IP Business Phone Systems for the Automotive Business

The Problem

Although they share many similarities with other retailers, automotive dealerships have unique attributes that create a distinctive mix of communications challenges. Automobiles are purchases that are carefully considered, often second only to a home purchase in expense and importance to the consumer. As a result the pre- and post-sale process must be pleasant throughout. The service and repair experience must be brief, pleasant and professionally handled. Service and repair are extremely important to the dealership, because service jobs generate substantial revenues and have a lasting impact on the customer’s assessment. In sum, all customer queries must be handled courteously, expertly and swiftly.

The challenge to deliver such a high level of personalized attention is mission critical to the success of dealerships which have relatively small numbers of employees who may be dispersed in different locations at any given time. As a further complication, customer contacts are largely real-time and unscheduled via telephone, walk-in and e-mail. These factors place a tremendous load on the capabilities of communication channels in/out and within the dealership.

Traditional keyset telephones and telecommunications networks can’t meet these requirements. Instead, dealerships are turning to NT&T’s suite of IP Communication Systems, which merges IP telephony, data networking and voice applications to deliver a solution that substantially reduces telephony complexity and cost.

Typical communication problems experienced in automotive dealerships include:
Service Department: On the average, dealerships have three to five service advisers who are constantly engaged on the phone or in person with customers or with the technicians in the service bays to determine when a vehicle will be ready. Service advisers must be available to answer the customer’s calls: “What is wrong with my car? How much will it cost? Is it covered under the warranty? When will it be ready?” Mishandling these calls gives their customers a reason to call competing dealerships or repair shops.

Parts Department and Collision Shop: There are typically two to three parts specialists on duty who are often multi-tasking —picking parts for jobs in the Service Department, answering incoming phone calls from repair shops and consumers and handling walk-ins. Requests from the Service Department are the highest priority to support the repair effort. The handling of outside parts queries can be very time-consuming, sometimes requiring lengthy discussion and research to identify the correct part or parts that are needed. High volume customers reach the Parts Department on the same line as all other customers and have no prioritization over a call from a consumer that wants to buy an oil filter. In the Collision Shop, a missed call from an insurance adjuster could well represent lost revenue as the next auto repair shop on the adjuster’s list will get the call.

Sales Department: Sales representatives must be immediately responsive to walk-in customers, and also to prospects calling in for information or appointments. Call volumes are typically heavier on holidays and weekends and during the initial period of special sales events — precisely when walk-in traffic also peaks.

Advertising: The average dealership spends $600,000 on ads per year and may use several local papers, radio, TV and billboard media, yet doesn’t have a simple method for determining the effectiveness of one investment in comparison with the others.

The IP Phone System Solution

The NEC SV8100 and Allworx platforms addresses and resolves all of these issues and provides other benefits not possible with conventional telecommunications systems. These platforms proactively serve the caller by supporting powerful voice-enabled applications that respond directly to routine inquiries, offloading them from busy sales or service agents, or distributing them directly to the appropriate person. In addition, these advanced IP solutions provide a series of unprecedented business benefits by collecting and aggregating customer call data for thoughtful and thorough analysis.

Featured Automotive customer:

Goodwin Land Rover & Jaguar Scarborough

Land Rover Jaguar Scarborough, is your source for everything Land Rover, Range Rover and Jaguar in Maine. We are proud to be a part of the Goodwin Motor Group, a family-owned and operated company for more than 75 years.
At Land Rover Jaguar Scarborough, we carry an extensive selection of Land Rover, Range Rover and Jaguar vehicles and feature a state-of-the-art service & parts center–all located in Scarborough, Maine. Our skilled technicians will work diligently to ensure that you are fully satisfied with your overall experience.
“If you really want to grow your business it’s with the phone.” – Will Haynes Director of Marketing and Analytics

Our President going for a ride!

Our President going for a ride!