Do you want to enter the auto repair industry? Or perhaps you want to map out the future of your existing garage. Either way, you’ll want to know exactly what the next decade holds for the industry.
We’ve analyzed upcoming trends to give you a clear idea of what to expect till 2030. For starters, many garages have become digitalized with the help of efficient auto repair software. Another trend is a strong online presence. What’s more? Keep reading to find out!
What’s the Current Situation?
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped all sorts of businesses all over the world. Many shops shut down, and a majority shifted online. The auto repair industry also took a severe hit because of a sudden decrease in customer inflow. Some garages decided to go digital, though, and these were the ones who fared better than others.
Although there were losses, the industry is projected to grow over the next few years. Why? A big reason is that more and more people are opting for used cars rather than buying brand-new ones.
In 2019, the Kelley Blue Book reported that new cars cost $37000 on average, while used ones cost around $20000. These values have risen dramatically in 2021 because of the pandemic and global silicon shortages. So people save money with used cars, and then they look for auto repair businesses for maintenance.
This means that auto repair businesses are climbing back up steadily. However, there are some particular trends they will need to adopt in order to survive in the post-pandemic world.
Digitization and Modernization
Vehicles today are becoming more and more advanced. They contain sophisticated software and parts. Electric cars are also rapidly becoming popular. So you need to ensure your garage is equipped to repair modern cars. And your technicians should also be knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle these cars.
At the same time, your auto shop should also have streamlined processes. If customers see you struggling with pen, paper and Excel sheets to record data, they would not be able to trust you with their precious vehicles.
On the other hand, if you invested in sophisticated cloud-based repair shop software, you’d be able to efficiently streamline all activities. Customers will be more inclined towards your garage. When they see the modern solutions implemented within your shop, they’d be able to trust you handling their cars.
And that’s not all! Smart repair shop software makes your life a lot easier, too. There’s no need to spend too long on handling finances or making physical copies of customer histories. So your employees can be more productive and perform better.
Implementing modern payment methods is also a growing trend you should take note of. Customers now prefer paying with a simple swipe or tap instead of having to fish through bags or pockets for money.
In a few years, paper money may become entirely obsolete. Sophisticated auto shop software offers various integrated payment methods like MasterCard, VISA and PayPal. So you can offer ease and flexibility to your customers, and appear even more reliable.
Better Analytics and Business Strategies
Do you keep a physical record of vehicle histories at your auto shop? These records probably take up a lot of time and space. How often do you examine them, though? It is difficult to look through and analyze lengthy physical records. And human error means that the information would be inconsistent and unreliable.
To compete with other auto repair businesses now, you need to be constantly on top of your game. You require extensive business plans and a clear goal. For constant growth, you must be aware of business health at all times. And detailed analytics are essential for that. You won’t be able to check analytics through the data in filing cabinets. What’s the alternative?
Auto repair software, of course! Numerous garage owners are investing in smart software that helps them in business management. It offers seamless and consistent data entry. Then the software analyzes and organizes the data. You get inventory reports at only one click, detailed financial statistics are always available, and you can also monitor detailed productivity reports. So you always know the strengths and weaknesses of your auto shop.
Increased Connectivity with Customers and an Online Presence
When the pandemic hit, people stopped leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary. The reduced customer traffic meant businesses faced heavy losses. Some auto shops even shut down completely.
Who fared better? The auto shops that transitioned to online methods of communication. Even when all other communication channels closed, they kept in touch with their customers. They utilized social media platforms and websites to keep their customers in the loop. Loyalty benefits and reward programs were also initiated and communicated via email. And what’s more: customers were given the option to book repair slots right from home.
Even after the pandemic ends, businesses that offer connectivity will continue to do better than others. So you need to devise a comprehensive communication strategy. Invest in a website and create social media accounts. Platforms like Facebook also let you run ads at a very low cost.
You should also regularly email your existing customer base. This is a tedious task though, so a good idea is to get repair software that will automatically send out emails and text messages.
Smart auto shop software also offers dedicated customer portals. This means your customers can book repair jobs and track progress comfortably from home. They’ll also be able to provide precious feedback through the portals.
COVID-19 and technological advances combined have completely changed the landscape of the auto repair industry. Garage owners have to adapt to new trends to expand their business horizons. Auto repair software is your best friend in this regard because it can streamline and boat your workflow.
So what are you waiting for? Get auto repair software now and take your business to the next level!