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By the numbers

FOUNDED 1992

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 400

NUMBER OF DEALERSHIPS 18

CARS IN INVENTORY 1,000

USAuto Sales is a used car dealership centered in the southeastern United States, specializing in selling reliable transportation to anyone, regardless of their credit story.

Over the past year, the company’s sales have risen 20 percent, while the industry average has dropped by two percent.

Challenge

When Travis McKeone started as Director of IT for USAuto Sales in 2013, he quickly realized the company’s outdated communications technology was preventing the company from moving forward.

On any given Friday night, the company’s 12 dealerships were inundated with 3,000-4,000 calls, either from people wanting to buy a car or make a payment on an existing loan. However, a legacy PBX with two PRIs in each store location throttled the number of incoming calls to 45. For the hundreds of people who couldn’t get through, the phone just rang busy. Customers needing to make a payment had to call back or visit the store in person.

We couldn’t service our customers and collect money, and we couldn’t expand our business as quickly as needed. Simply put, we had a huge telephony issue and it was holding us back,” recalled McKeone.

To support USAuto Sales’ plan of aggressively opening new dealerships along the eastern seaboard of the United States, McKeone began exploring his options. Though he originally contemplated an upgrade to the existing PBX system, he ended up suggesting a modern solution. What he proposed perfectly suited the need to call upon repeatable infrastructure while running a lean IT operation and allocating communications costs to each store location: cloud-based communications.

 

Solution

Understanding that a cloud-based solution could enable the scalability, reliability, and simple management that he sought, McKeone turned to Fuze to power USAuto Sales’ cloud communications strategy. USAuto Sales was able to turn up the Fuze product in a matter of hours as opposed to the numerous days it experienced with traditional telco vendors. By deploying Fuze, USAuto Sales gained the infrastructure it needed to set up an external call center and serve all its customers. “Normally it takes months to set up a call center. Using Fuze, we did it in just 30 days,” said McKeone. Instantly, Fuze eliminated busy signals, made it possible to seamlessly scale to handle up to 8,000 calls in a day, and empowered customers to make payments by phone.

Fuze also provided USAuto Sales with unprecedented insight into incoming calls and agent performance. “We don't just sell cars; we also service loans. It's important not only that we continue selling more cars than in the past, but that we collect on our loans at higher rates. Fuze is the backbone to our collection strategy, enabling us to improve our performance,” continued McKeone.

With Fuze, USAuto Sales was able to customize important processes to ensure loans are consistently closed in a compliant manner. For example, they use a custom IVR that enables the company to record and store each closing as an electronic record, for a repeatable, compliant process.

Plus, Fuze makes it simple for IT to allocate costs to each store. “Making the switch without taking a bigger budget hit made the Fuze installation a home run. Now we can flex and grow much faster, instead of continually adding PRIs to a PBX with limited functionality. With Fuze, we can calculate down to the penny each service being consumed and by which location,” said McKeone.

Moreover, the cloud-based communications infrastructure enables the agility USAuto Sales needs to continue on its fast-paced expansion path. In just 45 days, it can now open a new dealership and start immediately selling cars – a dramatically faster timeline than previously. In fact, with Fuze in place, the company has quickly grown from 12 locations to 18 in less than three years.

“Usually, IT is the cause of delays. The cloud technology allows us to pivot a lot faster. Plus, it eliminates the need to hire specialists such as telephony engineers to maintain our infrastructure,” continued McKeone

According to McKeone’s calculations, USAuto Sales realized a return on its Fuze investment within three to five months, enabled by reducing its footprint, telephony costs, and long-distance fees. The cloud-based solution also frees McKeone and his team to focus on more data-centric and future-forward technologies. When we first brought Fuze in, it was as a telephony replacement. Now we look at Fuze as a strategic partner, empowering IT to enable the business and deliver on its promises,” concludes McKeone.

Perhaps that helps explain why McKeone was promoted from IT director to CIO and CTO.

  • Platform characteristics:
  • Transition to the cloud from an on-premise legacy system
  • Integrations with CRM
  • Intelligent call routing
  • Key user features:
  • Call center package and custom dashboard with analytics
  • Custom IVR to ensure compliant closings
  • Instant messenger

Results

Rapid Expansion

With its communications in the cloud, the company opened a new dealership in 45 days, and an external call center in 30 days.

New-found Scalability

USAuto Sales scaled quickly from 12 to 18 locations, and can now handle 7,000 to 8,000 incoming calls in a day, up from 3,000-4,000.

Better Business Processes

USAuto Sales gained 100% uptime and the ability to collect on loans more quickly and efficiently, and enable compliant closings.

Rapid ROI

In just 5 months, USAuto Sales recouped its investment in Fuze.

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