Must-Have Unified Communications Features for Auto Dealerships

By Jason Mefford



Today’s car buyers have several options for where and how they purchase their vehicles. Senior Director at J.D Power, Arianne Walker, stresses that “shoppers are gathering information digitally up to the moment the deal is signed, which underscores the need for ensuring mobile websites and apps have up-to-date and accurate information.” Not only are customers accessing car and dealership information online, they are calling and visiting dealerships just as often. A 2014 study by J.D. Power found that customers who spend the most amount of time browsing vehicles online also visit more dealerships in person than those who don’t browse online as much. With all the online and in-person traffic coming in and out, dealerships must ensure every aspect of the customer’s journey is top notch – and it begins with communications.

According to a 2015 report by KoMarketing, 64% of customers want to see a company’s contact information on their website homepage, but only 60% have it listed. The ability to capture leads and close a sale is firmly wrapped up in seamless communication through your dealership’s website, CRM, and business phone system; contact information should be prevalent. Even after a sale, customer retention and loyalty is based on the quality of customer satisfaction, which again, comes down to communications. Investing in solutions that enable seamless and effective communications is vital in this competitive industry, and the need spans beyond a traditional phone system.

Digium’s Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) system has been used in auto dealerships for years, benefiting every department’s unique communication needs. Switchvox boasts advanced and flexible features that work well across multiple locations, so multi-site dealerships can seamlessly connect to the same solution. Implementation of Switchvox is simple and can be done with little or no IT staff. Here is a quick look at the features within Switchvox that can help your auto dealership:

  • Mobility: Switchvox Mobile enables the sales team to access every Switchvox feature and capability via their smartphone (iPhone or Android), including call controls (transfer, conference, send to voicemail), call recording, visual voicemail, and more. The customer only sees the dealership’s caller ID information, which keeps the salesperson’s personal contact information private, and also allows the brand of the dealership to be persistent in all customer communications
  • CRM Integration: The Extend API lets users build integrations with CRM applications, which triggers “screen-pops” displaying important caller information, location, and notes from previous interactions.  Salesforce CRM integration is available out of the box.
  • Call Control Interface: The Switchboard allows the receptionist to have a call control interface on their desktop. This web-based application  increases worker efficiency by allowing the receptionist to see who is or is not on the phone, click-to-dial, transfer, and instant message any employee, regardless of location
  • Reporting: You can schedule call reports to be automatically emailed to track marketing campaigns or the productivity of your departments. See how long customers were on hold, with whom they spoke, and use high and low call periods to properly staff during the day
  • Call Queues: These allow you to control the call flow of the dealerships. Queues enable calls to be delivered to the correct department or employee with little or no staff interaction.  Queues ensure your customers are taken care of as quickly as possible based on your staffing levels.
  • Call Recording: Managers have the ability to record calls to ensure that employees are handling situations as they were trained to do
  • Personalized Call Rules: Users have the flexibility to set which of their phones ring, in what order, and what time of day. They can set up calls to automatically ring to their desk during work hours, to their mobile phones after hours, or to go straight to voicemail when needed.  You can also have your status determine how your calls get routed so you have quick and dynamic control over you calls
  • Training Tools: Switchvox provides several easy-to-use, yet powerful training tools, such as listening in on calls, being able to speak to the employee over the phone without the customer being able to hear, and helping troublesome calls by “barging in”
  • Reduced Cost: Switchvox combines the communications of all your dealership locations into one. This can allow all incoming call traffic to be handled by one receptionist, instead of paying unnecessary salaries to several. Also, due to increased visibility, more locations can be run with fewer managers. Dealerships that implement Switchvox save an average of 40-60% on their monthly communications costs

Unified Communications is expanding and streamlining the way auto dealerships communicate- from the beginning of the sale to ongoing customer care. Access our Switchvox for Auto Dealerships guide for a detailed overview of every Switchvox feature your dealership can benefit from.

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There's One Comment

  • I like this list you created here, Jason. Reminds me of a CTI that has most of these features. Tenfold is a CTI that seamlessly integrates any phone system (like Asterisk and Digium Switchvox) with your company’s CRM. And as you mentioned here, it has features like call queues, call recording, and even caller ID. Its floating UI also makes it easier to determine who is calling you so you would be prepared to take the call. Creating sales reports is made easier and more challenging with its enhanced analytics and gamification. Now you see why I agree with this article, Jason. 🙂

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About the Author

Jason Mefford

As Director of Inside Sales, Jason manages a team of Solutions Specialists and Account Executives who are focused on assisting customers and resellers throughout the sales process. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, he possesses the extensive knowledge necessary to thoroughly assess and solve client needs.

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