British Volkswagen dealers are getting airport-style self-check-in kiosks in a bid to improve convenience for customers. The new automated systems will allow customers to contactlessly drop their car off for servicing and pick it up again later, and it offers the chance to check in online.
The new system has already been trialled in the UK, with eight UK Volkswagen dealers participating in the 16-week scheme. The system is now being rolled out across 12 VW dealerships, with up to 50 sites expected to use the technology by the end of 2021.
When the new technology is installed, customers will be able to check in online, at a kiosk or via text message. According to Volkswagen, almost half (47 percent) of customers choose to use the kiosks during the trial period, and that is expected to rise as the technology becomes more established in showrooms.
One retailer found more than eight in every 10 customers (81 percent) decided to check in digitally when dropping their car off. However, that number fell to 55 percent when it came to check-out time.
As well as making check-in easier for customers, VW says dealers are also enamoured with the technology. The German company says the kiosks have resulted in an average of 41 additional service plan enquiries every week, while the system frees up staff members’ precious time.
The system also gives dealers the opportunity to remind customers of “sundries” that “may be forgotten between retailer visits”. These include items such as wiper blades, fluid top-ups and even replacement carpet mats.
“An airport is arguably one of the most efficiency- and logistics-focussed locations that people visit, and digital check-in kiosks contribute to that considerably,” said Andrew Savvas, the director of Volkswagen in the UK. “Implementing a similar system in our retailers allows some of the organisational work to be dealt with digitally, and frees up more time for both our customers and our talented retailer staff, enabling them to even better deliver the stellar customer service they’re renowned for. The system also allows quick drop-offs – for example if someone needed to drop their keys off at the retailer on their way to work.
“Add to this the elements of Covid-safety and security, and you’ve got a surprisingly simple yet compelling addition to the traditional car retailer that benefits both the customer and the staff immensely, and fits with the brand’s digital connectivity ethos wholeheartedly.”