As technological advancements are pushing the standard of what's possible, all kinds of organisations are starting to see how they can optimise their customer service by undergoing a digital transformation. Understandably, the mere thought of reshaping the customer journey might seem daunting. However, if businesses strive to remain successful in the future, the technological developments of today simply cannot be ignored.

Take the mobile phone producer Nokia for example. In the early days of the mobile phone era, the company was known as the global market leader. However, the company stopped innovating. As a result, Apple was able to surpass Nokia by developing a far superior product. Or take the Dutch toy store Intertoys as a more recent example, which failed to upgrade its physical store experience and didn't adapt to the growing popularity of online shopping. As a result, their customers chose for its online competitors.

The pressure to innovate is affecting every organisation across all industries, and those dealing with car damage repairs are no exception.

This article, based on our whitepaper: "How digitalisation increases driver satisfaction", explores the reasons behind the pressing need for digitalisation in customer experience, how this translates to the driver experience, and which benefits it brings companies.

Why the need for digitalisation is increasingly urgent

How consumers experience their communication with a company is extremely vital. Just by being able to have a digital experience, already influences the satisfaction rating. According to a recent Salesforce report, 67% of consumers say the way a company uses technology indicates how it operates in general. Moreover, 72% of consumers expect companies to use new technologies to create a better experience.

The car repair industry is used to a more traditional way of communicating- lengthy phone calls, e-mails, and physical meetings - but innovative changes across other industries have raised the bar. Today, drivers expect a seamless repair journey, but the processes in place often feel outdated, resulting in lots of inefficiencies, manual tasks, rising costs, and... unsatisfied drivers.

Time is the new currency
Many services are now just a few clicks away - customers can find any information, place orders, or contact a support team within seconds. If a service fails to satisfy, many customers will take their business to the company that offers a more efficient service that better fits their needs. It has created a new reality, where customers' time has become extremely valuable.

Take car dealerships, for example, most try to satisfy customers who visit their showroom by offering friendly non-pushy service, complimentary test-drives and a good cup of coffee. However, what they often fail to realise is that nobody wants to spend their free Saturday in a showroom if they don't have to. The automotive manufacturer Tesla has figured this out and decided to accommodate to the evolved needs of customers. A Tesla vehicle can be designed, customised, and purchased online without even leaving the house. Another example of a progressive and customer-oriented organisation is the online insurer Lemonade. Their customer journey is thought out from start to finish: contracts have no fine print and are easily comprehensible, and all claims can be submitted online and are settled in no time. Companies like these disrupt the traditional way of offering service by paying attention to- and valuing their customers' needs and time. And organisations having to offer a repair journey to their drivers could benefit greatly by taking a page out of their book.

Profit can increase tremendously
If done right, digitalisation can increase profit. Technological tools can increase customer retention. If drivers go through an effortless repair experience, it will raise their satisfaction, and create a sense of loyalty towards the company that offered that experience to them. Furthermore, it also helps the organisation accelerate their operations, raise productivity, lower costs, and reduce cycle times.

To confirm this, 80% of surveyed companies have claimed that digital transformation has increased their profitability. Another report suggests that companies could more than double the profits in 5 years, by digitalising the existing workflows.

Ecosystems are the future  
Traditional ways of distributing responsibilities among different services and departments are not as effective as they were a few years ago. Customers expect to receive everything they need, no matter who is 'technically' responsible for it. Digitalisation also creates opportunities for new collaborations. Previously separated services are merging in order to provide a quality service, and as a result, create (or reshape) existing ecosystems. According to a McKinsey report, ecosystems are emerging across all industries, and by 2025, they will account for 30% of global revenue. If companies don't find the right partners to create an ecosystem together, they will risk not becoming part of it themselves, and be out of the loop.

The way ahead

It is evident that the traditional repair journey needs revamping. Digitalisation can improve the driver's repair journey in many ways. Most importantly, it can help save time. Looking at the traditional repair handling process, we can only conclude that it is quite time-consuming; it requires scheduling a physical inspection, driving to the repair shop to get the damage assessed, getting a price estimate, needing approval before being able to schedule the repair, then going there again to get the car repaired. But by using digital tools, the driver could easily arrange a repair remotely. It is now often possible to assess car damage with pictures, taking the physical inspection out of the equation. Drivers simply upload their car damage and select the most suitable body repair shop shortly after, to then plan the repair on a day that fits their schedule; all with just a few clicks and swipes on their smartphone.

In turn, companies gain insight into driver behaviour, and feedback can be easily analysed to understand how service can be improved. During the repair, they can keep track of every step of the process, and potentially intervene to prevent (or solve) any issue that might affect the duration or quality of the repair.

Office worker manager using technology devices gadgets

The cautious approach

Understandably, digitally transforming the repair journey might seem difficult. As traditional systems are in place, implementing a new solution could become problematic if not handled carefully, which is why many companies feel hesitant to make any drastic changes when it comes to digital transformation.

However, due to the increasing urgency, some companies choose to make small efforts in hopes of improving their customer service with a quick fix. They might come out with apps, chat-bots, or automate only parts of their process, but will try to avoid interfering with, or really changing existing operations as much as possible. In the grand scheme of things, minimum efforts like these won't deliver a cohesive and well-thought-out satisfactory driver journey.

By collaborating with tech companies such as Fixico, organisations have an opportunity to become a part of a well-rounded ecosystem, allowing them to offer a seamless experience to their drivers. Fixico connects all stakeholders involved and ensures quality service, constant support, and an effortless and fully digital car damage repair journey.

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