12 December 2023

Italians are loyal to their trusted garages but willing to change for greater reliability, convenience, and flexibility.

Customers who turn to authorized and independent garages and repairers for work on their cars are loyal to the same service provider, complain about a lack of innovation in different stages of the relationship, and would like personalized services capable of meeting their needs and requirements. This is the picture painted by the Service Customer Study – Quintegia’s observatory on behaviors, attitudes, and expectations of automotive consumers in the after-sales sector – which surveyed 3,841 customers with 60 questions, of whom 3,217 turn to authorized repairers, and the remainder to independent repairers..

In the management of customer service in after-sales services, 58% of respondents declared a lack of innovation, compared to 14% who found a lot of innovation and perceived a significant change of pace.
More than 90% confirmed that they always, or most of the time, rely on the same garage. This data speaks to the degree of trust placed in already known entities. But the market is competitive because 4of customers of authorized garages are willing to consider alternatives, a percentage that doubles (80%) in the case of those who turn to independent garages. Reflection and data that grow even more if the sample focuses on customers belonging to the so-called Generation Z and Millennials, with values rising to 48% for customers of authorized operators and 91% for independents.

The factors leading to the idea of changing the service provider, in the first case, are reliability and quality of interventions (57%), price (27%) considered as “must-haves” in the service, convenience and flexibility (31%), additional services (12%), reasons that fall into differentiating elements. In the case of independent realities, the first aspect remains almost unchanged (54%), the sensitivity to price (51%) increases, and the share of additional services (20%) and the percentage regarding the customer experience are similar. The issue related to price was explored: the result shows that most customers (58%) evaluate “other factors” when choosing the garage to turn to. This means that there is an important perspective to make a difference, without touching the economic lever.

A constant and structured relationship, current customer experience, and personalized services are the elements that support change in favor of a business that can regenerate and which results in the satisfaction of the end user. A path to digitalization is desired by customers, both to obtain basic information and to establish a relationship and get quotes. 53% of the sample attributes added value to flexibility, such as the possibility of picking up the car after 6:00 PM (53%) and doing the acceptance before 8:00 AM (35%). In terms of services, for 67% of respondents, it would be desirable to be followed by a single 360-degree contact person, even with innovative formulas capable of responding to the individual needs of each user.”