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Women and Car Servicing- What It Means To Us In 2011/12

Today more and more people are moving to minor ‘self-servicing’ of their vehicles due to the financial crunch hitting the world and everyone’s pockets. What is staggering is who is doing it?

There is an enormous growth in ‘back yard’ servicing today. 1 in 3 people have said that they carry out basic home servicing, changing oil and filters when it is required rather than taking it to their service centre.

Women are joining into this trend more than anyone, particularly Gen Y. They are more likely to take things into their own hands today than be ‘conned’ into paying for unnecessary work or being up-sold over the counter. The later is particularly so. It has come to their attention that the every time the dealer services their car they will inevitably be a phone call asking if they would like some other ‘recommended’ servicing before they collect their vehicle. It seems like revenue raising or overselling – and for the most part it is.

People today are recognising the cheaper avenues for servicing such as their local garage and places like Ultratune and K Mart Tyre and Auto as safe, reliable and cost effective. The ever increasing information flow such as warranties are NOT void by manufacturers if work is carried out by professionals with log book history are showing how much money the manufacturers service centres are actually making, and people are not prepared to pay over the odds anymore. Gen Y’s are more capable than ever as they have been raised by Gen X’s mistakes…not to follow. Gen Y’s may not know how to ‘play’ a record, talk to your face or ‘dial’ a telephone, but they surely know how to research and act on anything. In 10 years time Gen Y’s will be in their forties, so watch how things change faster than ever before!

People generally today are now convinced that they will not get value for money or over the top customer service by going to the ‘dealer’ for servicing their car. The survey involving 2091 customers who had booked a service in the past 2 years was conducted by Colmar Bruton and commissioned by the customer satisfaction rating agency Canstar Blue.

The motor vehicle has come a long way and many of us look under the bonnet and just see a blur of technology, metal and plastic. You would be right, but under all that protective plastic and computer wires still remains an engine that needs oil, water and TLC before anything. An impressive 26% of women and 38% of men bucked the stereotype or norm to perform basic car servicing at home.

It is good news to hear that people are still confident (at the most part) for professional service. What this survey shows is that it is up to these professionals to remain so and be competent and cost effective to gain and retain customers. It is time for the dealers to re-evaluate their costs and work practices to draw their buying customers back.

The first step in the right direction is seen by companies like Ford, Toyota, Hyundai , and Mitsubishi who are now ‘price-capping’ their scheduled service costs. Some have even offered ‘free servicing ‘ as part of the deal

We all know the best customer is a return customer, for with them comes their family and friends, so don’t expect the manufacturers and dealers to keep losing their customers. There will be much more aggression from them, which can only mean one thing…a better deal for us, the customer!

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