We talked to Klavs Simkus of CarExamer on how they have made car inspections EASY and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Klavs Simkus: COVID-19 has taken its toll on everyone somehow, but I’m trying my best to keep my head up and nurture my business, CarExamer, into something incredible in every way. It’s no excuse to lower standards or stop pushing on after all. People always need cars, and it’s our job to make sure they’re safe in their purchases. With one in every six used cars purchased having a problem that the buyer has to pay for, it’s essential we’re able to keep operating and pushing our core values, which are a reflection of my own. In fact, it’s really helping me keep pushing myself forward, too.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded CarExamer.
Klavs Simkus: I am the founder and Managing Director of CarExamer. I formed the business after being sick and tired of the way people buy and sell used cars and how stressful the whole situation can be, especially with a huge proportion of used cars that are sold having so many issues, as you can expect. My father was a car mechanic, which helped me discover my passion for cars and mold this into a career doing something I love in the best way possible. After all of my years of experience in the motor trade as a technician, working for Bosch Dealer Network, Auto Electrician Workshop, Ford, and the AA Roadside Assistance, I have worked with all grades of cars, from family saloons right through to supercars from Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, M Series, and Cobra. I love cars of all shapes and sizes as a result. Finally, putting all of this together, the CarExamer brand could be born, revolutionizing the used car industry all over again.
How does CarExamer innovate?
Klavs Simkus: Used car inspections are an innovative service in the UK as it is since most of the population aren’t even aware they exist in the first place. Even despite that, however, CarExamer took things further. We innovate by being a completely dedicated and independent service, using independent inspectors who work for themselves rather than larger, more generic corporations. We have the lowest prices in the industry to ensure everyone can afford the benefits that used car inspections have to offer, all with the best service possible.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Klavs Simkus: The pandemic has meant a huge industry-wide slump in the market, making things much tougher for the business. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen around an 80% drop in business, even with marketing efforts in place to minimize the damage. We’re also trying out new marketing methods as a result of this, including free roadside winter car checks to make sure drivers are safe, as trying offline flyer marketing too.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Klavs Simkus: Luckily, the business managed to proceed as normal without the need for any major changes. Once COVID appropriate changes were made, the business was able to resume as normal since inspections are undertaken outdoors or individually anyway. We’re able to carry out inspections even without customers present.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Klavs Simkus: The Carexamer business has always operated as an online-based business, which means that our CRM didn’t require too much attention other than making sure our site and servers were up to scratch and able to deliver. Our customers have always been able to utilize our online portal to manage their inspections and accounts, meaning things have been able to stay very much the same as pre-COVID. We’re still always available to speak to customers however is best for them, but this method post-purchase is the most effective possible.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Klavs Simkus: We were lucky enough to be eligible for government grants that did indeed enable us to survive the pandemic despite the loss of business caused due to the pandemic. With the latest lockdown, we’re again able to utilize government grants to continue operations and protect the business as much as possible.
Your final thoughts?
Klavs Simkus: Ultimately, the pandemic has had a massive impact on the business and the progress being made, which is a huge shame. We’ll continue to operate in the only way we know how to, with the best possible service doing everything we can to help customers and car buying. We, of course, can’t wait to see the end of the pandemic and get back to business as usual,
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