How CarFinance 247 Built an Omnichannel Contact Center

Learn how the UK's largest online car finance broker uses Twilio APIs to communicate with customers on their preferred channel.

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How CarFinance 247 Built an Omnichannel Contact Center

As the UK’s largest online car finance broker, CarFinance 247 is disrupting how people buy used cars. Their “get your finance first” platform garners over 580,000 visits each month from potential buyers looking to secure financing and make a used car purchase. Their agents help thousands of people get approved for financing and find a car online each week, with a typical sales cycle of only nine days. To provide the best customer experience possible, CarFinance 247 relies on an omnichannel contact center built with Twilio TaskRouter, Programmable Chat, Voice, SMS, and Sync.

But things haven’t always worked so smoothly for the company. Jonathan Wilson, Technology Director, and Mark Quinn, Head of Engineering, joined us at SIGNAL London 2017 to share CarFinance 247’s story.

Prior to discovering Twilio, CarFinance 247 had an on-premise VOIP solution that ran over ISDN lines. Their agents spoke to customers using cell phones connected via USB cables to their desktops. The system was rife with problems that their developers couldn’t fix, and they also couldn’t maintain or improve the system. They weren’t able to use the rich data they continually collected in their internal CRM. And worst of all, they frequently received complaints from customers complained about missed calls and long wait times.

When they embarked on their journey to solve this problem and build a better contact center, a number of vendors promised solutions with out-of-the-box or on-premise systems. Then unexpectedly, they “stumbled across” Twilio when they happened to witness agents from a partner company making phone calls from a browser. When they went back to the office, wrote a few lines of code, and made a mobile phone ring, they knew they were onto something. They decided to build their own solution using Twilio APIs.

Before long, all of CarFinance 247’s agents were on the Twilio platform, with calls baked into the CRM. The transition was surprisingly smooth, as agents loved the new system and were immediately able to reduce wait times and answer more than 100 additional calls per day with a 12% uplift in conversion. For the first time, the company could see the number of calls in the queue, route those calls to the correct agents, and have full transparency that wasn’t possible with their previous system.

Since buying a car is a particularly complex online transaction, it requires higher-touch customer service than other purchases. CarFinance247 found that their customers really value being able to connect both when and how they want, via channels such as SMS and chat—the way they communicate with their friends and family. The company built their new contact center using Twilio Voice, SMS, and Chat to allow users to communicate by phone, text, or in-app chat. The system relies on TaskRouter to connect customers to the best agent and Twilio Sync allows agents to see exactly what customers are doing in real-time, such as what car they’re searching for on the website.

So, how did they build it? Watch the video and their interactive live demo to see how they’ve combined TaskRouter, Programmable Chat, Voice, SMS, and Sync to bring real-time customer presence and context to their agents in a dynamic communication experience.

In a rush? Here are five key takeaways.

Key Takeaways

  • CarFinance 247 chose to build their own contact center using Twilio APIs rather than purchase an on-premise solution because of the flexibility to create exactly what they wanted and the ability to constantly iterate and improve the system.
  • Their new contact center utilizes Twilio Voice, SMS, and Chat (to communicate inside their app) and relies on TaskRouter to connect customers to the best agent. Sync allows them to see exactly what customers are doing in real-time, such as what car they’re looking for on the website.
  • CarFinance 247’s new contact center reduced their initial contact time by 85% and led to a 20% reduction in payout time (time from initial contact to receipt of financing).
  • Nearly half of CarFinance 247’s customers communicate with the company via SMS or chat. Surprisingly, customers were already trying to text the company phone number long before they implemented a system that could receive those texts!
  • In the future, the company would like to use sentiment analysis from Twilio to better serve their customers, as well as utilize Sync to allow agents to search for cars along with customers in real-time.