Accelerate aftersales: insights to optimise efficiency

In today’s rapidly changing marketplace it may be time for some fresh thinking to energise your aftersales approach. Read on for our best practice tips to help optimise performance and efficiency.

Understand the current reality 

The essential first step for an aftersales team to improve its performance is understanding how good it is currently. This is where RTC Insights benchmarking, and its breadth of data, is invaluable.

RTC Insights tracks and analyses data across all retailer departments, including aftersales. What is evident from the analysis we see is that the success of top performers in aftersales is never reliant on one single factor; it is about optimising all of the moving parts in the process—marginal gain opportunities are often available everywhere to improve aftersales efficiency and customer engagement.

The knowledge delivered by benchmarking enables retailers to see where performance can be enhanced with training and greater management focus, or by considering new approaches or technologies. Additionally, and often crucially, retailers recognise the potential of refining their KPIs to increase accountability.

eVHCs – an opportunity for improvement

One immediate area in which to realise the potential of marginal gains, based on current data, is eVHCs.

Data from RTC Aftersales eVHC product reveals that the average value of Red and Amber work identified by eVHCs continues to rise, following a long-term trend identified by the business. Looking at data from January 2024, Red work identified rose 14.54% year on year to £301.24 per job. Much higher than inflation. It indicates that more or higher-value faults are being identified, something which could be linked to the ageing parc that has emerged over recent years.

Sadly, conversions of this Red work fell by 3.7% to 46.4% from 48.2% in January 2023. It means that over half of identified Red work is available to be converted to workshop activity. This overall market conversion position needs to be assessed at a local level, but the sheer scale of the overall market position will mean that most retailers will find themselves looking at a significant opportunity for improvement.

The six steps in optimising eVHCs are;

Step 1: The optimal time to complete an eVHC

Step 2: Recording eVHC report outcomes

Step 3: Getting the right person for the right job

Step 4: Authenticity – being accurate and clear

Step 5: Engaging with customer openly about repairs

Step 6: Committing to continuous improvement

Optimising the eVHC process

Analysis from RTC indicates that to complete a full eVHC check efficiently and accurately takes fifteen minutes. Taking longer does not identify additional problems with a car to be addressed. On the other hand, completing a check too quickly risks missing safety/reliability issues that the customer needs to be aware exist.

The time to complete an eVHC is an important metric that workshop managers can use to enhance productivity.

Recording outcomes

Productivity gains are available for retailers that understand their own conversion levels and record accurately why customers opt not to have identified work undertaken. Essentially, this data analysis helps retailers to understand performance opportunity gaps, and the customer issues, or concerns that need to be addressed, enabling the business to enhance conversions.

Recent research suggests that cost and a lack of understanding about the need for a repair are likely to be issues. Another factor could be staffing or a skills shortage, wherein the aftersales team’s technicians are not being allocated to work that reflects their expertise, or conversion of available work is not being pursued because the resources are being focused only on high value work.

The right person on the job

Correct job allocation is crucial to aftersales productivity. RTC Insights data reveals that workshops that utilise 90-100% of technicians’ time effectively generate, on average, £35,000 per year more revenue from Red and Amber work when compared to workshops utilising only 50-75% of technicians’ time well.

Success in utilisation is a two-step process: Generating leads to keep technicians busy and ensuring the most appropriate team member completes booked jobs to maximise productivity. Where this job allocation by skill level is implemented, it can be appropriate to recruit the right resource for lower value work to increase overall conversions, for example, recruiting a dedicated tyre specialist can free other technicians to focus on complex, often higher-value work.

The right person for the job will enhance workshop management and efficiency.


Communicating Red work issues to customers is most effective when it puts their needs first. Safety, car reliability and the potential enhancement of a car’s value are all worthy of discussion. Additionally, explaining the importance of addressing identified Red work to manufacturer standard to support a car’s warranty and any finance terms and conditions, should not be overlooked. They are conditions that the customer may not know exist; ensuring they are aware of such a position enables them to make an informed decision.

Utilising personalised video to build trust and show the work required whilst using simple, easy to understand language will enhance the retailers’ authenticity.

Making eVHCs more engaging for customers

Building on the principle of authenticity and supporting informed customer decision making, improving customer engagement in the eVHC process is crucial. It starts by alerting them to the check at the service desk check-in. Letting the customer know that a full safety check will be completed on their car removes or mitigates the ‘cost shock’ if an issue is identified.

A proven tool for enhancing customer engagement whether there are any problems identified or not is video.

Data from retailers using CitNOW Workshop’s video capability to bring identified faults to life reveals that using video to explain the need to act on Red work outperforms static images or no media by 11%. Average Red work conversion rates increased from 45% to 50%.

A technician’s personalised video brings faults to life and addresses any questions, confusion, or misgivings a customer may have about the accuracy of an identified dangerous situation.

Our data reveals that 68% of work is authorised in under 30 minutes when sent with a video, so not only does the video visually highlight the condition of the vehicle it can speed up authorisation of work which will make for a more efficient workshop.

Next step to improvement

For retailers on their eVHC optimisation journey, embedding a continuous improvement approach is essential. For others, it starts with assessing current performance levels.

Discover more about how CitNOW Workshop’s video capability and RTC Insights’ benchmarking service can help you optimise efficiency in your aftersales process.