MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Eighty-one percent of drivers agree that quality service is more important than price, Google found in its recent study, “The Road to Winning Drivers: What Drivers Want in Automotive Aftermarket Service.”
Among other goals, Google set out to discover if digital influences drivers in their automotive maintenance decisions, and the search engine giant concluded that “drivers are yours to win." “Drivers tend to stay with one shop due to lack of differentiation among service providers rather than high satisfaction,” Google stated in its research.
Survey respondents were asked to name which chains come to mind when they think of vehicle service. While 7 percent responded “Ford” and “Midas” and 10 percent answered “Jiffy Lube,” 59 percent of customers could not recall a brand name at all. Honda, Pep Boys, Firestone, AAMCO, Toyota, AAA and Goodyear each received two percent of respondents’ recalls.
Google also found that one in three drivers is uncommitted to a particular auto service provider. Even the committed drivers can be converted, the company added, with 36 percent of survey respondents indicated that they don’t favor a specific mechanic. “I go wherever is affordable/convenient,” respondents answered.
The study also found that each month, 70 million searches on Google are for aftermarket services. Drivers are also looking online for help on changing oil filters and brake fluid, as well as fixing fuel pumps. “These topics alone represent one year of video content,” according to Google’s internal data on YouTube site visits.
Because 43 percent of drivers perform a search online or on a smartphone when considering where to service their vehicle, Google said, “It’s critical to connect with drivers whenever and wherever they are searching for their next service.”
Despite the potential opportunities its finding present for dealers, Google noted that 62 percent of consumers will research a service technician’s recommendation. The company added that 51 percent of service customers are watching online videos for that research, while 15 percent contacted another shop. Additionally, 13 percent of respondents said they visited another shop’s website and searched on phone or tablet, while 8 percent said they searched on a computer.