Saturday, January 25Serving the aftermarket

Incomplete dealer data offers independents MOT boost

Independent garages may be able to exploit a lack of data gathering by franchised dealerships to win MOT tests and work in what is going to be the busiest year for the service.

A third of all customer records held by UK franchised dealerships are inaccurate or incomplete, potentially preventing these businesses from following up with customers when it comes to three-year-old cars now due their first MOT. 

A nationwide analysis of 47,500 customer records, with names removed, conducted by Market Delivery, found that 11% were missing a mobile phone number, while 18% do not include an email address. Around 7% of customer records had a missing due date for a vehicle’s first MOT, although this was as high as 34% among selected dealers with the worst record keeping. 

Vehicle servicing due dates are missing or erroneous in 11% of all records, with the worst performers lacking accurate data in up to 40% of all cases.

This means there is a possibility that a third of franchised dealers are not able to contact customers and recommend their workshops for MOT and servicing work. As 2016 was a record year for car sales, with 2.5 million vehicles registered, this year is expected to be the busiest for MOT demand in quite some time. 

With no contact from their original place of purchase, customers may look around for their vehicle’s first MOT, giving the aftermarket an opportunity to step in and bring that customer into independent channels. However, it is also, therefore, imperative that garages taking MOT work for new customers do not fall into the same trap and record necessary details in order to remind drivers of their vehicle’s future test dates. 

Jeremy Evans, managing director at Marketing Delivery, said: “New car registration might be weakening in 2019, but this year marks peak MOT for workshops, with more tests expected to be carried out than at any other time in history.

“It is imperative that franchised and independent businesses ensure their customer records are up-to-date, if they exploit this unique opportunity.

“Workshops that gain consent from a customer to contact them via email immediately put themselves in contention to capture a greater share of the available service and MOT work. Without this data, or by failing to list an accurate MOT ‘due date’ on a customer’s record, there is every chance that a customer will look elsewhere for any work they may need carried out on their vehicle.”