Connected: Reynolds Support for Customers
- Reynolds is working to help dealers manage difficulties.
- Dealers can benefit from various Reynolds initiatives.
In this episode of our video podcast, Connected, Dave Bates, vice president of customer support at Reynolds and Reynolds, provides information on the company’s efforts to support dealerships during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Greg Uland: Hello, I’m Greg Uland, marketing director at Reynolds and Reynolds, and this is Connected – the podcast with best practices and ideas to help navigate what is happening in the automotive industry and the world today. As the COVID-19 virus continues to change our world and how we live and work daily, this podcast discusses ways to continue operating in this unprecedented social environment. Today we have with us Dave Bates, vice president of customer support at Reynolds and Reynolds. Dave, thanks so much for joining.
Dave Bates: Greg, thanks for having me in. I hope everybody out there is staying safe and healthy.
GU: Definitely. Thanks for hopping on. You know, Dave, the question that’s really top of mind for me and probably for a lot of dealers out there going through this situation, how has your support organization changed? How has their capacity to handle customer requests changed in this time?
DB: Well, Greg, we’ve always had an emergency plan in the event that we couldn’t get to the office or there are some challenges, but we’ve really taken it to another level. As the COVID virus started to spread, we started planning on how we could support folks. And Ohio has been one of the most aggressive policies in locking down folks from coming to work and was one of the first states to do that. And thankfully, our organization was prepared. My team is full-staffed and working from home. When you call in, it’s just like they were sitting at their desk.
GU: That’s great. And can you expand maybe a little bit from an operations perspective? What you’ve needed to change or maybe what you are doing differently now than you were a few weeks ago?
DB: Sure. Well, there’s a couple of key things. Obviously, we need to be able to have the phone calls route as they do when we’re at the office. We have a key technology piece that makes us able to extend our phone system to their home offices. And secondarily, we still need to be able to connect in to dealer systems to be able to troubleshoot, help, and work with dealers to resolve issues. And we’ve been successful in accomplishing both of those things. And I’m pretty excited with the results.
GU: Good, good. So you say results. What have you been seeing? How has it been going? I don’t know if you’re getting any feedback from customers or from your team?
DB :Well, as you would expect, call volumes are down a little bit. Typically, we would take between 2,000 and 2,500 calls a day. And right now we’re averaging between 1,000 and 1,600 calls a day, which is still significant now. But we’re also focused on the levels of service we’re providing. The hold times are minimal, and that’s exciting for us. We’ve talked to some customers recently and we’re both surprised and pleased at how quickly they were able to get through and get to the same people they’ve been working with all along.
GU: That’s good to hear. As you’re talking to customers, too, I’m curious, are there any common themes or common problems, struggles they’re seeing, or common requests right now?
DB: Obviously, the ability to work from home has been one of the keys and we’ve helped them through some of those issues. Most recently with the government programs that are out there for dealers to take advantage, dealers have needed some data and information that they normally wouldn’t. Our reporting team has been getting a lot of requests, and I talked to a dealer yesterday – within two hours we got him the information he needed. We were pretty quick to respond and we were able to set up templates now that we know what information dealers are looking for. That lets us replicate it pretty quickly for dealers.
GU: That’s great to hear. It’s amazing how these types of situations end up creating opportunities to work through, that just get replicated over probably every dealership in the country.
DB: Yeah, and obviously there are some that are quicker to jump on it than others. But the good news is we’re ready and prepared. And you know, our hours of operation have always been the strongest in the industry. We’re open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern time and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. That hasn’t changed, so as dealers need help and need support, we’re there and we’re ready.
GU: Fantastic. Dave is there any advice from your perspective or maybe anything you’ve heard from dealers on trying to weather this storm and get through it as best as possible?
DB: Well, I know that folks are getting creative on how they market and how they try to help support their customers. I’ve been doing this for 37 years and I know dealers and dealerships are resilient. And just like we’ve worked through some other challenges over the years, dealers will come back robust and ready to deal with that pent up demand. We’re here to support them through those hard times and after.
GU: All right, fantastic. I appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your day, this has been a good conversation. I appreciate it. While we have the audience and before we hop off, is there anything else that you’d want to share?
DB: I just want to let you know that we’re here to help. And, you know, 800.767.0080 in the U.S. And the normal numbers in Canada… Our Canadian operations are set up a little bit differently, so for our Canadian customers, we’re actually working on a callback situation today. But within the next couple of weeks, we’ll be in the same scenario that we have in the U.S. and our folks are on board and ready to support you, whether you’re with us in the U.S. or with us in Canada.
GU: Great. Well, thanks again for your time today. Definitely appreciate it.
DB: Thanks, Greg.
GU: All right. Thank you all. This has been Connected. Stay safe and we’ll see you on the next episode.
Continue to tune in often to see new episodes on best practices and tips for navigating the automotive industry during this unprecedented time.
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