During my time in automotive comms & marketing I’ve been fortunate enough to drive many a ‘brand new’ car. It’s only the last 5 or 6 years when working automotive agency-side where I’ve had a proper taste of being the consumer. Before that I was OEM-based, changing cars every 3 or 4 months before the mats were dirty or the kids had real opportunity to spill something on the back seat. Getting into new product regularly was a benefit of the role after all.
Today I’m no longer picking from the company car spreadsheet & it’s not somebody else’s problem when my car needs to be serviced. Being a real consumer is a bit of an eye opener to be honest.
So I’m pleased to share I recently had a fantastic experience at my local Halfords Autocentre in Uxbridge. Hands up, I didn’t actually know Halfords had an Autocentre in Uxbridge until I started searching online, but it turns out I’ve driven past it many a time and it’s 10 minutes from home. Perfect.
While it could do with a bit of exterior punch to increase visibility & some local awareness activity to raise exposure, the experience of booking online & visiting was pleasantly surprising. I was already buoyed by the fact that the particular service I was looking for was £100 cheaper than when booking with the OEM retailer, which wasn’t local to me either. The website experience felt right, email & SMS confirmations were on point, their team were expecting me when I arrived & knew what I had booked (which should be a given but often isn’t in my experience of aftersales). On arrival I also spoke to their team about a tyre issue totally unrelated to the service I had booked, which led to a free tyre check & a further £25 to repair a slow puncture. Upselling, but done in the right way, the value of which far outweighed the spend on my part.
It got me to thinking that I hadn’t necessarily had Halfords on my original consideration list for vehicle servicing. Are they on yours?
My go to thinking was the Audi UK retailer, someone like Kwik-Fit (GB) Ltd or other local trading estate garages. Halfords in my head had always been stores with bikes and tents, but here they are on my doorstep offering a great auto service. As a marketing professional there would absolutely be tweaks I’d make to their local activity to boost awareness & capture those digital clicks, but as an aftersales customer they ticked all the right boxes. Looking into things a bit further it turns out that 75% of Halfords total sales now comes from its motoring division with a firm aim of becoming a one stop shop for motoring ownership. And they’re just launching a new campaign to help drive things even further.
If you're a national brand with local partners and want to improve your aftersales marketing performance, or just want to improve your customers’ experience, get in contact with We Are Acuity now. We’d be happy to have a conversation and see how we can help. Why not schedule a FREE 30-minute assessment today here? It will be well worth your time.
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