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‘Honesty is always the best policy’ – The importance of transparency in aftersales

‘Honesty is always the best policy’ – The importance of transparency in aftersales

11th January 2017


By Chris Saunders


According to a survey commissioned by, almost half of motorists are concerned about being overcharged for repair work, -particularly if using a service department they haven’t visited before. Familiarity does little to allay fears either it seems; as reported by, just 28% of motorists admit to fully trusting the garage they use regularly.


Such a lack of trust could have huge implications for road safety. Indeed, The Motor Ombudsman has claimed that 38% of motorists skip taking their car in for a service altogether, mostly due to a fear of being overcharged.


As an industry it’s essential that we work together to restore motorists’ faith in aftersales services. Ultimately, it all comes down to making sure service departments present work as a duty of care on behalf of the dealer, and only recommend work that is actually needed.


‘Tools and training’

Electronic vehicle health checks can play a key role in improving communication between dealerships and motorists, and are therefore particularly helpful in building levels of trust. When used during the service process, software such as autoVHC enables red and amber work to be identified, logged and presented to customers quickly, consistently and professionally.

This undoubtedly streamlines operations for technicians; crucially for the customer however, eVHCs provide full visibility over any work that may be required, -showing precisely what needs to be done and why, before any repairs are carried out.


As current users know, we recently launched an improved version of autoVHC – autoVHC v2 – and we’re proud to say that clarity for customers remains a focus for performance. The latest version has enhanced parts and labour pricing functionality, which helps service managers deliver greater transparency for customers. –Motorists can see exactly how costs are configured, thus eliminating any concerns relating to overcharging.


As is the case with many service providers, franchised dealers sometimes underestimate the effect that sales skills (or the lack thereof) can have upon a customer’s overall experience, -and subsequently the outcome this has for business reputation. Where aftersales are concerned, it’s important that technicians are properly trained in how to converse effectively and how to deliver the most appropriate solutions, based on the customer’s needs. It’s often worth enlisting the help of professional trainers to make sure service managers and their teams have an effective approach to selling red and amber work. When it comes to instilling a degree of trust, this approach is particularly constructive.


When service advisors see the value in what they’re selling from the customer’s perspective, it presents a more ethical and effective way of boosting the sale of red and amber work. Building a genuine rapport with a motorist can be central to delivering a positive experience and the reassurance that customers are being treated fairly.