For individuals and commercial fleets, having a vehicle serviced at a repair shop means wasting time and inconvenience.
Consumers have to hang out in a communal lobby at the store — something people are trying to avoid after the pandemic — or arrange alternative transportation. Fleets not only suffer from these issues, but also lose the money they would have earned had that vehicle been on the road and in working order.
As a result, consumers and fleets are increasingly turning to mobile vehicle services that allow them to get work done on the spot, when it’s most convenient for them. In fact, over the past year, Google search traffic for “mobile mechanic” has surpassed that for “auto repair shop” for the first time.
“We talk to a lot of people, and whether it’s OEMs, big independent repair shops or whatever, they know this is where the world is heading.” Key CEO Ed Petersen says PYMNTS sharing this data. “The mobile environment is what is going to be the table stakes or expectations of all consumers and customers in this industry.”
Provide mobile vehicle services
On June 2, Wrench announced that it had added more technicians and geographic markets to its existing mobile vehicle services business by acquiring mobile vehicle repair network YourMechanic.
This news followed the September announcement of Wrench’s partnership with Bridgestone.
Read more: Bridgestone acquires 10% stake in Repair Service Wrench
Through this partnership, the 15% of auto services that must be performed with the car on a lift can be performed at a Bridgestone-owned Firestone Complete Auto Care Center. The remaining 85% of services can be performed by Wrench on site at the vehicle owner.
Consumers and fleets can use the Wrench app or platform to get remote vehicle diagnostics, approve a quote for work, schedule service to be performed at a time and place they choose , then pay when the job is done. In general, the only contact the customer has with the mobile technician is when handing over the key.
Make payments frictionless for consumers and B2B customers
Most payments are credit card-based, and customers can store their credit card information when initially setting up their account, so they don’t have to re-enter it for future services.
“It’s really designed to make it as painless or frictionless as possible for consumers and fleets,” Petersen said.
While some fleets like credit card billing because it’s quick and easy, Wrench is also suitable for those who prefer invoice billing. For these business-to-business (B2B) customers, Wrench sends invoicing digitally and, in some cases, integrates it into fleet accounting systems to streamline the process.
“Invoicing by invoice is certainly the main one, but there are [purchase order] systems that are there,” Petersen said. “Some people use a purchase order system, some don’t; some people like to have their invoices set up per task or per vehicle rather than just an aggregated invoice – so there’s a whole lot of complexities that can be in there that we’re well prepared to deal with on a case-to-case basis per case.
Meet requirements for convenience, transparency and minimal downtime
Demand for mobile vehicle services has grown month-on-month and year-on-year, driven by customers’ desire to be able to contact the problem-solving experts, transparency of learning, and approval through an app. of the cost before the work is completed. and the ability to schedule work to minimize vehicle downtime.
“I think flexibility is kind of the key,” Petersen said. “We designed the software and system to adhere to what we believe to be the desires of customers — both on the consumer side and on the B2B side — and we are growing. It’s an exciting time to be in this space.