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Brothers Reg and Louis Rix founded CarFinance 247 to meet the growing demand of consumers sourcing their finance online. Turning the traditional vehicle finance process on its head, by enabling customers to secure finance first, CarFinance 247 has today evolved into one of the UK’s largest and leading providers of vehicle financing options.
CarFinance 247 had developed its own custom Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to handle customer interactions, including calls. Over time, the system had become unwieldy and difficult to use, partly due to the large amount of information being displayed across multiple tabs, making things hard to find and slowing down its contact centre agents.
Being a finance broker, CarFinance 247 works with over 20 finance companies to find the best rates for customers. Each company has its own systems and processes, and it could take new agents six months to fully onboard and start meeting their targets. Some would leave before fully onboarded out of frustration with the system’s steep learning curve.
“There was a lot of complexity to think about while also trying to have a meaningful conversation with customers. It was especially difficult for new starters, who would often find it overwhelming.”
Account Manager, CarFinance 247
Using the old system, agents would perform a vehicle registration search on the caller’s preferred car. This would display the vehicle’s details, which would have to be manually copied and pasted onto another screen. The agent would then click a button and the system would call all of the lenders’ Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to return quotes, leaving the agent and customer with up to two minutes to fill with small talk.
If the customer wanted another quote, the agent would repeat the process. On occasion, it would be discovered that none of the lenders could offer finance on the caller’s preferred vehicle, resulting in more work for the agent, and disappointment for the customer.
This type of process, and the need to work within several different screens was frustrating for all involved, but making changes in the old system was not easy.
Nicole Taylor, Head of Product, CarFinance 247 said, “One of the biggest challenges we faced was not being able to easily change functionality within our system. Sometimes, even the smallest tweaks just were just not possible due to the complexity of things having been built on top of eachother. There was a lot of old code and the foundations weren’t great.”
“If we were going to make a step-change, we needed to build and move to a new platform.”
The decision was made to redesign the entire agent experience, making it easier to find information, make updates and better serve customers.
CarFinance 247 looked at various other contact centre solutions but found their offerings to be restrictive.
Nicole said, “We looked at multiple technology providers, but their offerings weren’t overly customisable. We’re quite unique in what we do and how we work. We don’t have a standard sales process, and needed something we could build with.”
“We had experience with Twilio, and decided to move to their Twilio Flex cloud-based contact centre platform.”
In order to quickly develop the new Flex system, CarFinance 247 partnered with Twilio Gold Delivery Partner, Zing. With Zing acting as an extension of their internal development team, work began reimagining the old quote process.
Rather than the agents needing to search for a vehicle, and then copying and pasting all the information into another screen and waiting for quotes, Zing integrated the car searching and quoting functionality. So now, agents can see the best offers straight away.
Functionality was also added to enable agents to send all quote information to customers via WhatsApp and/or SMS.
Initial calls where all the callers’ details are gathered, which could take up to 45 minutes, are now taking just 15 minutes, thanks to the new system.
"Quoting for customers is so much more efficient. You open up the system and all the information is in front of you."
Account Manager, CarFinance 247
Mark continued, “It just makes everything a lot easier, which allows us to really listen to what people are saying; why they want to change cars and what excites them, rather than worrying about data entry.
“It also means we don’t have to fill two minutes with small talk every time quotes are loaded. Instead, we can spend the time helping them find the best vehicle at the best rate.
“The experience is entirely different in terms of the flow of the conversations we're having, and how we’re able to help the customer. The system follows the flow of the telephone call rather than the other way around.”
Because the system is a lot more initiative, the time to onboard new agents is a fifth of what it once was.
“One of the best things that we did was making Zing an extension of our internal development team. When we did, things just took off.
Head of Product, CarFinance 247
Nicole continued, “feedback on how agents are finding it, has been fantastic. The system is really quite intuitive. We’ve actually received feedback that you could put a customer on the system and they’d probably be able to find their own way around it.
“One of the biggest benefits of Flex and working with Zing is how quickly we can iterate. We get feedback and can implement changes that improve the agent experience, sometimes in a matter of days.
"It never feels like there’s any friction at the handover point. They’re quick with questions, and come up with solutions. They just get on with it, and we get the best out of Flex."
"What Zing has helped us achieve with Twilio Flex has been transformative. The improvement to our quotes process cannot be overstated, and I’m incredibly proud of all involved."
CTO, CarFinance 247
Zing is now helping CarFinance 24/7 roll-out Flex to assist in money collections, back office systems and the final sales process, completely replacing the old system.
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