Auto Dealership Delivers Top-Quality Sales and Service with 8x8 Business Phone System
DeBoer's Auto, based in Hamburg, New Jersey, is a small dealership co-owned by father, Bill Sr., and his son, Bill Jr. The DeBoers have been in business for more than 25 years, and their mission is to do what is right for customers by offering quality service on any vehicle and selling cars that best fit their customers' needs.
Because the DeBoers do everything possible to ensure customers have a stress-free service or sales experience, they need a phone system that lets them respond promptly to customers' calls and messages. In 2006, that need led them to 8x8.
"Business was up and we were adding staff," recalls Bill Jr. "The phone system we leased from the local phone company no longer met our needs."
Expanding the dealership's phone service would have required a $2,000 capital investment—an approach the DeBoers considered cost-prohibitive.
Bill Jr. began researching VoIP-based alternatives, and 8x8's Auto Attendant feature quickly caught his eye. The Auto Attendant automatically answers incoming calls, playing a recorded message that allows callers to select the department they want to reach.
The professionally recorded messages the Auto Attendant plays also give the dealership a more polished, "big company" image when customers call.
"With 8x8 service, we could expand and enhance our phone system without having to make a big payment upfront," he explains. "And by using the Auto Attendant feature, we could differentiate between sales and service calls, while preventing telemarketers from taking our time away from customers."
Getting Up to Speed
Although Hamburg, New Jersey, is just 50 miles from Manhattan, it is a rural community, and that posed a small challenge in getting DeBoer's Auto up and running with 8x8 phone service.
The dealership used ISDN for Internet connectivity, and had an extremely slow connection speed. It just wasn't enough to support VoIP.
"At first we had some problems with call quality and dropped calls due to the slow Internet connection," says Bill Jr. "But our 8x8 account team was great, and quickly identified the problem. We switched over to high-speed cable, and it's been smooth sailing ever since."
Features with Real Horsepower
The DeBoers began taking advantage of their new 8x8 phone features as soon as the service was installed. The DeBoers use the Auto Attendant to route calls to either the sales or service department. The call is then picked up by the dealership's receptionist, who either transfers the caller to an extension, or uses the Call Park feature so that Bill Sr. and Bill Jr. can pick up calls from any phone in the dealership.
Using the combination of the Auto Attendant and live receptionist allows the DeBoers to route calls efficiently while still providing a personal touch when customers call. And while callers are on hold, they hear promotional messages recorded on an audio file that Bill Jr. uploads to the 8x8 system and can change whenever he wants.
Call forwarding is another feature the DeBoers rely on heavily. "Our dealership specializes in Saabs and Subarus, and we're on the road two to three days a week buying cars," says Bill Jr. "Whenever we leave the dealership, we just forward our 8x8 extensions to our cell phones. That way, we can continue to take customer calls no matter where we are."
8x8's mobile iPhone app also comes in handy during vacations. "The iPhone app makes it easy and inexpensive to call in and check messages when I'm out of the country," says Bill Jr. "Plus, if I have to place an outgoing call to a customer, it looks like a business call from the dealership instead of a personal call from my cell phone."
As an auto dealership, the DeBoers handle a lot of paperwork. To send and receive loan applications and other business documents, they use 8x8's fax service.
After business closes, calls to the dealership are answered by voicemail. The DeBoers receive email notification that they have new voice messages, which they can access by phone, online or by simply clicking an audio attachment in the email.
"It's very convenient being able to access features directly from the phone itself when we're on the sales floor or on the road," notes Bill Jr. "But I also like the flexibility of being able to use the online 8x8 Account Manager when I want to look at the system overall and make changes."
Live Support That's Right on Time
As a sales professional whose time is valuable, Bill Jr. likes the quick response he gets whenever he calls 8x8 customer support.
"I always get a live person who's based in the US, and I don't have to wait on hold for 30 minutes to reach them. Everything is timely, and my account manager gets back to me right away when I have questions or requests."
Expansion is Easy
Bill Jr. also likes how quick and easy it is to expand 8x8 phone service.
"The phone company charges a lot of money to add lines, but the 8x8 system is very simple: you just get more phones and plug them in. When our staffing needs increase, I know 8x8 will be able to add extensions cost-effectively. For us it's a win-win, because we get better phone features with no capital investment."