In an unusual move, motor industry body the IMI is to partner with an online start-up, Motoriety, which claims to be the first and only digital consumer and trade platform that lets motorists manage all aspects of vehicle ownership in one convenient, secure online space.
The brainchild of a successful marketing entrepreneur and the former Chief Technical Officer of Motors.co.uk, Motoriety aims to digitise the way vehicle ownership and maintenance is managed. Motorists register their details for free and are sent automated reminders for things like insurance, car tax and servicing, building up an online service history for their vehicle which can be can be digitally transferred to the next owner.
The founders say this will generate extra business for the motor trade by connecting them with local consumers when services are needed and manufacturers and dealers can opt their customers 'in' making themselves the default 'home' garage within the customer's online account, cutting likelihood of fruitless marketing by garages to customers who have just had their car serviced. Initially the service referrals will be free to the trade with charges set to be introduced after 6 months of trading.
Explaining their link-up with Motoriety , IMI Chief Ecxecutive Steve Nash says, "Motorists face ongoing challenges, which the industry has to fully address. At the IMI, we're publicising to motorists the benefit of choosing a garage that employs technicians on the IMI Professional Register - as a mark of skill and current competency that motorists should look for, so the link with Motoriety makes sense, as its a unique consumer proposition. The Motoriety garage search will showcase garages who employ Professionally Registered individuals and help consumers understand what that means and why its an important benchmark."
Talking about the project, Motoriety founder and entrepreneur, Lucy Burnford, says, "There is currently no consumer-led online space that brings together the motorist and the motor trade efficiently. It is Motoriety's mission to bring changes that simultaneously benefit both motorists and the motor industry."
Burnford goes on to say, "There is so much wastage and ineffective customer communication, so our aim is to be able to tell the motor trade exactly how many relevant customers there are in their area, exactly when they have SMR requirements, and allow them to promote their businesses and any special offers at exactly the right time, and since motorists have opted-in, the communication is not only timely, but welcome too."
Motoriety, who aim to have 100,000 motorists signed up within 3-6 months, say that the trade would do well to think about statistics showing that 91% of customers research aftersales online ahead of decision-making, 33% share their experience on a website or social platform and businesses with high Google ratings get 17% more click-throughs.
With that in mind Burnford says, "Building your online reputation is essential for all businesses, especially the motor trade – which still suffers from a poor consumer image. There are some really great businesses out there that deserve to be championed by their customers and helped to acquire new ones. Whilst there are various existing review sites, we all know reviews can be falsified, so we've come up with a unique and fair system that eliminates that risk as both garages and motorists have an incentive to participate,"
"Today's consumers, rely on peer-to-peer recommendations and customer reviews when making all purchase decisions. Every Motoriety review will be 100 per cent genuine and traceable to a real customer. Forward-thinking businesses will recognise this as an opportunity to communicate directly with customers, be aware of their feedback and manage their reputation by reacting promptly if there are any issues – essential in today's digital age,"