The pandemic has forced businesses across the globe to adapt and evolve – and, for dealerships, many of the changes have focused on social distancing measures, amid customer caution.

In June 2020, we announced a new online self-check-in solution for dealers, which allows aftersales customers to remotely check in their vehicle for a service or repair appointment using their own device and from the comfort of their own home. And, just over a year since its launch, we’re delighted to announce that our tool has already sent out over a million invitations for dealer customers to check in for servicing digitally.

The ‘new normal’?

Today, the tool is being used by more than 300 dealerships nationwide, helping digitalise the traditional customer journey. The speed and scale of its uptake, among both dealerships and their customers, shows how essential it has been at a time when contactless services became invaluable in protecting customers and staff. And it appears that self-check-in is now the norm!

Richard Robinson, our Chief Operating Officer, commented:

“It’s a sign of how forward-thinking dealerships are that they embraced this solution, which offered an invaluable way to allay customer safety concerns by avoiding unnecessary contact with dealership staff.

“What’s especially notable is that, throughout varying levels of lockdown restrictions in 2020 and 2021, the customer conversion rate remained consistent at around 79% – demonstrating the enduring demand for digital solutions, which is likely to outlast the pandemic.

“We offered this technology as a way of giving dealer customers practical help in a testing time – so it’s pleasing to see that it generated online check-ins for more than 440,000 jobs, saving dealers time while making it easier for them to comply with safety regulations and give customers confidence.”

In its first five months, the number of dealers using the check-in function grew from 49 to 289. It was also well received by motorists: the invitations resulted in over 558,000 customers accessing the check-in page, of which around 443,000 completed the check-in process.

How does it work?

The software works by sending aftersales customers a secure encrypted link to the RTC check-in portal by email or SMS. They can use this link to confirm their time slot, authorise the work to be done, and accept the dealer’s terms and conditions. Most importantly, it can be done quickly and from the confirm of the customer’s home, via a digital signature on their mobile device.

The software then manages the next steps by giving the customer clear instructions on the drop-off and key handover process in line with their safety procedures. Communication between both parties is clear, with dealers having the opportunity to tailor the confirmation message and user instructions.

The tool seamlessly integrates with the full RTC aftersales management package, which also allows customers to confirm costs, review photos and video from vehicle inspection, approve work electronically, download and print a worksheet, and make an instant rebooking – all via the internet.

Robinson concluded:

“Self-check-in was already in the pipeline before the pandemic, as a response to the genuine needs of dealers and their customers. Its development was then accelerated as we recognised its value for allowing servicing and repairs to continue in lockdown. The fact that it bypasses the need to use a shared device on site, not just face-to-face contact, was of particular importance. Following the success of self-check-in, we will be enhancing the customer experience further by offering a remote checkout service later this year.

“Even when COVID restrictions are completely removed in the future, we’re confident that demand for remote check-in will remain high. The use of this and other digital solutions will only grow as the industry adjusts to a new normal in which more and more motorists have embraced the benefits of digitalisation.”

Read more about our self-check-in solution here, and contact us today if you’re interested in using it in your dealerships!