Surf’s up: Get on top of the digital wave and work deluge says Eurorepar

Published:  18 August, 2020

With the backlog of MOT and repair work now surging into garages, the PSA-backed Eurorepar Car Service (ERCS) network is urging garages to look at updating their digital presence so they can make the best of the opportunity in a changed business landscape.

While many garages shut their doors initially when lockdown began, once they reopened they found that customer numbers were down overall, and the number of MOTs being sought dropped dramatically as many motorists took advantage of the MOT exemption.

Meanwhile, despite the difficulties, the lockdown also pushed many further online than ever before, with e- commerce becoming even more central to the functioning of many businesses. Garages were forced to become effectively contactless, with most customer handling taking place in the digital sphere. This trend is set to continue as COVID-19 remains with us, but beyond that, it offers many opportunities that had been under-explored by businesses in the sector.   According to Adrian Mossop, Head of Network & Business Development at ERCS, the changing landscape may pose a challenge to garage businesses, but those that meet these head-on will be in a strong position to thrive in the post-pandemic aftermarket: “For those garages that have ridden out the COVID-19 storm, there awaits a deluge of vehicles in desperate need of care and attention. There is also a new customer base that has become more accustomed to conducting its business online, expecting responsive service and ultimate convenience. There is now an opportunity for savvy garages to not only reconnect with existing customers, but to tap into a whole new demographic and generate new business.”

“Those garages that intensify their focus on marketing to make themselves more visible will reap the most rewards. That doesn’t mean simply placing a quarter-page advert in your local magazine or newspaper. It means ensuring quick responses to reviews on social medial; making sure that you have a professional, intuitive website that works on all devices; having a presence on a reliable work provision platform and ensuring that your signage and branding on-site makes you stand out from the crowd.”

Adrian continued: “One way that garage owners can elevate their business and increase their visibility in their local area is by joining a garage network, such as Eurorepar Car Service. ERCS is an initiative aimed at forward-thinking garages that want to differentiate themselves from local competition, attract new customers and increase profitability. Members retain their independence and remain completely in control of their own destiny, while benefitting from local marketing and PR support, ERCS’ extensive list of partnerships and affiliations, business training and technical support, and an association with the trusted PSA brand.   He added: “The post-COVID  aftermarket should provide fertile ground for those garages that view it as an opportunity to adapt and thrive. The work is starting to come back, and this is a sector that has proven time and again that it can roll with the punches.”

Euro Repar Car Service was first launched in the UK in April 2017 by PSA, and began recruiting garages to its network.  At the time, its networks across Europe included more  than 2,500 garages in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands. ECRS originally announced a goal of 600 UK members by 2020.

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