Market Gravity and Deloitte embarked on an open innovation initiative called D5. The aim of the work was to spend 5 weeks uncovering the biggest challenges automotive customers face when it comes to car maintenance, and design solutions for those problems.
Car maintenance is a negative, anxiety-inducing experience for most car owners, described as “like going to the Dentist”. There are 37 million cars licensed in the UK alone, that’s a huge market, ripe for innovation.
Over 5 weeks, we spoke with 60 customers, mechanics and dealers across Europe. We immersed ourselves in the stories and experiences of every one of them.
Our plan is to share this work with each and every player in the automotive industry. It’s worth saying these ideas are works in progress, we welcome feedback and our next steps are to find ways of making them real for the benefit of automotive customers across Europe.
The Big Problem
We heard time and time again that a big problem for customers when it comes to car maintenance is that they don’t understand enough about how cars work to justify whether or not they’re getting a good deal at the garage or service centre. It can sometimes feel like the mechanic is speaking a different language entirely!
When something goes wrong with their car or they take it in for an MOT, they have no idea whether it’ll be a quick fix, or something more major meaning they’ll be left without their car for a while. There’s also a prevailing view that some mechanics will ‘create’ problems with the car and add them to the bill, just to bump up the price. There’s a serious lack of trust.
Watch our insight video here to see what customers have to say about maintaining their cars.
Optic revolutionises the car MOT experience, showcasing the issues with your car in an easy to understand, visual dashboard.
Who loves Optic?
We spoke to young drivers, families with children and older motorists - all of whom said Optic would improve their current MOT experience as it makes it easy for them to review and understand, at a glance, exactly what repairs are needed for their car.
They appreciated being able to gain a deeper understanding as to exactly what was wrong with their vehicles as well as the effects this would have on them, for example, if they didn’t get a minor fault fixed today how long could they wait until it became a major fault? They were also able to see a thorough breakdown of the cost and time recommended repairs would take to complete.
Being able to see pictures of their own car and examine the problem right from their mobile provided the means to rekindle the trust in mechanics, and they felt reassured that they were only surfacing problems that were genuinely wrong with the car.
So what’s in it for car manufacturers?
By offering increased transparency and convenience when it comes to the MOT results, car manufacturers foster increased customer loyalty and satisfaction. Moreover, creating a service which makes approving repairs easy means that car manufacturers can recommend their genuine parts.
There’s the additional option for customers to install a telematics device which can alert them of possible problems with their car before they become costly issues. This is likely to be offered at a fee, but it can also be used by the car manufacturer to increase their understanding of how customers drive their cars through data collection.
Well if you're a car manufacturer or business within the automotive industry, we'd love to make this idea real. It's not perfect, we know that but customers we tested this with LOVED it. So let's make it happen together.
Get in touch to find out more via the contact us page.