On the highway to sell
Learn how an innovative technology provider in the automotive industry cruised to success on the Rogers Business network.
“Rogers is a critical part of our business. They’re known for selling mobility, but that’s not our relationship with them,” says Louis-Yves Cloutier, President and CEO of 360 Agency, joking that getting smartphones is practically an afterthought given the custom solution he built with Rogers Business and the network connectivity his company relies on every day.
Based in downtown Montreal, 360 Agency provides car dealerships across Canada with a fully integrated retailing platform covering e-commerce, web and mobile solutions, customer relationship management (CRM), marketing, digital advertising and consulting. “I worked for 10 years as the director for Eastern Canada for the largest software company in the automotive industry,” says Louis-Yves. “They were $2.5 billion large and in 100 countries. But I saw an opportunity to craft a solution that could fill in the missing pieces, like online to in-store contracting, similar to what you see in other industries. Back in 2016, we were the first company to enable online car sales in Canada for automotive retailers. Customers can start shopping online and go through their transaction 100%. But most consumers pause at a certain point so they can negotiate with the dealer and drive the car. They can then go back online and complete the transaction.”
But as Louis-Yves explains, this revolution for the car industry isn’t one-size-fits-all. “Every dealer needs a website, and they need solutions that are very customized. Most CRM solutions just don’t fit that particular ecosystem and the processes of car dealers,” he says. Having successfully created a comprehensive solution that fulfills the need of an entire industry, 360 Agency has grown over the past decade from 20 employees and 50 clients to more than 260 employees and about 1,000 clients.
But it was the health restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic that truly accelerated the company’s online sales platform growth. “With social distancing measures and showrooms being closed, dealers have started to realize they have to interact at a transactional level, not just an informational level on their websites,” says Louis-Yves. “Dealers needed to keep responding to customers from home, and the only way they could do that and handle incoming leads for the days and weeks following the lockdown was through our CRM platform. Retailers have started to embrace change and understand the need to adapt to the new reality of their consumers shopping habits. Even though consumers are still showing up in stores, dealers now realize the benefit of selling by appointment where a lot of the steps are done remotely.”
Key features of the company’s platform include its ability to track incoming and outgoing calls, and to provide phone reporting capabilities to car dealers without it being cost prohibitive for them and without requiring them to change their phone systems. “Our Phonetrack360 platform, is hosted in Rogers Business hosting facilities and connected to the Rogers Business SIP (session initiation protocol) infrastructure,” Says Louis-Yves. “We created the solution such that, if there was no SIP connection within a certain area, a call would transfer seamlessly to the regular telecommunication network. We’ve embedded this technology into our CRM and into our mobile app, and we’ve been managing well over a million calls per year, probably close to 2 million now.”
Louis-Yves is quick to point out that what makes this collaborative effort with Rogers Business special isn’t just the bespoke nature of it. “We were working with Rogers Business not just for our own telecommunication needs,” he says. “Rather, together we built a product that 360 Agency was able to sell, to monetize. In that sense, working with Rogers Business was part of our company’s growth.”
Louis-Yves couldn’t be happier with how the solution has worked, particularly with how scalable and dependable it’s proven to be, citing not only the ability to easily accommodate additional lines as their client base expands, but also its seemingly perpetual uptime. “The system has proven to be extremely reliable,” he says, “with very minimal downtime, if any.”
However, it wasn’t just the technical capability of Rogers Business that sealed the deal with 360 Agency. As Louis-Yves stresses, it was the people. “I would say they’re probably the best I’ve seen from a partnership point of view,” he says. “Yes, they find you a solution; yes, they present you with the right pricing; yes, they do all of that. But they genuinely want to learn about who you are as individuals and as a company. Yes, the Rogers brand mattered; we know they’re not a mom-and-pop shop. But we feel they are run like a family business. We felt we could trust them. That’s the number one reason why we chose Rogers Business.”
And Rogers Business really has become part of the 360 Agency family, sponsoring the 360 Agency/Cycles Regis cycling team, which includes 28 riders competing in four categories on the Fédération Québecoise des Sports Cyclistes (FQSC) circuit both provincially and nationally. “They are among our largest gold partners,” says Louis-Yves, “and we know we can count on them every year.”
360 Agency is only getting started, and they’re now looking to the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop an in-store consumer insights solution, and Louis-Yves knows exactly where to go to bring it to life. “We’ll need expertise from Rogers Business for sure,” he says, “to create yet another scalable product that will help our company grow even more.”
In addition to their plans for IoT and their SIP trunking solution, 360 Agency also leverages Dedicated Internet, wireless plans and data centre and cloud services from Rogers Business. Click the links to learn more.