Service Booking Issues - The Trials & The Truths

Service Booking should be a key element of a motor trade website. After all, we all know that aftersales services are a key customer retention figure, and a sure-fire way to stay in contact with a previously sales related database – not to mention exposing new customers to your excellent levels of service!

Whilst we all agree service booking matters, our approach hasn’t always put the client first. Instead, the digital focus has been on integrating into calendars and systems, and for multi-franchise groups, showcasing a huge portfolio of prices and options for different models.

Recently, we have analysed the performance of these multi-step forms and discovered that, as expected, the more options and the more complicated the booking process, the higher the drop off level is.

Here are some of the key issues we often see customers and dealers encountering with online service booking:

How much customers know about their servicing options.

Evidence from website usage and surveys has shown that customers have very limited knowledge about servicing schedules and terminology. This means that large online forms with lots of different options can be very confusing.

We recommend taking the decision away from customers as much as possible (i.e. only showing them relevant options to their fuel type, franchise and age) and making everything straightforward. Why not consider using tooltips to explain what certain options are?

Are you using words your customers will understand?

It is common sense to use language that customers will understand when selling any sort of product or service. However, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of assuming that how you describe things tallies up with how your target audience does.

A case in point? Our evidence has shown that “Aftersales” means very little to customers – in fact, they often assume they are services only for people who have bought their car at your dealership. “Servicing” tends to get a much more positive recognition.

Is your booking form more convenient for you, or your customer?

Multi-step booking forms are great for dealers. After all, they collect all the information you could ever possibly need – extensive car details, all the personal contact types, the specific details of exactly what service the customer needs. It’s no surprise that the industry is so focused on making sure that these forms capture everything and make their lives easier!

However, they’re not so convenient for the customer. Evidence shows that only 49% of people who view a form even beginning filling it out – and that’s worse when the form is long and convoluted. Add to this our previous point about many customers not knowing what kind of service is best, and you see why multi-step service form drop-off is quite so high.

The key? To balance your needs against the benefit of an increased level of bookings – surely you’d prefer more appointments even if there is a little bit more follow up needed from your team?

The above areas make it clear that the time has come to begin practising what we preach, and deliver a consumer-focused, conversion-friendly service booking form that makes it super-easy to book (a maximum of two steps), and which offers alternative contact options as standard.

This form will empower concerned or confused customers, maximising leads and delivering better aftersales performance. Focusing on our key pillars of clarity, convenience and practicality, these new forms are simple to update, quick and convenient for the customer, and make getting in touch as easy as possible.

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