“This level of service from Fusion Connect is a far cry from other providers where I would contact a call center, get into a phone tree, and always start with Tier One support. When I call Fusion Connect, I know my reps’ names and the fact that they will chase an issue until it’s resolved.”
—Jeff Mitchell, CIO, Ganley Automotive Group
Reliable phone service and a rock-solid Internet connection are the dual life lines of any auto dealership.
“If we don’t have phones, we essentially disappear from the public eye. And if we don’t have Internet, our operations stop dead,” says Jeff Mitchell, CIO of Ganley Automotive Group. “If customers can’t get through because phones are down or our sales department can’t respond to that online chat, the customer will visit the dealership down the street.”
That’s one reason Jeff Mitchell considers his business communications provider options carefully. Whether he and his technology team are supporting the addition of a new dealership to the Ganley family of dealers or evaluating possible renewal at the end of a contract term, Jeff Mitchell puts a high value on service reliability and service provider responsiveness.
“Responsiveness, the level of service, and being proactive: these are qualities essential in a telecom provider serving any of our dealerships,” says Jeff Mitchell.
Ganley Auto Group’s approximately 40 busy dealerships offer a range of auto brands, old and new, along with financing and service. For a number of years, 14 Ganley locations had relied on Fusion Connect and its predecessor for broadband service. In addition, all Ganley locations used PRI telephone service from Fusion Connect.
When the contract term was about to expire, Jeff Mitchell put the contract out for bid with Fusion Connect and two other nationwide providers.
Jeff Mitchell and his representative from US Network Inc., a Channel Partner of Fusion Connect, met with Ganley Auto Group’s Fusion Connect account representative. They talked through the dealership’s needs and telecomm requirements.
One point of discussion was the fact that, over time, Ganley Auto Group’s business and Internet usage had changed a fair amount. Dealers, including financing and service departments, were using a greater number of cloud-based apps. Ganley Auto Group was also making use of more video.
Fusion Connect presented a proposal that renewed PRI and broadband services, added new services in a few locations and increased broadband speed where a speed increase was warranted to support heavier bandwidth requirements.
After considering the proposals from each provider, Jeff Mitchell decided to renew Ganley Auto Group’s contract with Fusion Connect. The big differentiator? Fusion Connect service and support.
Throughout his career, Jeff Mitchell has seen, first-hand, the value of superior service and support, and this factor weighs heavily in his choice of provider.
“For dealerships outside the Fusion Connect service area, we work with other providers. Compared to these other well-known communications providers, Fusion Connect’s service and support are far superior,” says Jeff Mitchell. “The dedicated support model that Fusion Connect provides gives us immediate access to someone who can resolve our issue or answer our question. And this directly affects how quickly our dealerships can get back to business as usual,” says Jeff Mitchell. “It can mean the difference between a dealer being down for a few minutes and an outage that lasts for hours.”
He states, “Price is important, but it’s not everything. Responsive service and support from Fusion Connect directly translates into more cars sold, and better service for our service department customers.”
Kim Esterle, Vice President at US Network Inc., concurs. “Responsive service is critical,” says Esterle. “I appreciated Fusion Connect’s willingness to take care of my Ganley client, start to finish, from evaluating options to engineering a solution, to implementing it, and ongoing support.”
“I’ve compared Fusion Connect with other nationwide providers. In the eyes of the other providers, we’re a little fish in a big pond,” says Jeff Mitchell. “But with Fusion Connect, we’re always treated like a big fish.”
As a Major Account and part of Fusion Connect’s Strategic Program, Ganley has access to a dedicated Fusion Connect Support representative and can call the rep’s phone directly for service or support requests. In addition, there is an escalation path all the way to the Vice President of the Fusion Connect Customer Success Team.
In lieu of placing a direct call, Jeff Mitchell also has the option to send email or call a dedicated toll-free phone number to access support.
“With Fusion Connect, I’m confident that I’ll reach a real person on the first try, and that my need will be resolved quickly,” remarks Jeff Mitchell.
“This level of service from Fusion Connect is a far cry from other providers where I would contact a call center, get into a phone tree, and always start with Tier One support,” he adds. “When I call Fusion Connect, I know my reps’ names and the fact that they will chase an issue until it’s resolved. They send me status updates until it is.”
Jeff Mitchell and his team also can consult with a dedicated Fusion Connect Account Manager on their evolving telecom needs.
The direct line to Fusion Connect support helps Jeff Mitchell and his team provide better, more proactive service to their internal dealership customers. Perhaps more so in automotive sales and service than in other business segments, downtime leads to lost opportunities, since cars are such high-ticket items, competition is fierce, and dealers need to be available when the customer is highly interested in buying.
“With other providers, we always start with Tier 1 support. And we get in the queue with hundreds or thousands of other customers,” remarks Jeff Mitchell. “Not so with Fusion Connect. We get expedited access, and therefore a much faster response.”
For voice, most Ganley locations have TDM PRIs that operate on a T1 circuit, separate from the high-capacity Fiber line for their data.
Although Fusion Connect offers an integrated voice and data circuit with its Fusion Connect SIP product, Jeff Mitchell likes the separation, stating, “I like the fact that having two separate lines provides us with redundancy. If the data connection goes down, phones continue to function,” says Mr. Mitchell.
Surprisingly few telecom companies offer both PRI and data services from a single provider on one invoice. This is just one more way that Fusion Connect is able to meet the needs of Ganley Auto Group and other business customers by providing a range of business communications solutions that perfectly match not only their business needs but also how they like to architect and operate their technology and communications infrastructure.
To provide redundancy, business continuity, network security, and bandwidth optimization, many companies are adopting Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) into their environment.
Considering the importance of reliable phone service and a rock-solid Internet connection for business continuity, Ganley Auto Group is considering SD-WAN as a way to achieve higher bandwidth at lower costs, with automatic failover to a secondary circuit in the event of a primary circuit failure.
“We can’t tolerate downtime, especially with our dependence on the Internet for customer engagement and for our cloud-based business apps,” remarks Jeff Mitchell.
Customers that implement SD-WAN don’t have to worry about downtime. SD-WAN also prioritizes essential applications - like voice calls - ahead of other network traffic to ensure optimal communications experiences. SD-WAN customers also don’t have to spend excessive amounts of staff time designing and maintaining a WAN, because an SD-WAN solution is typically deployed and managed by solutions experts.
The Ganley Automotive Group has close to 40 dealerships located mainly in and around Cleveland, Ohio, selling and servicing new and used vehicles from a broad range of manufacturers. In growth mode, the auto group has recently expanded into Pennsylvania and Florida as well.
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“Compared to these other well-known communications providers, Fusion Connect’s service and support are far superior.”
–Jeff Mitchell, CIO, Ganley Automotive Group
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