Dealerships across the country are grappling with varying levels of restrictions amid social distancing guidelines. Managing your remote workforce brings new opportunities as well as challenges. Ensuring positive customer interactions and using technology (or finding new solutions) to “keep the wheels on,” is keeping dealers busy. Navigating the new environment looks different from state to state, but one thing is certain: dealers must leverage technology to maintain operational efficiency.
Brad Horton, CEO and founder of Proton Dealership IT, shares solutions in this recorded webinar. Below are the key areas your dealership can focus on to reimagine your new dealership environment.
Managing Customer Communications in Different Ways
With social distancing, dealers can no longer keep call center employees together in the same room. A simple, low cost solution is to have this team work from home and utilize your existing call tracking system to route calls to remote employees. (Example systems include: Callsource, Car Wars, Who’s Calling.) Hosted phone systems (Jive, Ring Central, Vonage) can literally be unplugged and brought to your team’s homes without change. Or, you can have a low-cost call-routing system implemented like Evoice, Grasshopper, or Mightycall. Restructuring your existing systems or installing a low-cost system can keep your employees working and safe at the same time.
Manage, empower, and secure remote employees
Dealership teams need to engage on a regular basis to bring a sense of normalcy and continuity to your business. Most dealerships are using video and audio platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Microsoft Teams for daily or weekly status meetings. However, your employees should also have access to real-time engagement tools (Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts) where they can chat and communicate with one another.
Manage remote access to network systems
Now that dealership employees have taken their work home, they’re also tapping into the dealership’s network and secure database. In order to reduce cyber-security risk, dealers need to add Client VPN to the dealership firewall. This secures the bridge between employees’ laptops and the dealership’s network. Using shared resources such as Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive, instead of sending sensitive files over email, is another way to tighten security.
The basic building blocks of Cyber-Security
Dealerships suddenly setting up remote-access workstations and building telecommuting operations programs are taking on a lot of new information. However, the basics of cyber-security are actually good to have on-hand when your business is ready to go back to normal. Start with these three:
Enterprise Grade Firewall
A firewall protects your dealership network from external attacks and filters out malicious files and phishing attempts.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
EDR stands for software on every device in the dealership that prevents ransomware and/or exploits from accessing any PCs, servers, and data on the network.
Security Intrusion and Event Monitoring (SIEM)
A platform to track all intrusion attempts and data flows in and out of your dealership to identify rogue traffic and data exfiltration attempts.
Dealertrack Managed Network Services, powered by Proton IT
High-tech dealerships need more reliability, secure and safe infrastructure, and reliable support. With the introduction of Managed Network Services, powered by Proton, dealers have top-of-the-line IT support at-the-ready, to include:
- Network Engineers manage all technology issues at a fraction of the cost
- 24/7 US-based technical support
- Automotive industry expertise to help identify and resolve problems quickly
- Proactive network monitoring to minimize the risk of security breaches
- Optional VOIP phone access via internet connection