Case Study

Driving the Wow Factor into Automative Customer Service with WhatsUp Gold

Since implementing WhatsUp Gold six months ago, there has never been an outage that IT didn’t know about before the customers.

“Good morning, do you have an appointment?” That’s the standard greeting customers get when they drive into the typical auto dealership for service. MyDealerLot™, founded in 2006 and based in Roswell, Georgia, believed that customers bringing their cars in for service at a dealership deserved more.

MyDealerLot helps its automotive-dealer customers Optimize Customer Interactions and improve operational processes through Automated Customer Recognition, Targeted Messaging and Asset Tracking Systems utilizing radio frequency identification technology.

With over 70 installations representing 23 brands, MDL’s solutions are installed at leading retail automotive dealerships and groups throughout the United States.

Solutions for superior service

The company’s flagship solution, Service Drive Concierge, instantly identifies customers the moment they pull into the dealership – and immediately messages their arrival to the service department, the sales department and anyone else who needs to know. Customers are greeted by name before they even get out of their car and are treated to a highly personalized experience throughout their time at the dealership.

Growing numbers of the nation’s leading dealers that comprise the bulk of MyDealerLot’s clients quickly discover that the personal touch and additional services driven by radio frequency identification technology have a direct impact on their bottom line. For example, during the first year of implementation, dealers typically experience a 6-15% increase in new car sales to service customers.

For these leading-edge dealerships, network downtime is not an option.

No more phone calls from the dealers

David Strickland, CTO, joined MyDealerLot in 2010. “Phone calls from dealers experiencing problems were common. When we got a complaint, that’s when we started to troubleshoot.” Strickland’s search for a network monitoring solution began after his team custom built tools to poll the system. “We found we still needed something with more granularity. There had to be a better way.” When a former colleague recommended WhatsUp Gold, Strickland’s team downloaded the demo and bought the software.

Since implementing WhatsUp Gold six months ago, there has never been an outage that IT didn’t know about before the customers. “One of our dealers that would phone even for brief outages (60 seconds), now phones and immediately starts with, ‘I’m not calling about the network.’”

The initial rollout of WhatsUp Gold was complete within two weeks. After that, whenever WhatsUp Gold identified a network problem, it was fixed and added to the monitoring schedule. The number of monitors grew from 24 the first week to 151 today.

WhatsUp Gold helps MyDealerLot manage:

Dallas Data Center:

  • 14 VMware servers
  • Hardware load balancer
  • 78 message queues and growing
  • Streaming updates to 400+ always-on Silverlight and HTML5 displays
  • .5 million transactions processed daily
  • Outside monitoring service Corporate Office in Roswell
  • WhatsUp Gold display at the customer support desk
  • WhatsUp Gold team has two developers and one support person
  • More information at www.mydealerlot. com

Dealer sites:

  • Two machines per site
  • Machine #1 manages the radio frequency identification stream and checks for radio frequency identification tags as vehicles come in
  • Machine #2 provides streaming updates about the car during service – this function is being moved to HTML5 for Androids and iPads to make it even easier for dealership personnel to have mobile information at their fingertips

Leading the shift to radio frequency identification-driven customer service

MyDealerLot continues to develop radio frequency identification products enabling dealers to deliver more efficient customer service. The company’s latest product, Porter Dispatch, tracks every movement of a vehicle, both inside the service facility and at external lot locations. Dispatch is used at the Mercedes-Benz dealership in lower Manhattan, the only Mercedes-owned factory store in the U.S., with 72 service bays.

With state-of-the-art dealers who never stop raising the bar on customer service standards, MyDealerLot must keep the network up and optimized for performance.

Network availability dealers can depend on

When dealerships open at 7 a.m. across the country, the network has to be ready. Strickland comments, “We have 40 message queues in our network. There’s no way we could log in every morning and manually look at those. Now, if WhatsUp Gold sees more than ten messages in a queue, we’re notified immediately.”

Making software updates is another critical time for the network. “When we deploy code we push it to many machines at once,” Strickland says. “We watch the WhatsUp Gold screen to see what’s failing – these days nothing is. When the screen turns green, we can go home and go to sleep.”

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