- Offer a live service to thousands of customers
- Help with online enquires
- Experiment in a new line of communication
- Create an In-store experience online
“Times have changed and we recognized that the huge shift towards online car research meant that we had to find a way of meeting potential customers on the Sytner website and early in their research. Sytner Live allows us to do just that – we’re meeting customers via video chat and serving them in much the same way as we’d assist them in the dealership.”
Sales Development Manager JLR, Sytner Group, UK-based subsidiary of the Penske Automotive Group
Customer research is starting online, not in the dealership
The car industry has seen many changes over the years and, similar to other dealer groups, Sytner has seen a decline in the number of customers visiting a car dealership in order to research car options. Instead, an increasing number of customers start their car research online and often during the evening when they are at home. Meeting a customer during the early part of their research is important and Sytner decided that it needed to meet these customers on its website, and offer them a similar customer experience to the one they would receive in the dealership.
Finding the solution in video chat
In order to offer a service differentiator to online customers, Sytner Live was launched in March 2014, a live help service available to the thousands of customers who visit the Sytner website each month. Sytner Live offers customer support in a number of ways- by real-time video, text chat or email support, depending on the preference of the customer.
Driven by Vee24 technology, the service is currently available to customers who visit the Sytner website to enquire about Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Lexus, Honda, Volvo and Sytner Select vehicles (LHVS). It’s also available to customers who enquire via the JLR and the LHVS manufacturer sites.
Outsourcing to the experts
Delivering a consistent and excellent customer service was important to Sytner who wanted to ensure their high service levels in the dealerships would be offered via the online channel. From the outset, a decision was made to outsource the Sytner Live service to Vee24, who would be responsible for managing all customer communication via the website, using a combination of video chat, text chat and email communication.
The team at Vee24 has an excellent reputation for delivering Live Chat services and a great understanding of the industry sector and now works as a seamless extension of the Sytner team. Customers arriving on the Sytner website are offered Sytner Live Help, with the option to ‘live text chat’, ‘live video chat’, or communicate with the customer service agent using email. It’s a service offered seven days a week between 8am and 10pm, with 44% of all enquiries coming between 6pm and 10pm when the dealerships are typically closed. Enquiries range from brochure requests to after-sales enquiries, through to general car enquiries and information about how and where to book a test drive.
“Amazed at this level of support on a Sunday evening. It really raises the service bar”
Increased conversions, high service scores and fast call resolution
Meeting customers on the website, at times to suit them is of course a great leap forward in customer service and a significant differentiator. But any investment in new technology must also bring benefits to the business and Sytner has seen a number of benefits since the service went live.
Engagements to sales lead ratios are high. A significant bottom line benefit of the Sytner Live service is the number of online engagements that become sales leads for the dealership. On average, 35% of customers met on the website are passed over to the dealerships as qualified sales opportunities – a significantly higher figure that for those customers who browse the website independently without meeting an agent online.
Net Promoter Scores are high – averaging 85. Customer feedback on the service has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly around the out of hours service, the innovation in using video chat, the high standard of service offered and the response times from the dealerships.
Ability to meet customers out of hours. Dealership operating hours generally mean that customers can’t ask questions and resolve issues during the evening. Sytner Live is available seven days a week from 8am to 10pm and with 44% of all enquiries coming between 6pm and 10pm the out of hours service is being well used by customers.
Strict SLAs mean an enhanced service from dealers. The Sytner Live team at Vee24 has strict service level agreements to maintain and must pass vehicle queries across to a nominated dealership within 15 minutes of a call ending. In turn, the dealer commits to calling the customer within 45 minutes. This strictly followed process ensures that the customer is contacted quickly, test drives are arranged swiftly and queries are resolved efficiently.
Pre-qualifying the customer results in a tailored call from the dealer. Where a customer is looking to test drive and purchase a vehicle, the Sytner Live team will spend time with the customer, browsing the website, understanding the customer’s lifestyle, what they are looking for in a car, and colour/model preferences. This information is passed to the local dealership and means that the sales team fully understands what the customer requires before they return the call, again leading to a more professional service experience for that customer.
Problem resolution is faster. A great advantage of Video Chat has been in the area of problem resolution. Using video means that the customer can see the agent and talk to them in real-time, often ‘out of hours’ and this face to face interaction often diffuses a situation, with the customer more reassured that the complaint has handled well and taken seriously.
Excellent customer feedback, month on month growth in engagement numbers and significant bottom line benefits mean that Sytner will look to expand the service to other car manufacturers.
Sytner has always prided itself on customer service excellence and having worked with the Vee24 team now for over a year to deliver Sytner Live to customers, the organisation can only see the service growing. It’s a real service differentiator, with sound commercial benefits and ensures that Sytner is able to offer its online customers a similar experience to the one they’d receive in a dealership.