Take on the Google ads that make franchised servicing look expensive

18th Mar 2018

The BookMyGarage Directory

Motorists also think that franchises are not interested in servicing vehicles that are over 3 years old. SecretService™ from BookMyGarage provides the solution to winning new conquest customers, whilst providing the intelligence about which existing customers are about to book a service elsewhere, thereby improving customer retention.

Franchise garages want to sell more cars and most of them also have excess servicing capacity, so they are always looking for ways to:

  1. Retain existing customers, by servicing their current car until they are ready to buy a newer car from the franchise,
  2. Win back former customers, by getting them to bring their current car back in for a service and then upselling them a newer one, and
  3. Gain new, conquest customers, in terms of both car sales and car servicing.

But franchise garages seem to have a serious image problem. Car owners today are swayed by the ever-present ads on Google from chains like Halfords and online disruptors like MyCarNeedsA, ServicingStop and others that proclaim that they are “60% cheaper than main dealers.” They are in effect, educating consumers, albeit wrongly, that franchise servicing is expensive.

They also seem to believe that franchises only perform work on cars that they have sold or are those of a certain brand. And, of course, car owners think franchises never perform MOT tests because they also assume franchises never work on cars that are more than three years-old.

Franchise garages need to change how they are perceived

With new car sales down across the UK, franchises are relying more on the aftersales market to assist with remaining profitable, but many say that they lose 30-70% of their customers from the end of the third year of their relationship onwards. Given how much more expensive it is to win a new customer, or win one back, than it is to retain an existing one, this a worrying trend.

They also seem to believe that franchises only perform work on cars that they have sold or are those of a certain brand. And, of course, car owners think franchises never perform MOT tests because they also assume franchises never work on cars that are more than three years-old.

SecretService™ from BookMyGarage is the solution

BookMyGarage designed SecretService™ specifically for franchise garages. For a fixed monthly fee, BookMyGarage markets a franchise via Google, Facebook and bookmygarage.com, the UK’s only unbiased garage comparison site, using a compelling offer under the label “SecretService™” and not the franchise’s own name and logo.

There are numerous good reasons for taking this approach. A car owner would deliberately not be shown the franchise’s name until after a booking is made to stop the previously-mentioned biases (that franchises are expensive, etc.) from coming into play and to prevent price-related brand erosion. SecretService™ levels the playing-field for franchises. It’s basically the same concept employed by hotels, who offer secret, last-minute deals through indirect channels to attract customers they know would not typically be considering their property. For the first time, franchises would be evaluated against other garages favourably by car owners and they would win conquest customers, or lure back old ones, that were almost certainly out of their reach otherwise.

SecretService™ opens a franchise up to new conquest customers

Googe has publicly stated that 58% of all car owners search online before making any car service booking and our intelligence suggests that, as the end of the third-year approaches, up to 40% of franchise customers go online to assess their options.

“We were able to see which of our customers we were about to lose so that we could retain them. We also gained new customers who openly admitted that they would not have considered us at all. SecretService™ is now an important part of our retention and conquest strategy.” -Chris Allen, Service Manager at Alan Day Volkswagen in London

BookMyGarage will ensure that a franchise’s SecretService™ promotional offer features prominently and is well-positioned in competition with all the other brands advertising online. Furthermore, BookMyGarage will target relevant Facebook users with a franchise’s SecretService™ offer.

Of course, a franchise’s SecretService™ will also feature at the top of a list of garages when a consumer searches, using any sort criteria, at BookMyGarage’s increasingly popular consumer-facing website, bookmygarage.com for which bookings have increased at a rate of 300% a year.

SecretService™ provides market intelligence that wins customers back

Franchise garages that already use SecretService™ greatly appreciate the intelligence BookMyGarage provides on the vehicle registration data of those car owners in their area who are conducting searches on Google.

This data is cross-referenced with a franchise’s database to see which of their customers is thinking of taking their business elsewhere, allowing the franchise to provide an alternative compelling offer to ensure the customer is retained. Similarly, the data could be used to win back former customers at the point when they are shopping around.

SecretService™ drives incremental revenue for franchises

When the promotional offer is clicked on, the car owner is taken to a franchise-agreed, dynamically-priced list of services, whereby the price of an MOT varies depending on what combination of services is selected. As a guide, 82% of bookings made via bookmygarage.com are for a scheduled car service with an MOT.

SecretService™ is extremely cost-effective. Once a customer has been lured into a franchise’s showroom, the opportunity will exist to entice them with a white-glove experience that is rarely replicated by independent garages and to walk them through the benefits of the franchise’s service and purchase plans.

It’s a very cost-effective way of getting customers through the showroom to see the attractive monthly payment terms that entice conquest car sales.

SecretService™ from BookMyGarage is right for your franchise

For more information about SecretService™ from BookMyGarage, and to Request a Consultation, please visit the SecretService™ page or call the SecretService™ team on 0330 124 5661