Willis Automotive Employees

How We Upgraded Willis Automotive’s 30-Year-Old Phone System


Since 1947, Willis Automotive has grown into one of the largest luxury dealership groups in Iowa. Their brand portfolio includes Cadillac, Chevrolet, INFINITI, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, MINI, Nissan, and Volvo. This family owned and locally operated business sells parts and accessories while also providing professional services such as routine maintenance, collision repair, and detailing.
Today, there are so many ways for a business to communicate with their customers: emails, text messages, blog posts, social media and live chat. But even with all these options, a huge portion of business still happens through the humble telephone.

Willis Automotive receives thousands of calls a day. If customer service is the backbone of their company, their phone system would be the nervous system. Each call must reach its destination quickly or they end up with some unhappy customers.

Like most dealerships, many of these calls are routed to the sales department, but Willis does so much more than sales. They provide support and service throughout the entire life of a vehicle, which means they’re building long-term relationships with every person who walks through their doors.

Someone might contact Willis when they need their vehicle serviced, repaired, or detailed. Others might give them a call if they are looking for a specific part or accessory.

This is why Willis can’t settle for the average phone system. With over 400 employees who operate out of 10 separate buildings in six different cities, they need something reliable, scalable, and easy to manage.

What’s Behind Phone Line Number Three?

When Willis decided to retire their 30-year-old legacy phone system, they reached out to Grand Consulting for help. Their phone system was working fine, but no one actually knew what was happening behind the scenes. It was a bit of a mystery.

They were paying for services and add-ons, but there was no record of what those charges were for. There was very little documentation on how calls were routed and it was difficult to access their historical call data. This meant they weren’t even sure precisely how many calls they were receiving each month.

Grand Consulting spent months auditing Willis’ current system. It was a lot of work, but they were able to piece together how calls were handled. Once they had a complete picture of the current system, they took their findings to each department and discussed with them what they needed going forward.

A Seamless Switch with Minimal Downtime

Willis was switching to a new VoIP phone system, which meant they no longer needed their analog phone lines. All their calls would now be routed through their network (or internet) connection.

This allowed Grand Consulting to set up a test environment where they could establish call flows and get everything working without any downtime. Once the test environment was fully configured, Grand Consulting flipped a switch and Willis seamlessly transitioned to their new system.

Employees noticed the benefits right away. They could answer their extension right from a mobile app on their phone. No more checking voicemail at their desk or giving clients their personal cell phone number. They can even forward voicemails to other employees by email.

When Willis needs to add or remove an extension in the future, they can call Grand Consulting or log into the Sangoma portal to do this themselves. The portal even gives them access to detailed call information so they can track call volume and staff their call centers accordingly.

This is just the beginning. With this new foundation, Willis has so much more control of their phone system. They can continue to customize their call flows, scale the system as they grow, and take advantage of all the new features that are now available to them.