A new survey has revealed that local garages are streets ahead when it comes to customer trust.
The survey, conducted with 1,000 respondents by BookMyGarage.com, reveals that trust drives over half of bookings. Of the respondents asked, 53% said they use a preferred garage because they trust them to resolve the issue with their car, or because they have used the same garage for years. Only 3% of the UK population selects its garage because it is a well-known brand.
For some the most attractive USP in a garage was their speed, efficiency and expertise. One in five said that the quick diagnosis of their car problem, and knowledgeable help, was their primary motivation for choosing a garage.
One in 10 made the decision to use a garage based on the availability of online booking. London leads the way in online bookings, with one in three (32%) booking car services this way, with the South East showing one in four (28%). The North West and Wales show one in 10 (9%) of bookings online.
This suggests that there is a real opportunity for garages that wish to boost their business by increasing bookings online, using a booking directory such as BookMyGarage.com.
UK motorists fear being cheated more than anything else when they book a garage, with three quarters (74%) stating that being oversold or facing hidden costs were their main worries. Four in 10 (38%) were concerned about being oversold, while over a third (36%) feared hidden costs.
Financial issues caused particular unease in the North East, where six in 10 (57%) were concerned about being oversold and over a quarter (28%) worried about hidden costs. In the East Midlands, respondents were more relaxed about being oversold, with only 23% being concerned. On the other hand, four in 10 (41%) were wary of hidden costs.
Surprisingly, money fears outweighed concerns about poor customer service. Only one in 10 (9%) fear poor service when booking a garage.
Reputation is king
It comes as no surprise that reputation came out as the deciding factor for respondents when choosing a suitable garage with whom to do business. The survey found that just over half of respondents (54%) cited it as the main reason for selecting one garage over another.
A fixed-price promise was also incredibly important to one in four participants (26%), especially in the South East where one in three (33%) said it was critical. However in Yorkshire, where reputation was slightly higher than the national average at 57%, only 16% defined a fixed price promise as the deciding factor in choosing a new garage.
Door to door
Being stranded without a car is every motorists fear so garages offering collection and delivery came out on top according to almost half (46%) of the UK sample. Regionally, both Wales and the South West prize collection and delivery the highest at 58% each, where as in the West Midlands (31%) and Scotland (32%) only half as many people make it a priority. However, a drop off service is valued more highly in each region.
A drop off service rated well in the overall survey, with 32% selecting this option, making a total of 78% of respondents focusing on logistics of the service as the defining factor when making a booking.
Generationally speaking a drop off service is important to just over one in three of 18-24 year olds (37%), whereas only 14% of 65+ respondents value this service highly, preferring collection and delivery (56%).
Karen Rotberg, Director of BookMyGarage.com, said: “It’s great to see that local garages came out as the preferred option for motorists looking for a reliable and reputable service.
“It has also highlighted that there is great scope for these garages to use a booking service such as BookMyGarage.com. This service can encourage both new and existing customers to book online at any time of the day or night.
“The survey clearly shows that these garages can expand their reach, increase their customer base and improve customer service by embracing their online presence.”