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Multi-Location Auto Dealership Equips Sales Force with Integrated Mobility Option to Eliminate Missed Customer Calls
In an industry like automobile sales and service, responsiveness can easily mean the difference between a service appointment, a large-ticket sale – or a customer taking their business elsewhere. Despite its reputation for meeting and exceeding customer needs, Voss Auto Network was using an aging communications system. The network of dealerships, including eight locations across Ohio, serves over 500 employees. Getting calls even when “walking the lot,” quickly retrieving voicemails, and having the ability to easily track missed calls all proved key to taking customer service, sales, and repeat business to the next level.
Three years ago, Voss Auto Network’s 20 year old legacy phone system had become obsolete. The decades-old setup didn’t allow twinning, the caller ID was inaccurate, and company directories were updated manually in spreadsheets. Replacement equipment parts were costly, and even minor repairs could run up a $700 bill. Even worse, Voss Auto lacked a feature as critical as headlights on a car: voice mail. No one in the company could receive a voice mail; no one could track missed calls; and sales and service opportunities were missed. Voss Auto Network was driving blind.
“There was literally no way to track any calls that were missed, nor could we figure out how many calls were missed,” recalled Kevin Murvay. “We knew that one of the first projects we would undertake when I started here, almost three years ago, would be to get phones with IP capabilities.”
With IP phones as the main goal, Voss Auto Network solicited quotes and demos from several vendors. Voss Auto Network chose Avaya IP Office 500 V2 and several Avaya Stack Switches, ERS-3524GT, to bolster its infrastructure. IP Office was competitively priced, and Voss trusted the Avaya reseller, with whom it had an existing relationship.
In the Driver’s Seat: The Two-Fold Rollout
Before Voss Auto Network could start taking advantage of the Avaya IP Office system, it needed to upgrade its network system. With the help of MVD, it worked with Time Warner and Cincinnati Bell, the local internet service providers, to switch to a network with redundancy. Voss Auto Network installed built-in failovers so that if one system goes down, another steps in, as well as backup capabilities via SIP trunking for disaster recovery.
While the network was being upgraded, Voss Auto Network was also in the process of building a new location with a clean computer room, incorporating Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 3524s. This was where the main IP Office system would be hosted, and IP Office was first rolled out to this location. For about two months, this was the only location that had IP Office while Murvay and his team gathered data and planned the launch of IP Office throughout the company. Each week, Voss Auto Network brought up another location on IP Office until they were all upgraded.
Service Appointments Increase
In addition to immediately increased functionality, one of the most measurable improvements was a 10-20 percent increase in service appointments. Before, without voicemail, customers would have no way of letting the service department know they needed an appointment after hours, or even if someone was away from the service desk phone for a break. Now, not only can customers leave messages, but they can access a menu option with various option such as, “press one for sales, press two for service.”
“Right away, I can tell you that no call went unanswered.
Appointments were easy for customers to schedule
at the press of a button.” – Kevin Murvay, IT Director,Voss Auto Network
Benefits Expected and Unexpected
The new messaging capabilities have been a helpful for Voss Auto Network. One feature that didn’t seem important during the purchase cycle has proved to be highly valued by the staff: voicemail to email capability.
“I love that when I have my smartphone, I’m five seconds away from listening to my voicemail no matter where I’m at,” Murvay said. “Everyone’s got email on their phones, too, so we’re always a second away from checking our voicemail.”
Users don’t necessarily need to listen to the full voicemail to know who it’s from. Emails are generated from internal calls as .wav files to play the voicemail. The email header provides the extension number of the person who called. If a customer calls and leaves a voicemail, the recipient will see at a glance the number of the caller.
The sales staff also appreciates the twinning feature, which lets them pair their desk phones to their mobile phones. “Sales people can walk the lot and not miss a call,” observes Murvay. Voss Auto Network employees also all have direct numbers now, which are automatically updated into the company’s online internal directory via the IP Office administrative tool. Gone are the days of relying on a manually updated, printed spreadsheet with phone numbers.
For Voss Auto Network, choosing Avaya IP Office has moved the company into the fast lane. As it expands, the company intends to roll out IP Office to new locations, and looks forward to enjoying all the benefits that IP Office offers to a mobile workforce and a company intent on serving customers well.
The Voss Auto Network is proud to be part of the Centerville, Beavercreek, Monroe, and Tipp City communities. Starting with Chevrolet in 1972, Voss Auto Network boasts nine franchises: Chevrolet, Cadillac, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Scion, Hyundai, Land Rover, and Joe Morgan Honda). The Voss Auto Network is the largest network of dealerships and has been recognized as the leader and innovator in the Dayton/Miami Valley area of Ohio.
What our Customers are saying
“Right away, I can tell you that no call went unanswered. Appointments were easy for customers to schedule at the press of a button.”
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