How mycar is building brand trust
- 07 June, 2021 14:26
Two years on from its rebrand as mycar, the auto services company formerly known as Kmart Tyre and Auto Service is celebrating its growing network, evolving omnichannel customer experience and efforts to buck too-frequent impression of auto services as untrustworthy.
Adam Pay, the managing director who led the company through its acquisition by German firm, Continental AG, in 2018, is particularly pleased by customer acceptance of an increasingly digital CX, resulting customer ratings and the way mycar is training and enabling its team to make a customer’s day that much better.
Mycar last year introduced online bookings for tyre services and in the next couple of months will introduce service bookings online. Dozens more digital service features are in the pipeline in the name of becoming “frictionless, transparent and engaging”, Pay said. Additionally, the company has invested in a customer data platform to collect and aggregate data, and is working with Salesforce on integrating this with its point-of-sale system.
"We're trialling equipment that will give you a digital readout of your tyre condition, wheel alignment, battery and vehicle inspection. We've got visuals on these, and it can all be beamed to you on your device,” Pay said.
Broadly, technology investment at mycar is aimed at bringing transparency to auto services that helps break down the mystery – and boosts trust. But even as digital gains an increasingly important role, Pay said in-store connection remains vital.
“Untrustworthiness is a long-held perception about mechanical technicians which, in most cases, is unjustified,” he said. “Yet we've got to get the balance right. We know from our research customers still want to talk to the person at the counter, the person who will be checking their vehicle, the person talking with the technician. They still want the touchpoint of meeting someone in-store they trust. But then what they're looking for is equipment, readouts and printouts that can be relayed onto their device.”
So far, ease of bookings and the convenience of 269 store locations nationally have made it easier for customers to engage with the business. But mycar is investing in team training to create personal connection and inherent trust.
Mycar’s ops team is in constant communication with stores – or is physically present – to congratulate or suggest improvements every hour of the business day, Pay explained. He noted there has always been soft skills training, but said training has been significantly stepped up and structured under mycar's new 'Care beyond the Car' program.
“We need to make sure we keep connected to our customers when they’re not in-store – that we’re there for the customer post-purchase," Pay continued. "We do a lot of work to build confidence and peace of mind with customers. For example, once they’ve had their tyres fixed, they get a tyre care plan including getting tyres checked, rotated and balanced free of charge. We have a heap of warranties and checks we want to keep talking to customers about post-purchase.”
Delighted with customer acceptance and measurable results so far, Pay cited Google customer satisfaction reviews showing mycar’s rating 4.7 out of 5 across all stores. This is up from 3.8 out of 5 in January 2020, or an increase of 18 per cent.
“That puts it in the top 5 per cent of businesses across all sectors,” Pay said. “That's important for any business. And we can market that – you'll see it throughout our campaigns on radio and TV.”
He's also proud of mycar’s Network Promoter Score in the high +70s.
Another milestone is the way the team has accepted the new brand after 50 years building a reputation as Kmart Tyre and Auto above the door.
“It was a big, big step. At the transition to mycar, mid-2019, it felt like the brand was bigger than us – and we didn’t quite know how to build the brand. It actually felt like the brand owned us," Pay commented. "Two years on, with all the work we’ve done to underpin it, it feels like we own the brand. It’s a very different feeling.”
It’s understandable Pay is both customer and staff-focused: He has been on the ’shop floor’ since he was 15 years old, having started as a tyre fitter apprentice in the UK. Today, he still spends time each week in stores and often helps work on customer vehicles.
Staff training starts early. Mycar is growing its own skilled employee base by training 350 apprentices including 15 school-based trainees who are buddied up with a father figure in-store. This program also creates awareness that positions mycar as a great employer brand as well as becoming an element of its marketing, Pay said.
As a result, the expanding company is in a good space digitally and in-store where its team has grown from 1200 late last year to 1350 today. It also opened seven new stores during the Covid year and aims to open about 10 new stores a year.
“Opening seven new stores last year wasn’t the easiest with all the restrictions on,” said Pay, adding the ROI is healthy “because we’re very disciplined about where we invest”.