in those          Basis:                                          Private          Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Website visits from "rarely" to "frequently"
third of dealers do not quote prices for workshop services                                   also the dealers shy away from the risk of price quotations                                        websites which are highly frequented by customers there                  Booked online: Yes
online and of these, 16 percent state that they do not quote                                 for more complex repairs. In addition, data maintenance                                            is an acute need for improvement.                                                                                       24%             22%
prices online as a matter of principle. 67 percent provide                                   required to display correct pricing and the accompanying
price information via their own website and 41 percent of                                    administrative efforts involved in the settlement process                                          APPOINTMENT BOOKING OF AFTERSALES SERVICES                                                                                              59%
dealers via the manufacturer's website. If price informa-                                    are all much too high. Although binding price information                                          Appointment bookings online are generally possible. At                                                    Quick                        56%
tion is advertised, then in most cases only for seasonal                                     plays a key role, only rarely do the dealers have the infra-                                       two thirds of the dealers, customers could book an ap-
promotions and for standard services (39 percent) and                                        structure and tools to make automated price information                                            pointment online and it must be emphasised that already               Simple, uncomplicated usage
maintenance work (34 percent). For simple repairs, cus-                                      available to customers. Two thirds of private car drivers                                          80 percent of the larger dealers (with over 500 new cars)                                                                           45%
tomers can obtain binding price information in 27 percent                                    have already looked for binding price information on                                               offer their customers this possibility. Looking at the allo-         Better than other alternatives                           20%
of the cases and then frequently a “from” price is quoted                                    workshop services on the website. They were particular-                                            cation among the different manufacturers, the German                      (telephone, walk-in, etc.)                             45%
for the work plus material costs.                                                            ly pleased when the information was clearly presented                                              premium-manufacturer is in first place, with 84 percent,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Just to try it out, normally
                                                                                             and quick and easy to find.                                                                        but also over 60 percent of the dealers of the German                     I book my appointments                             24%
                                                                                                                                                                                                high-volume manufacturer, and the big import brands                                       differently                      17%
                                                                                                                                                                                                have this option in their portfolios.                                     Did not want to go to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                When using the online appointment scheduling, private                  workshop in person because
   WORKSHOP SERVICES EASILY FOUND                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        of COVID-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                car drivers (24 percent) and company car drivers (22 per-
                                                                                                                                                                                                cent) are almost level. Speed (57 percent) and easy usage                                     Basis: Private cars=39, Company cars=33 | Data displayed as %
For private car drivers, workshop services which were easy to find was an excitement factor
                                                                                                                                                                                                (44 percent) are reasons given for booking online.
Excitement factors when looking for prices on the workshop website
                                                                                                                                                                                                However, the telephone remains for 79 percent of the in-
Q 17.0: What did you particularly like?                                                                                                   Basis: Website visits from "rarely" to "frequently"
                                                                                                                                          Search for prices: Yes                                terviewed persons as being their communication method
                                                                                                                                              Private                  Company                  of choice.                                                         the product can be bought, additional fitting bookings or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   making an appointment for fitting directly is not possible,
                                                                                                                                             37%                      23%                       PURCHASE OF DIGITAL SERVICES,                                      and there is no pricing for fittings indicated.
                                          Clear presentation of the services offered
                                                                                                        63%                                                                                     PARTS AND ACCESSORIES                                              Considerable room for improvement on the websites would
                                                                                                                                                                                                The dealer survey showed that 36 percent of dealers offer          be the online purchase of digital services such as addition-
                                                                                                       55%                                                                                      parts and accessories to customers digitally, the preferred        al bookings e.g. for a navigation update or the activation of
                               The respective workshop service was easy to find
                                                                                                                                                                                                touchpoint here is the dealer's own website (74 percent),          a better radio. These services are seldomly represented on
                                                                                                    36%                                                                                         followed by the manufacturer's website (46 percent). Sales         the present websites. The booking can only be made via
                                          Display of the overall costs of the services.
                                                                                                     46%                                                                                        are usually made via online shops. Here too, the spectrum          the manufacturer's website at the moment and there is no
                                                                   Ranking by private cars      Private cars        Company cars
                                                                                                                                                                                                covers shops with a manageable product range to pro-               possibility via the dealer website. For this reason, custom-
                                                                                                                 Basis: Private cars = 60, Company cars = 34 / Data displayed as %              fessional shops with a large product range which also              ers make very little use of the option to add digital services:
                                                                                                                                                                                                include payment and financing options. However, although           only six percent of private car drivers and three percent of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   company car drivers make use of this option.
Untapped Potential in Automotive Aftersales - How to inspire customers with enthusiasm with digital touchpoints - NTT DATA
WEBSITE                                                 APP                                              CONNECTED CAR                                            SOCIAL MEDIA                                                                                  AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021


                                                  Binding price
                                                                                                            Purchase of digital
                                                                                                            services, parts &
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   71                          of private car owners consider
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               binding price information

                                                       1            3

                                            4                                                        4
     Website                                                                                                                                                         To accommodate the customer demand for binding price                                           In the current pandemic situation and taking into account
                        Potential                 Potential                     Potential                   Potential                                                information in the future, it is important to remove the                                       the behaviour of competitors, contactless processing of
                        Put focus on prominent    Independent player offering   Extension of Aftersales     Services displayed                                       obstacles and concerns amongst the dealers, so can the                                         the service is becoming even more important. The cus-
                        and clear presentation    full pricing in Aftersales    services for appointment    transparently and payment
                                                  (e.g. A.T.U)                  bookings, e.g. mobility     options simplified
                                                                                                                                                                     demand for price information be respected and further                                          tomer behaviour in the private sphere is changing and
                        Stronger promotion of
                        Aftersales services and   71 % of customers request     Exploit the advantages of   Short term, a low potential
                                                                                                                                                                     visits to the website generated. It is important that clear                                    online processes are becoming more and more estab-
                        elimination of deficits   binding price information     a digital touchpoint        because 60% of customers                                 and comprehensible price presentation eliminates any                                           lished as standard.
                                                                                (customer-oriented)         so far were not interested                               potential concerns customers may have. Price transpar-                                         Online appointment schedulings also hold further poten-
                                                  Dealers/OEMs shy away
                                                                                                            in buying via website
                                                  from binding price                                                                                                 ency and price correctness have top priority here.                                             tial for the dealers, for example, a dealer could enthuse
                                                  information, especially
                                                  for complex repairs                                                                                                Online appointment schedulings offer great potential - as                                      his customers by suggesting they make appointments
                                                                                                                                                                     long as they are easy and user-friendly. Some customers                                        online during the wheel changing period thus preventing
                                                                                                                                                                     find the required procedure too complicated and drop out                                       the necessity of having to ring several times or get put on
                                                                                                                                                                     of the process prematurely. It is highly unlikely that anyone                                  hold, simultaneously so reducing the workload of the
                                                                                                                                                                     has their vehicle registration document at hand when                                           service assistants and the call centre. The processing and
When obtaining information, customers switch between              This is reflected by the requests made by private car driv-                                        booking online and with it the need to enter the required                                      confirmation of appointments is thus streamlined and the
the manufacturer's and the dealer's websites. Which               ers. In addition to a good visual presentation of the servic-                                      VIN. The vehicle registration number should be sufficient                                      time saved can be used for telephoning advice on more
website they visit depends on what kind of information            es and the indication of binding prices, they want the                                             to make an appointment at the customer’s preferred                                             complex repairs and their corresponding appointments.
they are looking for and whether they are private or com-         workshop services they are looking for to be found easily.                                         dealer, and for new customers, the additional information
pany customers. Information on services is used from              This means that attention must be given to simple menu                                             of the car model should suffice. Further information can
both websites. It is of importance that the information on        navigation and prominent presentation of Aftersales ser-                                           be requested from the customer if necessary when the
services is clearly presented and quickly available on all        vices on the homepage. Binding price information is espe-                                          appointment is confirmed.
websites.                                                         cially important to owners of private cars (71 percent).                                           In addition when making an appointment online, the cus-                                         BOOKING VIA THE WEBSITE
                                                                                                                                                                     tomer's demand for binding price information should be                                         Booking via the website is fast, uncomplicated and better than
                                                                                                                                                                     met. The price indication prevents anything standing in                                        other alternatives, especially for company car drivers.
                                                                                                                                                                     the way of both booking an appointment online and pur-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reasons against booking a workshop appointment directly
                                                                                                                                                                     chasing Aftersales services online.                                                            via the workshop website
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Q 22.0: Why have you not made workshop appointments online via the website
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    of your (last visited) workshop so far?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Basis: Website visits from "rarely" to "frequently"   Private         Company
                                                                                                                                                                       EASE OF FINDING WORKSHOP SERVICES                                                             Booked online: No

                                                                                                                                                                     For private car drivers, the ease with which workshop services                                                                                        76%              78%
                                                                                                                                                                     can be found is a factor of excitement
                                                                                                                                                                     Pain points when searching for prices on the workshop website                                                I book my appointment                                     48%
                                                                                                                                                                     Q 18.0: What did you like least?                                                                                         differently                                 42%

                                                                                                                                                                     Basis: Website visits from "rarely" to "frequently"    Private           Company                                           Not interested                  20%
                                                                                                                                                                     Search for prices: Yes                                                                                                                                    16%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           37%               23%                                                                              15%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not available

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Online Booking Potential
                                                                                                                                                                                          Workshop service /                    34%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Does not give a specific reason                       11%
                                                                                                                                                                                          prices not available                 29%                                                                                           11%
                                                                                                                                                                        Concerns that the overall costs                      22%                                                                                            7%
                                                                                                                                                                                shown are not correct                       14%                                                              Too complicated
                                                                                                                                          Stock Adobe Andrey Popov

                                                                                                                                                                                       Unclear presentation                10%                                                                                             5%
                                                                                                                                                                                      of the services offered                22%                                               Don't know of the option
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Private cars       Company cars                                                                 Private cars     Company cars

                                                                                                                                                                                                   Basis: Private cars=60, Company cars=34 | Data displayed as %                             Basis: Private cars=120, Company cars=116 | Data displayed as %
WEBSITE                                                                          APP                                                           CONNECTED CAR                                     SOCIAL MEDIA                                              AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021

      Image: Opel Vauxhall Europe
                                                 „The aim is to make life of customers as simple as possible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION
                                                  when in contact with the dealer and manufacturer. What we                                                                                                          ➜ Targeted use of the website strength.     ➜ Building up an online pricing strategy.
                                                  are presently implementing is the possibility for the customer                                                                                                    A high level of acceptance, a large          When it comes to binding price information on the
                                                  to book his/her appointment at any dealer of the PSA Group                                                                                          amount of space for information and clear menu             website, it is noticeable that many car dealerships
                                                  online, i.e. on the internet or using an app, this is a fact! At                                                                                    navigation are the strengths of the website. So far,       lack pricing strategy. Price information is considered
                                                  Opel, the booking of appointments currently exists in the form                                                                                      these unique selling propositions have been mainly         a taboo subject and is avoided as much as possible.
                                                  of an inquiry to the dealership. In future, the customer will be                                                                                    used for sales. Here, the Aftersales sector must be        In addition there is also a lack of training in price
                                                  able to book specific services directly with the dealer. This can                                                                                   more prominently positioned and better presented           argumentation. Dealers are well advised to create
                                                  then be registered in detail, including feedback on how long                                                                                        in order to inspire customers with enthusiasm. A           price transparency in the digital touchpoints, even
                                                  the service will take and what it will cost. For example, in a cur-                                                                                 responsive website that enables pleasing presenta-         when this requires a certain amount of initial effort
                                                  rent pilot project in France, the dealer states the price for the                                                                                   tion on PCs and on all other devices should be             because two-thirds of the customers want binding
                                                  requested service. However, this varies from region to region.                                                                                      standard for dealers.                                      price information - which they increasingly receive
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Furthermore, it is important that the dealers’ website     elsewhere.
                                                  Bas Viveen,                                                                                                                                         allows quick guidance through the business initia-
                                                  Director Customer Care & Aftersales Opel Vauxhall Europe                                                                                            tion process and a user-friendly option for a binding      ➜ Make customers aware of the online offers
                                                                                                                                                                                                      booking. In order that customised offers may be               in aftersales.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      made, a private customer account in which the              Customers state that the option of booking appoint-
So far, two thirds of customers are not interested in pur-                                       Market research has shown that many customers are not                                                customer and vehicle data are already stored should        ments online is not available at their dealer (16 per-
chasing parts and accessories online or do not want to                                           yet fully aware of what specifically the dealer sites offer.                                         be considered.                                             cent) or that they are not aware of this option
purchase them online. 12 percent of private car drivers                                          However, the online purchase of accessories and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (8 percent), therefore, it is important that the dealers
and 11 percent of company car drivers state that there is                                        booking of digital services will certainly gain in importance
                                                                                                                                                                                                      ➜ Dealers can develop the website independently.           point out the possibility of online booking to their
no online purchase option at their dealer. In practice,                                          in the future once this is easily possible and the price at-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Every dealer already has his own website. This al-         customers, and place this service clearly and visibly
however, many dealers do have parts shops or do offer                                            tractive enough. Also of importance are the information
                                                                                                                                                                                                      lows independent, easy and quick adaption and the          on their website and in other publications. For those
the option of purchasing parts online and in particular,                                         on availability and/or delivery dates. Dealers would do well
                                                                                                                                                                                                      presentation of the dealership and its Aftersales          customers who have, for no particular reason, not
those dealers specialising in specific services such as                                          to consider the following recommendations for action, if
tuning or car wrapping have already had very successful                                          they want themselves positioned correctly.                 ■
                                                                                                                                                                                                      services on the internet in an attractive light. If not    yet booked online (11 percent) this could possibly
online sales. This market sector is also booming at ‘ebay
                                                                                                                                                                                                      yet available, investing in a conversion to responsive     sway them positively.
motors’ or ‘autoteile24’.                                                                                                                                                                             design is advisable so that the displayed content
                                                                                                                                                                                                      appears professionally on all devices.


Workshop website: 60% have no interest in buying parts and accessories online.
Reasons against buying parts or accessories online directly from the workshop website                                                           Basis: Website visits from 'rarely' to 'frequently'
                                                                                                                                                Online purchase: No
Q 25.0: Why have you not yet purchased parts and accessories via the website of your (last visited) workshop?
                                                                                                                                                          Private            Company

                                                                                                                        31%                              90%                 95%
                                                               I do not buy parts online

                                                                                 No interest                           29%

                                                           My dealer does not offer this

                                               I do not buy parts online from my dealer                   10%
                                                            but through other channels                   7%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Image: Stock Adobe Markus Glombitzka
                                                                          Too complicated

                                                   Available elsewhere at a better price

                                    No information on availability and/or delivery dates

                                                                       Ranking by private cars         Private cars        Company cars

                                                                                                                       Basis: Private cars=146, Company cars=143 | Data displayed as %
WEBSITE                                            APP    CONNECTED CAR   SOCIAL MEDIA   AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021


  6.2 // APP
      All manufacturers already offer apps, and
      according to the manufacturers the number
      of users is high. About one in three compa-
      ny car drivers uses the app offered for their
      vehicle, in the private sector it is just under a

      The willingness of customers to use an app
      for Aftersales purposes in the future is high.
      Almost 80 percent of company car drivers
      and 60 percent of private car drivers have
      affirmed this.


                                                                                                                              Image: Stock Adobe ©PRODUCTION PERIG - Perig MORISSE
      The car industry can here utilise the momen-
      tum of the broad acceptance of apps, to
      offer Aftersales services. The task is to
      enthuse users with real added value. For all
      data and offers to comprehensively come
      together in a single app, close cooperation
      with the manufacturers is necessary.
WEBSITE                                                       APP                                                       CONNECTED CAR                 SOCIAL MEDIA                                                                        AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021

 6.2 APP:                                                                                                                                              “ABOUT ONE IN THREE COMPANY CAR DRIVERS USES APPS THAT ARE OFFERED WITH THE CAR -
                                                                                                                                                       FOR PRIVATE CAR DRIVERS, THAT IS ONLY 23%.”
 CREATE ADDED VALUE!                                                                                                                                    Frequency of use of apps offered for the car
                                                                                                                                                        Q 26.0: How regularly do you use the apps on your smartphone which are offered for your car (e.g. myAudi, Mercedes-me etc.)?


           communication tool used by millions of                         a reason to sit back and celebrate success? No, be-
                                                                                                                                                         Private cars            3      5             15                                           76
           customers: the app. The app enjoys wide-                       cause the NTT DATA study reveals a clear deficit in the
           spread usage in most areas of life, and the                    digital touchpoint app.
number of users of vehicle apps goes into the millions -

                                                                                                                                                        Company cars             3          8                21                                    66

                                                                                                                                                                                     Very often       Frequently   Rarely     Never      n/a                      Basis: Private cars=270, Company cars=270 | Data displayed as %

                  STATUS QUO

                                                                                                                                                      Telematic-enabled vehicles facilitate data exchange with                                 services but also vehicle-specific information. As with the
                        Obtaining                        Binding price                  Appointment                     Purchase of digital           the app. By this process the smartphone indicates to the                                 websites, the app presents a “dual” offer - both manufac-
                        information                      information                    booking                         services, parts &             user of the manufacturer's app not only general Aftersales                               turers and dealers work with these tools.

                                   2                                                          1

                        Actual status                    Actual status                  Actual status                   Actual status
                        All apps offer general service   Binding price information is   Appointment booking via app     Parts and accessories are
                        data and occasionally also       only sporadically available    is only occasionally possible   rarely offered via the app    WHAT IS THE DEGREE OF DIGITALISATION?
                        individual vehicle information   and mostly within the
                                                                                        Taking over the service        Digital services can to some
                        (telematics)                     framework of limited offers,
                                                         e.g. wheel change
                                                                                        requirements for appointment extent already be purchased      The actual status of the degree of digitalisation in the                                 result that app is rarely used or not at all.
                        Rapidly growing range of app                                    booking is mostly not possible
                        offers, makes orientation                                                                                                     touchpoint app for Aftersales use is presented with regard                               Moreover, the manufacturers have several apps each
                        difficult for users                                                                                                           to the four main topics of obtaining information, binding                                covering different topics, so forcing customers to switch
                                                                                                                                                      price information, appointment booking of Aftersales                                     between the different apps and which can be hardly
                                                                                                                                                      services and the purchase of digital services, parts and                                 classed as user-friendly.
                                                                                                                                                      accessories as follows:                                                                  Notably those manufacturers who cannot establish a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               connection to the vehicle do, however, offer explanations
                                                                                                                                                      OBTAINING INFORMATION                                                                    of various operative functions, or provide useful tips and
                                                                                                                                                      The intensity of information obtained depends on the                                     information in the form of videos.
                                                                                                                                                      online connection within the vehicle. If this is available,                              Business customers when asked about which Aftersales
                                                                                                                                                      some of the manufacturer apps show the exact service                                     functions they use the apps for, answered that they tend-
                                                                                                                                                      requirements and often also offer the possibility of direct                              ed to use the driving-related functions, for example the
                                                                                                                                                      contact with a dealer.                                                                   communication of destinations to the navigation system
                                                                                                                                                      Manufacturer and dealer apps differ significantly, espe-                                 or the remote control of the auxiliary heating/air condi-
All vehicle manufacturers now offer their customers ve-                   is on a comparable scale: "Over five million customers are                  cially when taking into consideration the information                                    tioning, whilst those private customers asked said they
hicle specific apps (for iOS and Android). The number of                  already using our ‘me-services’ app" says Simon Saretzki,                   content of vehicles with telematic functions. In the man-                                tended to use vehicle-related functions, for example ar-
users is high: at Volkswagen, for example, around 40                      Head of Service Mercedes Benz Cars Sales Germany. In                        ufacturer app, customers can find information about the                                  ranging service appointments, roadside assistance or
percent of customers use the OEM's apps. Lars Eßmann,                     fact however, only 8 percent of private customers do use                    vehicle, for example about upcoming services, data on                                    dealer locations.
Head of Service Germany Volkswagen Passenger Cars,                        the app offered for their vehicle frequently to very frequent-              battery performance, tyre pressure or average fuel con-                                  Mercedes-Benz AG presents a positive example of infor-
emphasises: "The rise in the growing number of app users                  ly. Three quarters of private car drivers and two thirds of                 sumption; information, however, about the dealership is                                  mation exchange between customers and the brand, i.e.
is proportional to the services available”. Opel also has                 company car drivers state that they have never used the                     rarely included. In the dealer app, customers receive more                               via the Mercedes me apps. Here, customers already re-
millionfold app usage and Bas Viveen, Director Customer                   app. When asked why, 77 percent of the customers who                        general data about the vehicle but much more information                                 ceive reminders of their next maintenance via the app and
Care & Aftersales Opel/Vauxhall Europe, reports about five                do not use the app cite that the lack of added value is the                 about the dealership itself. So far, no app covers the entire                            in addition are offered an appropriate individual mainte-
million registered customers at ‘MyOpel’. Mercedes-Benz                   main reason.                                                                range of information, so that customers are sometimes                                    nance service.
                                                                                                                                                      forced to switch between the different apps. This has the
WEBSITE                                                                        APP                                                          CONNECTED CAR                                SOCIAL MEDIA                                                                                  AUTOMOTIVE AFTERSALES | STUDY 2021

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      POTENTIAL FOR AFTERSALES
Service offers with binding price information for the spare                               WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT FROM AN APP
parts and the working hours are rare amongst all dealers                                Added value that apps (should) fulfil: company customers =
and manufacturers. One of the main reasons is that main-                                driving-related vs. private customers = vehicle-related
taining this data is very time-consuming as long as no                                  Use of functions of apps offered for the car
automated pricing for standard services is possible. The                                Q 27.0: Which functions from the app do you use regularly?
dealers state that price information is scare both in the
                                                                                        Communicating destinations                                                      42%
dealer and the manufacturer app.                                                                                                                                                                                                Obtaining                              Binding price                     Appointment                            Purchase of digital
                                                                                              to navigation system                                                                54%                                           information                            information                       booking                                services, parts &
That is surprising as customer and the vehicle data are
usually already stored. In future, a better integration of                                                                                          19%                                                                                                                            2                                                                           2
                                                                                                      Looking for a dealer
systems should meet the customers’ demand for price                                                                                      8%                                                                                                   2                                                                 1
transparency. Offers in the apps are disadvantageous
                                                                                                                                                 17%                                                                                                                                                                                                 0
when customers have to leave the app and continue the                                                Roadside assistance
                                                                                                                                      4%                                                                                                                 4                                                                         4
purchase or booking process via another touchpoint or
channel.                                                                                                                                       14%                                                                              Potential                              Potential                         Potential                               Potential
                                                                                           Online service appointment                   7%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Accepted touchpoint in other           Potential to indicate binding     Strongly in demand by                   Great potential for:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                areas                                  prices in connection with         customers as this can offer
                                                                                          Remote control of auxiliary                        13%                                                                                                                                                                                                 • Accessories Sales/Rental
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       vehicle-related standard          more convenience and
                                                                                                                                                               31%                                                              Development of Aftersales
                                                                                            heating/air conditioning                                                                                                            services by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       services                          usability                               • Purchase of digital
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   services and upgrades in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                manufacturers/dealers in               Support of the                    Dealers and manufacturers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   vehicle configurations
                                                                                                       Ranking by private cars      Private cars            Company cars                                                        planning, to include further           manufacturers is necessary        are already planning further
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mobility services                      for implementation                activities

                                                                                                                                       Basis: Use of app from “rarely“ to „frequently”
                                                                                                                                       Private     5 15
                                                                                                                                      Company 8 21

                                                                                                                Basis: Private cars=59, Company cars=85 | Data displayed as %
   REASONS FOR DISMISSIVE ATTITUDE                                                                                                                                                       Customers when asked whether they would like to use an                                          are not aware of them. When it comes to booking appoint-
                                                                                                                                                                                         app for Aftersales purposes in the future, 60 percent of                                        ments via the app, company car drivers (43 percent) are
 Using appointment booking is (apparently) too time-consuming -                                                                                                                          private car drivers and almost 80 percent of company car                                        more likely to book service appointments than private car
 moreover, one-fifth of company car drivers are unaware of                                                                                                                               drivers answer in the affirmative. For most customers                                           drivers (34 percent). The greatest advantage that the
 such a function.                                                                                                                                                                        usage potential lies mainly in obtaining information (the                                       customers expect is that of user-friendliness, i.e. for ex-
 Reasons against booking service appointments via an app
                                                                                        APPOINTMENT BOOKING OF AFTERSALES SERVICES                                                       state of the vehicle, repair status or push messages, e.g.                                      ample, the possibility of quicker and uncomplicated book-
 Q 31.0: Why would you not book your service appointments online via an app?
                                                                                        When it comes to offers for booking service appointments                                         concerning control symbols), and direct appointment                                             ing of a service appointment via an app. Preferably all
  Too much data to be entered                             20%                           via the app, the dealer and manufacturer apps are almost                                         booking with data transfer.                                                                     customer and vehicle data should already be stored in the
                   by oneself                          13%                              level, the dealers stating that this is possible in ten percent                                  Customised offers from their preferred dealer, as a rule are                                    app, enabling the booking to be made directly when the
                                                                                        of the apps.                                                                                     less in demand - but quite probably because customers                                           service is due. Ideally it should best function as follows:
       Usage is too complicated                           17%                           However, currently few apps offer the option of online
                                                                                        appointment scheduling with the dealer when a service
                                                        15%                             requirement is also to be included.                                                                INTEREST IS THERE                                                                               WILLINGNESS TO USE
      I don't know this function
                                                              21%                       From the customers' point of view too much data must
                                                                                        be entered, usage is awkward, functions are unfamiliar,                                          Almost 80% of company car drivers have at least a latent                                        Almost half of company car drivers would be likely to make
  Price transparency is missing                        14%                              lack of price transparency and no automatic data transfer                                        interest in a service app.                                                                      service appointments via an app - among private car drivers,
                                                     10%                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 probably a third would be willing to do so.
                                                                                        from the vehicle are all obstacles to booking appointments                                       Functions requested
  The data is not automatically                   10%                                   via the app.                                                                                     Q 32.0: What functions in the future would you like to see in a service app                     Likelihood of making a service appointment via an app
                                                                                                                                                                                         on your smartphone?
   taken over from the vehicle                   6%                                     At Mercedes-Benz AG, in addition to making a service                                                                                                                                             Q 29.0: How likely are you to use the option to make a service appointment
                                                                    36% of the
                                                                    private car         appointment, it is also possible to book replacement                                                      See the repair progress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         directly via an app using your smartphone?
   This function is not possible                 7%                 drivers and         mobility online via the ‘Mercedes me’ app. Nevertheless,                                                     status of the vehicle
                      in my app                 5%                  38% of                                                                                                                        when it is at the dealer
                                                                    company car         the telephone is still the preferred method for customers                                                                                                                                                                        34%

                                                                    drivers do not      to make appointments. Only three percent of private car                                              General vehicle status (e.g.                           29%
      I don't have a smartphone              4%                     state any                                                                                                                  wear and tear summary)                                        45%
                 (openly stated)            1%                      specific            drivers and two percent of company car drivers have al-                                                                                                                                           Private cars              9          25               20                   39
                                                                                        ready used the app to make an appointment which is due,                                            Direct appointment booking
Telephone call is faster / easier             4%                                        on the one hand to the lack of the option and on the other,                                         with data being transferred
                (openly stated)              2%                                                                                                                                                        from the vehicle
                                                                                        to the fact that customers do not yet know of this function.                                                                                                                                                                         43%

                                                                                                                                                                                           Push message about control                             24%
No interest / need / advantage               2%                                                                                                                                              symbols with explanation                              29%
                (openly stated)               3%                                        PURCHASE OF DIGITAL SERVICES, PARTS AND
                                                                                        ACCESSORIES                                                                                                                                                                                       Company cars              8              35                16               34
                                                                                                                                                                                              Receive customised offers                      16%
        Lack of personal contact             1%                                         At present, only a few manufacturers offer the possibility                                            from the preferred dealer                    10%
                 (openly stated)              3%
                                                                                        to buy parts and accessories via an app, similarly only in                                                                                                                                                             Very likely             Likely             Unlikely
                Ranking by private cars       Private cars       Company cars           few cases can digital services be booked directly. If it is                                                      Ranking by private cars         Private cars         Company cars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Very unlikely           n/a
                      Basis: Private cars=270, Company cars=270 | Data displayed as %   possible to purchase digital services via an app, then                                                                  Basis: Private cars=270, Company cars=270 | Data displayed as %                            Basis: Private cars=270, Company cars=270 | Data displayed as %.
                                                                                        generally, a redirection to another touchpoint follows.
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