A new iGarage mobile phone app that directly connects car owners and dealerships is set to launch in the UK in September.
iGarage, which has been developed by Redditch-based business AutoConnect, will be displayed at AM Live at the NEC on November 11.
The app is free for customers and can be used to provide preventative maintenance updates and the ability to directly contact their garage, to book a service or vehicle health check.
Customers can also authorise work, as well as download and pay invoices all through the app.
Workshops can send notifications through to customers that have the app on their smartphone.
Mark Taylor-Jones, AutoConnect operations manager, believes the app can replace “outdated contact database management methods”.
He said: “The system combines expert technical know-how with data that it learns by analysing the maintenance records of other cars registered on the system, using artificial intelligence, to build a picture of what they can expect from their own particular model.
“iGarage has the potential to help a customer buy a car from a dealer, then to take them all the way through the entire ownership journey, offering them the best deals available for any maintenance or extra products as and when they are needed. It could even tell them when the optimum time comes to think about replacing their vehicle for the best value, and highlight potential alternatives.”
Workshops pay a “small subscription” to link iGarage to their customers, but Taylor-Jones says this is offset due to the benefits of automated marketing; a tool to increase whole-life customer retention; information to help support maintenance spend and even the opportunity to provide a customer with their next car, at the ‘trusted optimum’ moment.
He added: “The objective of iGarage is to be the facilitator and gatherer of information for consumers.
“All information within the app will be non-biased, because our business model is to take a small annual payment from repairers in return for providing a direct, live link to their customers – not to seek any commissions or payments from third-party providers."