AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies 2020 - AutoGuru listed 10th!
Updated 25 Mar 2021
AutoGuru claimed its third successive inclusion in the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS Most Innovative Companies list by placing 10th in the technology category of the 2020 Awards.
Australia’s No. 1 booking site for car servicing and repairs has led the way in transforming the customer experience when booking auto services online, ultimately making it so much easier for customers to better care for their cars.
The Gold Coast-based company was recognised for its innovative response during the COVID-19 Pandemic. AutoGuru and their 2,200 auto business members were not immune to the impacts of the pandemic, with many Australians choosing to hold back on car maintenance in these uncertain times. AutoGuru’s support of their auto business members during this challenging time is what has awarded them their third AFR recognition.
"COVID-19 caught most businesses unprepared’, Eden Shirley, CEO of AutoGuru recalls.
"I distinctly remember being shocked when the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled on the 13th of March and the government announced all incoming travellers must quarantine for 14-days. Less than 1 week later, the entire country was in lockdown and car service bookings dropped 74% overnight. Even pending bookings which were made the week prior were being cancelled at unprecedented rates. Consumers were told to stay home, isolate, don't leave the house unless you are buying food or essential supplies and car services was an immediate casualty."
"I knew that day that we needed to quickly mobilise our network to secure bookings for our members”, said Eden.
Within one week of announced lockdowns, the call went out to see if workshops had mobile vans that they were willing to put on the road, or if they were willing to pick up customers' cars and bring them back to the workshop to work on.
Watch the video to see how we pulled off our COVID-19 Mobility Innovation
Eden continued, “The response to both call-outs was incredible. We grew our mobile services network 840% with a good number of traditional workshops registering a mobile van, and 383 workshops nationally signed up for Valet Servicing. In the weeks that followed during the peak of the pandemic, we saw mobile services account for over 36% of bookings which is a huge increase”
“We also launched an effective social campaign to create awareness in a cautiously light-hearted way. The purpose was to let customers know that auto service providers were still open for business, and how could people resist cheeky headlines like, ‘Don’t Pandemic, we’ll come to you’, or ‘Car won’t start, we’ll isolate the problem!”
However, the real innovation happened after AutoGuru significantly scaled it’s mobility services and realised that the needs of mobile suppliers are uniquely different.
Due to the limited capacity of individual mobile providers and rapidly scaling demand, the booking platforms traditional marketplace approach didn’t work at scale. The bookings team was inundated with rescheduling requests and cancellation numbers increased.
Eden stated that, “We solved that problem by changing the way we presented and booked mobile providers and the results were incredible.”
"81% of bookings were autoconfirmed by mobile mechanics, which was 2x higher than our traditional booking model, and unconfirmed bookings also dropped by 66%. The key result here is that during a time of need, we were able to quickly implement an innovative solution that made it easy for our members to be booked by customers.”
“I’m incredibly proud of the team at AutoGuru and the way they rallied to support our members through the Pandemic. I know many of our members were grateful to have a technology partner backing them with the skills and agility to respond quickly and help soften the economic blow. Our ability to communicate with hundreds of thousands of customers on our members' behalf definitely helped.”
“While sales did initially drop in April, our response to scale our mobility services minimised the impact for a large number of our members and has since achieved record-breaking bookings the months following as consumers began to embrace the convenience of Mobile and Valet Servicing”, says Eden
“At the time, our innovation was the perfect solution that allowed us to provide Automotive Service Providers access to customers when they needed them the most. Now that restrictions have lifted and demand for mobile services has levelled out somewhat, our flexibility has allowed us to pivot back to more normal operating conditions, but we will continue to offer Mobile and Valet Servicing for the future to come.”
AutoGuru is Australia’s largest online marketplace for booking automotive services.
We’ve got a passion to remove the stress, hassle and ambiguity from booking automotive servicing and repairs, both for the mechanic and the motorist.