Pega Survey Reveals Aftermarket Service Costs and Brand Loyalty Take a Backseat to Convenience for Vehicle Owners

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Results uncover how automakers and dealers can deliver experiences that ease the burden of vehicle ownership

Pegasystems Inc., the software company empowering digital transformation at the world’s leading enterprises, today announced the results of a new global survey that revealed vehicle owners make aftermarket services decisions based on convenience, rather than brand or saving money. Vehicle owners are primarily driven by factors that alleviate the burden of vehicle ownership – such as great customer service (selected by 49 percent), location convenience (45 percent), and ease of making an appointment (41 percent).

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Delivering exceptional service is critical for automakers to protect the value of their aftermarket services business and brand loyalty in the face of increasing alternatives to vehicle ownership. To find out how vehicle owners make aftermarket services decisions, Pega commissioned a survey of more than 4,000 global vehicle owners to explore their experiences and frustrations with vehicle ownership. Above all else, the results revealed vehicle owners expect a proactive, effortless, and high-quality experience from their aftermarket services providers – which includes dealers and independent repair shops.

Cost and brand matter less to vehicles owners than convenience

While brand and cost are still somewhat important to consumers when selecting where to service their vehicle, it’s not nearly as important to vehicle owners as some may think. While many auto dealers may bank on customers returning for service based on brand association or drop their service prices to be more competitive, the survey shows that:

  • Only one in three (33 percent) consumers choose a service provider with the same brand as their vehicle.
  • Even fewer (30 percent) care about their vehicle being serviced where they purchased the car.
  • Rather than selecting the cheapest option, only 30 percent of vehicle owners said they care about cost.

Car owners want services that mitigate the stress of ownership

Despite vehicles being smarter and more connected than ever before, there are still gaps in aftermarket service that cause vehicle owners major headaches. For example:

  • Forty percent of owners didn’t know what to do if they had a vehicle issue on the road.
  • Thirty-nine percent didn’t know if a repair was covered by warranty.
  • Sixty percent had trouble reclaiming money paid out of pocket that should have been covered by their warranty.

To avoid some of these stressors, vehicle owners want automakers or dealers to anticipate their needs and connect with them before these issues arise. For example, most owners (65 percent) want to be contacted or to receive an in-vehicle alert to remind them it’s time for service, while nearly 70 percent want more information on getting the most value from their vehicles, such as software updates, features, arranging service appointments, and connecting devices.

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Take a high-tech, high-touch hybrid approach

While 73 percent of owners still like to use the phone to set up service appointments, there’s a big appetite for new technology that makes it easy to check on the status of repairs/service:

  • 74 percent want to track the progress of their vehicle service via a mobile app
  • 78 percent want a text/push notification when their vehicle is ready
  • 77 percent want a text/push notification when their vehicle needs additional repairs

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