Car Dealer Live

Why customer contact centres are more important than ever in a digital age

  • The days of contact centres working with dealers are from being over
  • Specialist firm can work with dealers and chase up leads, recapture lapsed customers and drive aftersales business
  • OTT works hand-in-glove with some of the largest dealer groups in the UK

Time 8 months ago

With dealers and consumers forced to embrace digital forms of communication over the past 12 months, surely the days of contact centres manned by skilled staff are over?

‘Absolutely not,’ Arran Duffy, managing director of OTT, told Car Dealer Live. In the video – which you can watch at the top of this post – Duffy explained that now more than ever there’s a need for the ‘personal touch’.

He said: ‘I’m all for technology – I’m 30 years of age! I’ve got the latest smartphones, the latest computers and the latest fridge, but customers still like that personal touch.

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‘There are many customers that don’t hold a smartphone and that hate the internet – do you really want to push that clientele away by making everything digital?

‘Everything is going digital – you’ve got to sign up to this and sign up to that and have this app and have that app. But let’s take a step back from this: pick up the phone and contact customers and give them that feeling that they are important and that they don’t have to talk to a robot.’

Duffy adds: ‘I think picking up the phone and thanking that customer for buying that car and asking them to book back in with you is a personal touch. And I think if you take that away by trying to go to fully digital, dealers will lose a large amount of their databases.’

OTT was formed 13 years ago with the aim of providing dealers with professional and reliable contact centre services. For the past 11 years, Duffy has been in the boss’s seat so he knows exactly how to support dealers big and small.

OTT works with a wide range of motor trade businesses, including some of the top five largest dealer groups in the UK, supporting them with new and used car leads, after sales needs, customer satisfaction surveys, lost leads and renewing lapsed customers.

But OTT doesn’t just provide services as a third-party operation – it’s found success and won praise from dealers because it works hand-in-glove with dealers’ communication teams.

‘Dealers need a company like ourselves with that 13 years of experience to find a solution to getting these customers back into dealerships,’ Duffy explains.

‘We don’t want to be a third-party business but we want to be an extension of dealers’ businesses. For many of our clients, especially with some of our clients who are in top five dealer groups in the UK, that’s exactly what they think of us – we’re part of their businesses.’

In the video Duffy explains how it’s getting harder for dealers to bring customers back into the showroom, partly because of a price war between firms to win a customer’s business, but also because car ownership trends are changing especially since the coronavirus pandemic.

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Customers’ sense of loyalty has changed too making it a tough task for dealers to keep hold of their customers.

Also in the video, Duffy explains:

  • How OTT can work with dealers’ teams to drive the maximum benefit of following up leads, recapturing lost leads and more
  • Why having specialist motor trade skills puts OTT ahead of competitors
  • Why too much email communications with customers can be a bad thing

For more information, visit: or phone 0800 1244377

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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