An innovative software solution has been launched to help independent garages build transparency and trust with their customers in what are uncertain and testing times for the automotive industry.

The ‘My Service Trust’ product has been developed by Yorkshire-based Smart Garage Solutions, a provider of software and equipment that allow independent garages to create, review and send HD quality personalised customer videos.  The new product is used by garage technicians to highlight any urgent or advisory works that need carrying out on a vehicle following a service or MOT.

A recent study of 1,400 motorists who use independent garages has found that reliability and good service are both more important than price when it comes to building customer loyalty.  In the survey 60% of respondents also said they have had a bad experience with garages, with the result that most are happy to remain fiercely loyal to a good local operator they know they can trust.

Through My Service Trust and the power of personalised customer videos, garages can build personal relationships with their customers, show the legitimacy of repair works and breakdown technical boundaries. The result of which is less time spent on the phone convincing the customer.

Ben Smith, Founder of Smart Garage Solutions, said: “The automotive industry is going through a period of change; advances in technology, the popularity of smartphones and increased customer use of video.  This combined with uncertainty and fear following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, means independent garages have to work harder to win over the trust and loyalty of their customers.

“We saw the opportunity to enhance similar technology available on the market that was expensive and predominantly aimed at the franchised dealer market.

“We set out to create a level playing field, giving independent garages the opportunity to take advantage of personalised customer videos, at a much more affordable price.

“We are confident My Service Trust will really enhance a garage’s customer service and brand loyalty as well as improving customer retention, referrals and work conversions.”

Russ Stanley, co-owner of Brighouse-based Revolution Porsche, said: “We use the My Service Trust product to give our customers a better perception of any faults on their vehicle and why they need repairing. With a video it’s all there for the customer to see and it really helps us push our commitment to transparency and trust.  It’s a really simple product and anyone can use it.

“Our customers regularly comment on how informative the personalised customer videos are and how much they appreciate receiving them. My Service Trust has really enhanced our customer service.”

Smart Garage Solutions is also in the process of finalising a further product aimed at car sales garages. ‘My Sales Trust’ is used by the garage sales team to show off a cars’ key features and condition. The product will be available later in the summer.