Case Study: Jaguar Land Rover Experience Expands Globally with CheckfrontOctober 1, 2018, Kyla Steeves
Many drivers dream of taking high-speed corners with a Jaguar. Or hope to one day explore remote locations behind the wheel of a Land Rover. This high-performance car and all-terrain vehicle do more than a morning commute. But everyday drivers might never experience the true capabilities of a Jaguar or Land Rover — even as owners.
That’s why Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) offers a driving experience that’s more than a casual loop around a dealership. Drivers get to operate these luxury cars in extreme driving conditions under the guidance of a qualified instructor. It’s an adventure for anyone wanting to push their limits, develop their driving skills, and get a hair-raising thrill.
Based in the United Kingdom, there are over 50 Experience Centers around the world — each with unique, exciting and challenging tours. Drivers tackle rutted tracks in South Africa, drift on a frozen lake in Sweden, or explore wooded trails in California. And just as their drivers navigate new terrain, JLR Experience is doing the same by navigating bookings on a global scale.
We had the opportunity to talk with Laia Fors and Michelle Christie of JLR Experience about why they choose Checkfront as the best booking experience for their extraordinary driving experiences.
JLR Experience’s shift to online bookings
Before using Checkfront, teams took bookings mostly over the phone. To find out what driving experiences were available, guests needed to call in advance and then a staff member scheduled the reservation on a notepad or basic spreadsheet. This booking process was time-consuming and intervened with in-person interactions at the venue.
While working with Keytree, a technology consultancy, JLR Experience partnered up with Checkfront to implement online bookings. With Checkfront, guests now have the option to make a reservation on their own, on any device. They can check availability, price, type of vehicle and make a payment — all within a JLR website. Now, teams can step away from the desk because they no longer have to monitor phone calls and take reservations.
At first, teams were nervous about learning a new system — even if Checkfront promised to make their lives easier — but perceptions soon changed after the onboarding session. Laia says, “once they see all the system can do, a world opens up before them.” Now, they can send emails, change pricing, add inventory, and check-in guests — actions they find easy to do in Checkfront.
“Our customers find it easy to use; they can look, book and pay online. And then the venues themselves find it easy to get to know how to use Checkfront. It’s a very intuitive system.”Michelle Christie, Business Development Manager
Centralized data and streamlined reporting
Since every venue managed bookings differently, it was challenging to access and amalgamate data. Manual booking processes also left room for human error and interpretation. Without any structure, JLR Experience couldn’t make informed business decisions and realistic forecasts.
Unifying the Experience teams with Checkfront made it possible to get real-time insight into business operations and for venues to report back to the center commonly and coherently. With centralized data, JLR Experience can also collect customer details on a broad scale and see information such as revenue, booking volume and performance of each region.
At the same time, venue managers can access their data at any time and quickly find out the best-selling products and times. As such, it’s easier to plan their resources, run discounts and implement marketing campaigns.
Global rollout of Checkfront
Before a global rollout, the core business team met with UK venues to see how they were currently using Checkfront. Since Experience Centers had initially configured their accounts differently, Michelle and Laia decided to set one standard to follow. That way, it’d be easy to identify areas for driving efficiency and introduce Checkfront quickly to venues worldwide.
JLR Experience also wanted to balance standardization with customization. According to Laia, Checkfront is great because Experience Centers have the same back-end, but can still create a unique customer facing side — like using their images on the booking page. On top of that, Checkfront has over 30 different payment providers, so venues can keep using the gateway they already have in place.
“What I like is that the back-end is the same no matter what you’re doing on the front end, so when you’re having multiple accounts, they can all look different on the outside, but since they’ll always be the same on the inside, it’s very easy to make sure everything is aligned.”Laia Fors, Business Development Project Manager
Today, JLR Experience has successfully implemented Checkfront in the UK, Japan, Asia-pacific and Germany. And they’re going live in South Africa and the United States, starting the rollout in Canada and Australia, and making plans for Belgium, Netherlands and Italy.
From beginning to end, a Checkfront rollout takes three months — which Michelle says is quick compared to other IT projects. And that’s because teams find the system intuitive, user-friendly and easy to adopt.
Consistent communication and support
As JLR Experience continues to grow the business globally, Checkfront is there every step of the way. Michelle says they appreciate Checkfront’s support and willingness to help with any new developments — like transitioning to a new payment gateway.
For the core business team, having regular contact also makes a difference because they feel like Checkfront listens and cares. With phone conversations and quarterly meetings, JLR Experience can offer feedback and share their goals — which helps Checkfront find ways to meet their needs.
“It feels so much like you care about our business and how you can help us do business better.” Michelle continues, “We’re finding that as our business grows, our needs are met by the developments that Checkfront is putting in place. Everybody loves it — just makes their lives so much easier. “
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