Digitalisation has disrupted the world as we know it. Today, consumers from any part of the globe can order a product, receive a service, or request information at any given time in just a few clicks. Consumers’ expectations of quick and accessible service keep growing, and the bar is continuously raised to higher levels.

These fast-paced developments push all kinds of companies to look for innovative solutions to satisfy their customers. While digitalisation offers many new approaches and opportunities, one trend clearly stands out: the emergence of digital ecosystems.

Simply put, an ecosystem is an integration of services and channels that work together to create a seamless customer experience. More and more companies are joining ecosystems to increase the quality of service they offer to their customers.

This trend has been growing at such an accelerating speed, that by 2025, according to a McKinsey report, 30% of all global revenue will come from ecosystems. So, what effect can ecosystems have on the car damage repair journey of drivers?

This article, based on our whitepaper: "How digitalisation increases driver satisfaction", explains the reasons behind the emergence of ecosystems, the benefits of joining one, and the ways in which it can positively affect driver satisfaction and car damage repair management as a whole.

Change in perspective

To understand the value of digital ecosystems requires a modern mindset on how a company can offer service to its customers.

Generally speaking, many organisations are used to compartmentalising their offerings. To give a clear example, let’s look at what the customer journey entails when purchasing a product at a store. Even then, multiple parties are already involved, and responsible for different (yet crucial) aspects: the store that sells the product, the service that delivers it, and the manufacturer that offers the warranty.

This approach has always made sense; different parties are responsible for different aspects. However, because these separate services don’t interact with each other, consumers are left to their own devices. If they want to stay updated or even ask a simple question, they would have to speak to multiple parties. This approach does not take into account how these services could interact, and to what extent they can affect each other.

Today, technology and services have gotten so interdependent on each other that a smooth integration of multiple services has become a crucial aspect for a satisfactory customer journey. The success of one operation lies in the success of another one. And in turn, the ineffectiveness of one process can negatively affect all others; one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.

Digital ecosystems are based on a holistic and customer-centric approach that focuses on every aspect of the customer journey. For example, for drivers, change in the car repair process is already long overdue. The traditional repair handling has become outdated; drivers’ needs are not met, fleet- or claim managers lack control, and the repair journey is filled with inefficient (and often costly) steps. By joining an ecosystem that hosts players from different fields, the journey can be greatly improved, which in turn can raise driver satisfaction and optimise repair management for everyone involved.

Raising driver satisfaction

When dealing with car damage, drivers usually have to go through a lot to arrange the repair, and many things can go wrong - miscommunication, slow replies, limited access to customer service, and lack of updates just to name a few. The list of drivers’ needs only keeps on growing, and if companies fail to accommodate them, it can lead to dissatisfaction.

Drivers do not want to call or email multiple parties, repeat the same information, or waste time on driving back and forth to a body repair shop, not if they don’t have to. A well-attuned digital ecosystem can smoothen the process and enable drivers to experience a quick and hassle-free repair journey.

By joining such an ecosystem, companies have an opportunity to give drivers more control over the repair process and allow them to voice their preferences. All communication can be handled in one integrated platform, and the repair can be arranged, controlled, and finished without switching between different devices and tools. At Fixico, for example, drivers can handle every aspect of their repair in a personalised and digital environment, without having to worry about who is technically responsible for which step. In our experience, an approach like this can save drivers a lot of time, and the ease in which repairs can be handled can raise the satisfaction tremendously.

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Refining car repair management

Becoming a part of an ecosystem doesn’t just benefit drivers. Fleet-or claim managers usually play an integral part in the repair handling process and are equally affected by the inefficiencies of the more traditional approach.

Often, companies have no insights or access to data. They don’t see the status of repairs, receive ratings or reviews, or have the tools in place to assess the needs of their drivers accurately. Keeping track of all of this is already challenging enough for smaller companies, let alone organisations with drivers active all over the country.

By joining an ecosystem and using an integrated platform, companies have the opportunity to collect data from different sources. Data can be gathered from any step in the repair process: how much time did it take to arrange the repair; what were the driver’s requests; and how well did the body repair shop perform?

When the whole repair process is managed in one integrated platform that connects all parties involved, each individual member can add specific value to the journey and benefit from the value that others bring in the form data and insights. Reports show if KPIs are achieved, which stages of the process are optimised, which steps require special attention, and how satisfied drivers were with their repair.

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By retrieving and analysing, companies can notice patterns and trends, learn from driver behaviour and optimise the entire process. These valuable insights can assist in coming up with new innovative ways of accommodating to the drivers’ needs and help organisations to be one step ahead of the competition.

Across the board, many companies are getting more accustomed to the thought of ecosystems being the prevailing approach in the future of work and service provision.

Many players in the car repair management field are starting to embrace the ecosystem approach. For example, companies like Ballast Nedam and Mobility Service have used it to optimise their repair process tremendously. Since joining Fixico’s platform, their drivers can start and complete their repair journey in an easy-to-use digital environment that is connected to all relevant stakeholders, and designed to offer as much convenience as possible.

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