LONDON, England - Mazda will be one of the first brands in the UK to offer an online vehicle service booking system.The feature is in the re-launched dealer websites that went live in the UK on September 2 2013 and will allow customers to book their car for servicing, repairs – or even for new tyres.Mazda UK after-sales director David Wilson-Green said: “Research shows more than 80% of customers want to book-in their car online and at their convenience so that’s what we’re giving them. It will be a feature on every dealer's website.“It’s all about building loyalty through customer convenience.”TIME SLOTS LISTEDThe websites are templated by Mazda UK but are unique to each dealer. This approach allows Mazda UK to centrally upload details of national campaigns so they go live nationwide at the same time, leaving dealers free to enter stock and local offers on their local site.While some other manufacturers do offer online booking systems, Mazda says, its dealers upload their own available time slots giving them much greater control over their workshop. In the near future, dealers will also have the option to offer customers a new online tyre package. Customers can key in their registration number and all available tyre options for their car from most major tyre brands are automatically listed.Wilson-Green added: “Mazda dealers can supply tyres at very competitive prices and, given that tyres are often the first thing that drivers go elsewhere to buy, it is essential we promote our offering to make customers aware."'RICHER ENVIRONMENT NEEDED'Another optional element is "live chat", designed to speed up the response to customers' queries. "The automotive industry is notoriously slow with responses on the internet – some dealers don’t respond at all," Wilson-Green said. "We’re focused on quicker response times and are working on how to categorise issues to make sure customers get the right response.“We need to give our customers a richer multimedia environment, including online and interactive tools, while giving the option to use their preferred method of communication. Mazda will continue to invest in online resource to make sure we give everyone the choice that suits their needs.”If any South African auto dealers/franchises are offering this service, email us with the details and we'll tell our 250 000 readers about it.