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Jeff Wyler Automotive Family Deploys VoIP, Improves Customer Experience
With 41 automotive franchises spread across 14 locations, selecting and deploying a cohesive phone system to support varied constituents can be a daunting task. This is the dilemma the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family faced in the Spring of 2012.
A native Cincinnatian, Jeff Wyler launched his first dealership – Chevrolet – in 1973 in Batavia, Ohio, where “cars, like eggs, are cheeper in the country.” From this single site, Wyler has expanded his automotive empire to 16 distinguished automotive brands with dealerships located in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The Jeff Wyler Automotive Family is one of the top 50 dealership groups in the nation, employing nearly 1,000 people and retailing nearly 30,000 new and used vehicles annually.
For a dealership as large, comprehensive, and established as Wyler, synergistic communications are vital to the business. Faced with aging phone systems and disparate platforms throughout the dealerships and the corporate office location, Wyler engaged Advanced Technology Consulting (ATC).
“We’re in the business of selling cars,” says Brian Hoffman, Director of IT for Wyler. “With ATC acting as a single point of contact, conducting the upfront legwork, and providing budgetary projections, we were able to make informed decisions regarding features and functionalities. ATC took a tremendous load off of us. It was a huge time savings.”
The proposed new phone system for Wyler, which constituted approximately 715 handsets across all locations and dealerships, needed to be stable, flexible, and scalable. It needed to integrate with mobile, and provide inter-office connectivity with greater efficiency of call handling.
ATC went to work determining requirements and identifying solutions. Ultimately, ATC provided viable options, including hosted VoIP, premise-based VoIP, and a hybrid system. Five different VoIP providers were specified and submitted quotes. One of the five providers was ShoreTel, which offered a robust premise-based system with a purpose-built IP architecture that makes it perform like a single, unified platform. Wyler chose the ShoreTel solution.
Wyler’s system scales and grows as needed, across sites or dealerships. An intuitive browser-based administrative interface gives Wyler’s IT staff the ability to easily maintain the system. What once took five people to maintain now only requires one.
“The new system is so easy to manage,” said Hoffman. “It has decreased maintenance costs by far. We have been able to get entire dealerships up and running in a half day.” Due to the age of the old systems in place, Wyler has progressively rolled out the new system to each dealership location via a staged implementation plan.
ATC also piloted a thorough review of the network services, including local, long distance and data/internet, for each of the 14 locations. Competitive quotations were solicited from five different carriers. Cincinnati Bell was selected as the carrier of choice. Pricing was updated and contracts were consolidated—both voice and data—for the entire network, providing significant savings.
Most importantly, Wyler’s customers are also experiencing benefits, including much more efficient call routing and optimized one-call resolutions for improved customer satisfaction. ShoreTel’s mobility feature permits integration with smartphones and tablets allowing Wyler to incorporate BYOD (bring your own device) communications, making salespeople and customer-facing personnel much more accessible.
“Eventually it will allow us to link all of our locations on one system,” says Jeff Wyler. “So instead of making all these phone calls, I can dial an extension and talk to my guy in Louisville or Springfield. Being able to communicate to multiple locations by just going to the extension is a big deal.”
Wyler adds that the new phone system enhances the customer experience as well. “Say a customer calls in and maybe dials a wrong store. It’s now easy to transfer them to any store they need. Rather than asking them to call a certain number for a person at a different location, we can just transfer them directly. It’s a huge time save for everyone involved.”
Noting ATC’s commitment to customer service, Wyler says, “Their reply is almost instant. If we have issues with the carriers, ATC follows up with it so we don’t have to worry about it. It’s a hand-off. And, when the issue is resolved, ATC calls us to let us know it’s resolved.”