MTA data shows 2020 lockdowns to continue to impact 2021 bookings

We know that WOF’s and services dropped last year when NZ went into lockdown on 23 March 2020. But just how bad was the impact? The MTA have released data that shows the severity of closing businesses. 

We know that WOF’s and services dropped last year when NZ went into lockdown on 23 March 2020. But just how bad was the impact? The MTA have released data that shows the severity of closing businesses.

In April 2020 just 84,242 WOFs were carried out, compared to 514,484 in April 2019. That’s a whopping $21,474,200[1] that didn’t make it into the industry and doesn’t even take into consideration other services. By the end of the year, 2020 WOFs were still 290,074 behind 2019 numbers.

 MTA wof future expiry 2021


What can you do to prevent a repeat of April 2020?

Workshops are in danger of repeating this booking pattern in future years if using the standard practice for scheduling in service reminders for WOFs and service. A new strategy for reminders is needed for 2021 to prevent the same pattern of bookings and to encourage customers to make and keep bookings during lockdowns.

Let customers know you’re open
Send an SMS to customers with services or WOF due to letting them know you are open, how you’re operating you keep them safe, and offer a special deal to incentivise them to come in.

Send reminders early
The WOF’s due to expire in May? Start sending reminders for May expiry dates in late March and April. If you would normally select customers based on an expiry date range of say “01/05/2021 – 14/05/2021” try using a smaller date range like “01/05/2021 – 06/05/2021” and sending bulk reminders out more frequently.

Use 2019 data
Where possible use the 2019 March and April data for WOF and service reminders, rather than 2020. These dates will follow the standard trend of steady expiry dates month to month.

Follow up quoted jobs
Have you issued quotes and customers have not responded? Extract of list of standing quotes and follow up with each customer.

Expand jobs for reminders
Do you send reminders for WOF and services only? Replacement dates for components with mileage-based life expectancy can be estimated also when based on average mileage per year, create service reminders for these jobs too.  

Incentivise customers to rebook
Offer discounts or run a special promotion on safety check, tyres, brakes etc to encourage customers to book in during lockdowns.

Make it easy for your customers to book in

How long does it take you to answer an email for a booking, create a job in the system, update the customers contact information, create a booking for a courtesy vehicle and send the customer a booking confirmation? What about when you take a phone booking?

When you increase your marketing activities you need to anticipate that it’s going to be successful and bookings will be pouring in. Make it easy for yourself and get set up with a self-service online booking tool so your customers can manage the process themselves and in their own time.

When Farmer Motor Village Group notified customers they were reopening following the 2020 lockdown, they received 180 bookings in 24 hours, filling up their WIP schedule in Autoline immediately.

“The management team were having a Zoom meeting together on the day the announcement that we were moving down to level three was made. The marketing team had prepared an EDM announcing our reopening and I had just sent the campaign to our customers prior to our meeting. During the meeting my booking inbox started receiving booking confirmations and within the hour around 100 customers had already booked in.

This allowed us to have our whole team back at work on day one, confident that the workshops were fully loaded.” – Bevan Sheppard – Group Service Manager

Speak to us for more information on how to get a self-service booking system that integrates with your DMS.