Success Story

Bill Penney Toyota

Bill Penney Toyota Depends on Switchvox to Streamline Service

The Customer

Bill Penney Toyota is part of the Bill Penney Automotive Group, the #1 volume car dealership in Alabama. Staff assist car shoppers in finding their perfect new or used vehicle and offer a full range of parts and maintenance services. “Our Human Resources Director had just come to us from a CPA firm who had recently installed Switchvox, and they were very happy with it,” says Hensley. “We contacted Network Services & Support about a Switchvox.” “With a growing call center, Switchvox was the best choice for Bill Penney because it is based on Asterisk open source software, which can be widely customized,” says Jan Heering, operations manager at NSS. “Plus, Switchvox has the functionality needed for a call center without the costly add-ons.”

Business Challenges

Eighteen months ago, Bill Penney Toyota was facing a huge problem getting customers in and out of their service department. A full 70 percent of their customers seemed to drop their cars off for servicing between 7:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. By 11:00 a.m., it slowed to a crawl, making it hard on the service department. They needed a better way for customers to schedule appointments to smooth the traffic flow. Additionally, the dealership had a very small IT department. While the team had been patching up their aging phone system for years, it was an increasingly challenging task, and the legacy system prevented making the changes needed to improve communications in the service center. “It was only a couple of years ago that when you needed changes or there was a problem with the phones, you walked down the hall to the telephone room and you did everything you needed to do right there. It doesn’t work that way anymore,” says Ryan Hensley Chief Financial Officer at Bill Penney Toyota. “And we knew the way to fix our service problem and to better manage phone communication across the board was to buy a new phone system.” Fortunately, a more ambitious plan was developing. Bill Penney contacted Southeast Toyota Distributors who provided them with the blueprints for setting up a call center that would not only manage the workflow in the service department, but also boost sales and offer all types of ongoing customer support. They did not have a budget for a new phone system, but they wanted a premise-based solution they could manage themselves, backed up by plenty of affordable support when needed.

Solutions from Sangoma

Bill Penney purchased a Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) appliance designed for larger businesses that want high performance, high redundancy, and a fully-featured system. When Bill Penney began the process, the dealership started with 80 users. In less than two years, that has grown to 110, but they have no worries about having to upgrade to a larger system because their Switchvox system is able to expand as their business grows They also purchased a mix of D-Series IP phone sets that included some entry-level models, some mid-level phones with color displays, as well as 25 executive level phones ideal for call centers.

The Results

When it comes to customer communications, the second biggest killer for a car dealership is who answers the phone and how you answer it,” Hensley says. “We still believe the human touch is the best touch, so we wanted the receptionist to answer the phones, but we needed a way to better distribute calls when she was on the phone, so people didn’t have to wait on hold.” With Switchvox, the IVR auto attendant gets calls to the correct person and department without having to put them on hold, streamlining the business process. “Switchvox is designed to help you make more money, much more so than an off-the-shelf system,” says Heering. “Switchvox integrates well with other software and it can be customized to fit the call center environment.” “It increases Bill Penney’s ability to address customers directly and reduces stress, but it also gets you where you are going quicker,” says Monique Mills, manager of the Bill Penney call center. “Customers can schedule a service appointment, order parts, or make an appointment to buy a car, all through the call center.” She says it also provides her with the management and training tools she needs to run a successful call center. “It records every call so I can listen in, piggyback, and monitor any call I want, which helps train our call staff. I can go into a training session and pull the 3 best and 3 worst calls from the day before and say, ‘Here’s how to properly handle a call’ and ‘Here is how not to handle a call’. It also runs all kinds of reports.” “We continue to learn as we use it, but it comes back down to Bill Penney implementing the most innovative technology available to communicate with our customers,” says Hensley. “When people ask us on the phone, ‘How did you know my name?’, we can say, ‘Because we use cutting-edge technology in everything we do so we can keep you informed!”