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How Van Horn improves employee training by 20%

Cars parked side by side at a dealership
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  • Midmarket

Since 1961, Wisconsin-based Van Horn Automotive Group has been dedicated to providing their clients with automotive excellence and great customer service. With a philosophy of "Amaze Our Customers," this mid-size dealership group has carved out a reputation for delivering unique, delightful experiences in the automotive world.

However, operating a network of dealerships isn't without its challenges. The group's communication tools were becoming disjointed, leading to inefficiencies that hindered their mission of amazing their customers. Their previous on-premise phone system was proving to be a significant roadblock, especially in a fast-growing, customer-centric environment. The need for a more nimble, cloud-based solution was becoming apparent—a solution that could seamlessly integrate multiple locations and provide advanced capabilities like AI-driven insights.

We spoke to a few of Van Horn’s leaders—Tina Tasche, CRM Manager, Zach Ehr, IT Director, Shannon Laehn, Director of Business Development, and Brittney Dean, Sales Business Development Center Manager—on their experience searching for and transitioning to a new communication system that worked better for their team.

“We needed a dynamic solution that could scale with us”

After encountering many frustrations with their old Mitel solution, Van Horn’s leaders recognized the need for a modern communication system that could adapt and grow with their expanding operations. “We needed a dynamic solution that could scale with us,” Zach Ehr, IT Director shares.

After evaluating several communications solutions, Dialpad emerged as the frontrunner in their search, offering a cloud-based platform that promised ease of use, and a full feature set for their call centers—something they hadn't experienced before. The decision to transition to Dialpad was driven by its robust call center features, the flexibility it offered for quick setup in new dealerships, and its user-friendly interface. “The ease of use was probably the biggest reason we chose Dialpad,” Tina Tasche, CRM Manager, shares, emphasizing the importance of a system that was easy to learn and implement.

The transition to Dialpad marked a significant shift in how Van Horn Automotive Group managed communications. Zach describes the transition as a revelation, especially in terms of ease of setup for user provisioning, which went from a laborious manual process to a matter of a few clicks. “Going from having to have a physical phone system at every call center site to not having to do that was amazing,” he says. “With Dialpad, I can set up an office with department agents with just five clicks, which takes seconds. Before, it would take three or four days to just do one of those things.” This means that getting a new dealership set up with Dialpad is much quicker than before, which is critical in helping Van Horn scale and grow.

Setting up new department agents and offices isn’t the only thing that the Van Horn team can do quickly now. With Ai Recaps, the team doesn’t have to spend as much time taking notes during meetings anymore, which helps them focus more on the call. “It probably cuts five to ten minutes off each meeting,” Zach says. This is significant, given the number of meetings the team has to take in a day.

The switch to Dialpad was not just a change in their communication system—it was a strategic move to empower their teams with a tool that could keep pace with their dynamic business needs and help them focus on what they do best—delivering amazing customer experiences.

Quicker and more efficient onboarding training

With Dialpad, Van Horn Automotive Group revolutionized their onboarding process, particularly in training new hires. Dialpad’s intuitive design and user-friendly interface significantly helped Van Horn’s team streamline the new hire training phase, making it quicker and more efficient than ever.

Tina speaks to the transformation Dialpad brought to their training approach. “Training people on Dialpad is far easier than trying to train them on the old Mitel phones,” Tina shares. Their previous phone system was physically bulky and inflexible. Dialpad's sleek and portable design, in contrast, offered a hassle-free solution, allowing new hires to quickly grasp the essentials of making calls, sending texts, and overall system navigation.

The ease of use is a key reason why Van Horn’s team chose Dialpad. It allowed Van Horn's team to focus more on the substantive aspects of their roles rather than grappling with complex telephony systems. This shift is particularly beneficial in their call centers, where the ability to adapt and respond quickly is paramount. With Dialpad, even the most inexperienced team members could get up to speed rapidly, thanks to its straightforward interface and functionality.

Brittney Dean, Sales Business Development Center Manager, highlights the impact of Dialpad's efficiency on their overall operations. “The transition to a more streamlined communication system meant we could significantly reduce the learning curve for new employees,” she notes. This efficiency not only sped up the onboarding process but also enhanced the overall productivity of the team from the get-go.

Getting ahead of hot topics and selling better with Custom Moments

With Custom Moments, Van Horn’s team can quickly identify and address trending topics that come up in customer calls. This feature not only boosts their customer service efficiency but also sharpens their sales strategies.

Screenshot of Dialpads call recording interface highlighting the Custom Moments functionality

Brittney emphasizes the transformative impact of Custom Moments. “This feature is like having a pulse on what our customers are talking about in real time,” she explains. By leveraging data from these moments, the team can adapt their strategies to meet emerging customer needs and preferences, thereby enhancing their sales process.

Zach adds, “Since integrating Custom Moments, we've seen a marked improvement in our call answer rate, which went up by 10%. It's a game-changer in how we handle incoming calls.” This improvement demonstrates the feature's ability to streamline communication, ensuring that customer inquiries are addressed promptly and effectively.

Custom Moments also helps the team in resource allocation. “It helps us quickly mobilize resources to address specific customer issues,” Brittney notes. “In the past, identifying and responding to these issues was a slower, more challenging process. Now, we're equipped to act swiftly.”

This feature's impact extends beyond immediate customer interactions. “We're also looking at trends in these moments to refine our sales approach,” Brittney adds. “If there's a surge in interest about a particular product or service, we can adapt our sales tactics accordingly.”

“We’ve seen a 20% increase in training effectiveness with Ai Scorecards.”

Ai Scorecards are a significant morale booster for Van Horn’s team—these scorecards offer employees real-time feedback on their performance, fostering an environment of continuous improvement and self-awareness.

Shannon Laehn, Director of Business Development, shares her enthusiasm for this feature. “Our teams have really latched onto Ai Scorecards. It's not just a tool for us—it's a way to empower our employees,” Shannon says. By providing immediate and accurate feedback, Ai Scorecards enable team members to self-assess and identify areas for growth, leading to a more skilled and confident workforce.

Screenshot of Dialpads Ai Scorecards dashboard

Brittney also highlights how Ai Scorecards have improved training and retention. “Since we started using scorecards, we've seen a 20% increase in our training effectiveness. This, in turn, leads to better retention as employees feel more competent and valued,” Brittney says.

The ability for employees to review their scores individually and with their managers is particularly beneficial for Van Horn. “It's opened up a new level of transparency and conversation within our teams,” Brittney explains. “Employees can see where they excel and where they need to improve, making our coaching sessions more focused and productive.”

This transparent feedback mechanism creates a positive shift in the workplace culture at Van Horn. Employees are more engaged in their work, and motivated by clear, actionable insights into their performance. The result is a team that is not only more skilled but also more aligned with the company's commitment to excellence in customer service.

Critical call insights at their fingertips

Van Horn’s team uses Dialpad's reporting and analytics tools to transform how they approach daily operations. These tools provide critical insights into call activities, enabling better decision-making and strategy implementation.

Zach shares the immediate impact of these features “We now have the ability to quickly dive into calls. This accessibility means we can respond rapidly to any inquiries, be it from our team or the legal department,” says Zach. This swift access to detailed call data marks a significant departure from the cumbersome process of sifting through multiple reports and dashboards.

Screenshot of Dialpads call analytics dashboard

Brittney elaborates on how this impacts their responsiveness: “If another team needs information on a call, we can provide it within minutes. It's a drastic improvement from our previous capabilities.”

Heat maps are another feature that Van Horn finds invaluable. These maps allow the team to identify high call volume periods, leading to more efficient staff scheduling and ensuring that customer calls are always attended to promptly.

“Having real-time data at our fingertips means we can manage our teams more effectively,” says Brittney. “We're not just reacting to situations—we're proactively optimizing our operations based on solid, actionable insights.”

Looking ahead: Real-time assist cards and API integrations

Although Van Horn’s team is already experiencing significant improvements in training efficiency, customer service, and team engagement with Dialpad, the team is eagerly looking forward to leveraging more features, particularly Real-Time Assist (RTA) cards and API integrations.

“We're especially excited about the possibilities that Real-Time Assist cards offer. It's like having a knowledge base at your fingertips, allowing our team to respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries without having to search for information,” Tina shares.

API integrations are another area where Van Horn sees great potential. “Integrating Dialpad with our existing systems will streamline our processes even further,” adds Zach. “It's about making every aspect of our operations as efficient and effective as possible.”

Brittney sums up the team’s experience with Dialpad so far. “Dialpad has been a game-changer for us. The improvements we've seen in call quality, team motivation, and overall efficiency are just the beginning. We can't wait to see how Real-Time Assist cards and deeper API integrations will elevate our customer interactions and internal processes even further,” says Brittney.

We can’t wait to see how the Van Horn team continues to grow and scale with Dialpad!

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