Brad Howell Ford
As the General Manager at Brad Howell Ford, Baxter Howell works with his brothers and a team of 40 full-time employees in serving the community with exceptional service. To achieve this, he strives to retain top talent that drives the high customer satisfaction that helps them differentiate from online vendors. He also needed an easy-to-use DMS that is accessible offsite and on mobile devices so he can run the business from anywhere.
In 2018, Brad Howell Ford became the first Ford dealership to pilot the new cloud-native DMS. Being able to get onsite installation, in-person training and fast responses to open tickets helped Baxter and his team focus on serving customers – not troubleshooting technology. The easy-to-use DMS enables employees to adapt quickly to a new system and reduce onboarding time. VUE DMS is also accessible anywhere there’s internet or hotspot, so Baxter can log in and quickly address customer issues, which helps drive high customer satisfaction and retention. VUE DMS provides a seamless, real-time exchange of information between modules, so they can speed up the transition from sales to F&I while saving time on paperwork by 15-20 minutes per customer.
Brad Howell Ford takes pride in having one of the top customer retention rates in its area. They know one of the most frustrating parts of buying a new car for the customer is the paperwork process. Thanks to VUE DMS, the dealership has sped up the process between sales to the F&I office, saving 15-20 minutes per deal. This helps strengthen the confidence of the dealership with their customer base by getting customers sold on the car, into the office and get back on the road happy.
As a GM, Baxter needs to be in many places at once while also being available for his employees and customers. During the pandemic, he had to be home for 2 weeks. During that time, he could log on and work remotely, as if he was in the office. Even on vacation, he’s been able to open up VUE DMS, resolve the issue and get right back to relaxing. In one instance, a customer forgot his Ford factory key code while at the airport where his vehicle was and could not get to his backup key at home. Baxter pulled up VUE DMS on his phone where that data is stored and provided the customer with the five-digit code. Without that remote capability, Baxter would’ve had to drive to the dealership, get the code and call the customer.
Installing a new DMS can be challenging, but VUE DMS’s Implementation and Customer Support teams made it easy. It’s important that vendor representatives are professional and respectful, and Baxter trusts the VUE team with his employees. After the install, VUE DMS staff were physically onsite for the training. Whenever Baxter and his employees need assistance, they can call and talk to a VUE DMS representative, not a call center. If a ticket request is submitted, they get an answer back that same day. That responsiveness and high support quality are key to the strong partnership between VUE DMS and Brad Howell Ford.
While Brad Howell Ford has strong employee retention, with some people working there for decades, it’s essential to keep top talent while hiring new team members as the dealership continues to grow. Baxter is 30 years old, but some of his employees are nearly 70. With that generational gap, he appreciates VUE’s simplicity and ease of use. The point-and-click functionality and self-explanatory navigations enable new employees to adapt quickly. That means less time spent on training, which decreases disruption during implementation and new hire onboarding.
Service is always a top priority at Brad Howell Ford. Sales are important, but they only see the customer once or twice. Meanwhile, the service department will see the customer every 6,000 miles for the rest of the vehicle’s life cycle. With the new vehicle inventory shortage, it’s even more critical for the service department to maximize productivity to offset the revenue loss from new car sales. They need to complete as many ROs as they can to drive profitability. Baxter credits VUE DMS with helping them increase efficiency, which can drive a higher service absorption rate over time.
Take a peek at VUE DMS to see how you can maximize efficiency of your dealership operations.