Group 1 Automotive’s BMW / MINI sites in the south and east of England saw a marked improvement, both in terms of customer-selected added value sales and dealership efficiency, across 2021 thanks to innovative software provider, Tjekvik.

Tjekvik supplies software and hardware that allows dealership aftersales customers to check-in their vehicles for service and maintenance processes remotely from home and using the on-site kiosks to provide a secure key drop or the complete check in process. They also have the option to use the same system to check-out once the work has been completed, saving time and hassle for the consumer and relieving pressure on dealership staff, especially during the busy morning and evening periods.

Because the check-in software automatically prompts the customer with added value propositions, as well as removing waiting time to speak to an advisor, the BMW / MINI sites saw a surge in these items being selected. These options can also be tailored at any time to include seasonal items, such as winter health checks, tyres, windscreen wipers and air con refresh.

In 2021, the Group 1 BMW / MINI sites enjoyed a monthly average of £2,565 in customer-selected items compared with an overall UK average of £1,843 in sites that feature the Tjekvik technology.  Across all 70 of Group 1’s Tjekvik enabled sites generated a monthly average of £102,543 in customer-selected added value items.

In addition to the bottom-line impact, Richard Staunton, Divisional Aftersales manager for Group 1’s BMW and Ford sites, said that among the biggest benefits of the Tjekvik system is the increase in efficiency for staff.

“Efficiency and the level of service for the customer are the most important things for me,” he said. “Part of the challenge when we were looking into this sort of solution was not the technology, it was the human interaction. Covid actually helped us to move things forwards more quickly because, suddenly, people were much more open to the sort of change that allowed them to stay distanced.

“Of course, some people – particularly our older customers, we tend to find – still want to speak to a person and that’s fine. It’s about offering them the choice to check in their vehicle however they want.

“From a staff point of view, initially some may have been unsure about it but the biggest thing for me has been how much time Tjekvik has freed up for service advisors. Not only does it relieve pressure at the busy drop-off times in the mornings it then releases time during the day during which staff can get on to jobs that might otherwise not get done, such as pre-calls with customers due to come in the following day.”

When Group 1 Automotive was investigating the Tjekvik technology, it conducted a trial with just three sites and found that the amount of additional business increased by three times at the sites using the system.

The group is already advancing plans to establish internal Tjekvik ‘experts’ who will be able to train new and existing staff in using the technology to its best effect and includes it as the Group 1 Automotive network expands, with sites at the recently acquired Robinsons Group joining the Tjekvik revolution in March.

Richard said: “If the dealership staff are not engaged in using the technology, then customers won’t be either. So we have a constant focus on training and, while the way people engage with businesses is slowly changing, it is also why it is important to afford the customer every choice. We have had excellent support from our partners at Tjekvik in getting the technology established and the benefits are clear to see.”