Improving for our Dealers
Changes we’ve made from dealer feedback
If there are two things we love at First Response, they’re change and feedback. We love getting feedback from customers or dealers on how we can improve our service or our finance packages. This feedback then encourages us to change (hopefully) for the better. Below you’ll see a few examples of our latest feedback and updates off the back of it.
New dealer portal
As a company that is constantly striving to improve our products, communication and customer satisfaction, we find that feedback is a great tool to use. We gathered feedback from our dealers to understand exactly what else they would like from our Dealer Portal, the area that they can track their customer's progress.
Dealer feedback reported that the basic functionality of the portal was fine, it was mainly the aesthetics and the way it looked which needed the improvements. We set our IT team on the case.
The new portal has been live since 2016 and has been constantly updated ever since. Through communication from our dealers our IT team have now received and implemented a number of improvements in order to make our whole process quicker, simpler and more beneficial to the dealer and the end customer.
More staff on Saturdays
In June 2016 we made another bold change after getting a lot of feedback from our dealers. The feedback was that we were understaffed on Saturdays. We were working with the same number of staff on both Saturday and Sunday but, in comparison, Sundays were a lot less demanding. The solution was clear to us: move these staff members to Saturday and improve our customer service.
Being open on a Sunday was a long term trial, investigating if we could help dealers sell a few more motor vehicles at the weekend. However, the trial has shown that in fact, Sunday hours aren’t as in demand as we had hoped and that the solution is to put all manpower from Sundays into the other days. The results meant we’ve increased the amount of staff we’ll have available on our busiest days.
Why we made this move:
Only 7% of our dealers were sending business to us on a Sunday. The overheads weren’t cost effective unfortunately and we have found that by providing more staff on Saturday we’re able to work and write even more business that we would have done previously. For those who send us business out of our hours, we’ll be working those applications as soon as we get in.
We’ve also updated our dealer portal which means dealers are able to put on an app, quote a customer and send over a signed agreement to us whilst we’re closed. As soon as we’re open we’ll simply check the docs and pay out as standard. Pretty cool isn’t it? If you’re not already on the portal send us an email or Tweet and we’ll get you set up ASAP.
A few years back we surveyed a large number of the dealers who work with us and we asked them how we could do better. The answer was a pretty unanimous: you want your money, fast.
As a dealer you don’t want to wait around for hours or days to get your money as this means you’ve still got the motor sat on your lot, the customer can’t drive away and you can’t go and buy more stock. Getting money fast also works well to keeping both of our customer’s happy.
To get your money quicker we invested. We spent money and time integrating a system called “Faster Payments”, a method that allows you to get the money into your bank account within the hour.
New customer contracts
In November 2015 we amended all of our contracts to ensure that they were clear and not misleading to the dealer or the customer in any way. Although the changes we made were minimal it was a big change for dealers who were used to the way we had always done things.
To make things simpler we created a handy video to talk through the dos and don’ts for our contracts – you can see this below.
In 2014 we found that we were struggling as a company due to our lack of good communication tools. This was evident to our customers and our dealers and something needed to be done. So we invested. This time it was in a whole new phone system, rolled out across all three sites: Glasgow, Nottingham and Leigh.
The phone system we implemented also allows us to quickly and efficiently listen back to calls (all calls are recorded) and see whether we could have done better, what we can do in future and for general improvement all around.
How did we celebrate? With cupcakes!