Dealers spend so much time and so many resources on finding the right Dealership Management System (DMS), but when it comes down to the question of what IT solution dealers cannot live without, most of them actually say it’s their phone system. Car and truck dealers could temporarily go to manual operations and run a dealership without a DMS, but under no circumstances could they ever shut down customer and internal phone communication. Being available via telephone at all times is crucial for business success or failure.
Phone Resellers Struggle With Advancing Communications Technology
Unlike DMS and CRM applications, phone systems are not sold directly from the manufacturer or service provider. Auto dealers must find the best reseller before deciding about the right telephony solution from Cisco, Avaya, Shoretel, Mitel, NEC, Polycom, Allworx, and others. The best-case scenario is to find an established and certified channel partner that offers multiple phone solutions from which dealers can then pick the best fit for their distinctive needs.
In over 20 years helping auto dealers negotiating their dealership technology we have seen numerous phone systems that had been installed by one reseller and re-installed and maintained by another – needless to say that the dealers had to cover the additional costs for fixing what the first channel partner failed to deliver. A wrong decision about the channel partner can easily lead to an expansive misunderstanding.
Phone Systems Evolve To Complex Unified Communications Platforms
On top of it, the telecommunications industry has made dramatic progress over the years. Today’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems go far beyond telephony, voicemail and call reporting. So called Unified Communications and Collaboration platforms integrate instant messaging, online meetings, mobile solutions, softphones and desktop applications, “telepresence” and video conferencing, and many other applications that will help auto dealerships streamline communication and exceed customer expectations. But how to get to this point is the challenge dealers are facing. Is a smaller local reseller better than a bigger national reseller? And should dealers sign up for hosted VoIP or on-premise systems? Is it worth to pay more for an outstanding first-tier telephone system than for a solid second-tier solution?
Gillrie Institute Phone System Consulting
Automobile dealers have very distinctive needs for their phone system. For instance they need an easy-to-use call manager to internally administer users and endpoints, an in-depth call intelligence reporting tool to track in- and outbound activities and control marketing efforts, an advanced contact center solution for their BDC campaigns, reliable mobile solutions for supporting sales managers on the lot, hunt groups for their body shops, and a sound DMS and CRM integration. Finding the best phone system that supports these and other features and having a reliable channel partner to install and maintain the system is a true challenge. We will navigate dealers through the complex world of telephony and help them to:
- Identify a competent channel partners to ensure smooth install and maintenance,
- Challenge vendors on configuration so that our dealers don’t buy equipment and services they don’t need
- Understand total costs of ownership and get the best rates for phones and IP technology,
- Safeguard the best phone deals with the right addenda, and
- Save a lot of valuable time.
Here is a quick recap of what we do for clients: