A major car dealership has revved up its telephone system after appointing Worcestershire company Armstrong Bell to overhaul its telecommunications systems to cope with increasing demand.

Hills Ford, a family-owned dealership that has two Ford sites in Kidderminster and Malvern, asked Armstrong Bell to undertake a wholesale revision of its telephone system because its two old BT telephone systems were no longer fit for purpose.

Replacing the ailing ISDN system with a state-of-the-art business VOIP alternative, Armstrong Bell supplied its market-leading cloud-based system with 60 of the latest Cisco 7800 and 8800-series handsets.

The Bromsgrove-based telecommunications specialist worked closely with Hills Ford, which also runs Brookhire car and van rental in Malvern as well as Hills self-storage from its Kidderminster base, to create a bespoke, connected system that could cope with the volume of calls going to all three sites.

Catherine Heath, Director at Hills Ford, said: “A ringing phone is an opportunity not to be missed, so to suffer outages and downtime is not viable when we are actively growing the company. We spoke to a number of suppliers and asked Armstrong Bell to undertake the project because we were impressed with its personal touch as well as its expertise.”

Armstrong Bell installed more modern and efficient cabling throughout to ensure the business had maximum flexibility and seamless connectivity, a SIP-hosted telephony system with reporting system that automatically upgrades its software and provides call-forwarding and out-of-hours messages, headsets for staff at Brookhire as well as 60 handsets.

Catherine said: “The new system is so much better than our old one. Calls used to be transferred and left ringing on an extension but now it goes straight through to the first available operator. This improvement alone enables us to provide better customer service because we can make sure people get through to the right person and team.

“We were nervous about changing the telephones because a few months before we’d changed our document management software for invoicing and sales, which caused considerable disruption. But thankfully our concerns this time were not realised because the transition was smooth and efficient.

“Offering the personal touch is absolutely key to our business and we were confident that Armstrong Bell had the same ethos. It’s also a local company and we were impressed with how thorough it was throughout the process - from the planning visits to installation and training. We couldn’t have asked for better.”

William Copley, managing director of Armstrong Bell, said: “The beauty of having a hosted system is that it is constantly updated with latest software and so there is very little on-site maintenance. We were able to use our expertise in complex communications systems to ensure that Hills Ford had the most efficient telephone system in place for its needs, ensuring that no calls would be left unanswered. The brand new Cisco handsets offer long life expectancy - critical for anyone investing in new equipment.

“Our priority was the system’s users, ensuring that they understood how it works and how to make the most of its functionality. We continue to provide training and close support to Hills Ford to guarantee a smooth transition, and work alongside the organisation as it adapts its way of working. We worked very closely with the management team to understand how the business works and how we could support it.

“We pride ourselves on listening to an organisation’s needs and not selling for the sake of it. We are proud of our reputation and are delighted that we have another satisfied customer.”

PR by Clive Reeves Public Relations Birmingham

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