Dealer Newsletter Q4 2021

2021 – A Year in Review

By Maury Marks, President and CEO

As we draw a close to 2021 and look toward 2022, I'd like to focus on innovation. This past year, based on feedback from dealerships like yours, we completed a significant number of small enhancements to our products that improved usability in 2021. We also introduced several large innovations designed to improve and streamline dealership processes.
In this article, we’ll look at those large innovations. Ones that your dealership can now take advantage of now.

Happy Holidays to everyone and above all stay safe!

Sincerely,

Digital Retailing

Quorum’s MyDeal, PowerLane, Communicator and Online Scheduling tools provide your customers with a complete online experience whether it is buying a vehicle online, digitally marketing to your customers or having a touchless service experience.

Webcast with Maury

XSellerator M3 Virtual Sessions

Helping Dealers Make More Money

Join Maury and his Team Live to learn all about:

on Tuesday,
Dec. 14

Holiday Recipe for Success

By Jen Phillips – Director, Account Management

As tire season winds down, in comes that dreadful period that is always challenging for all dealerships – the holidays and the post-holiday lull. Your customers are more conservative with how they are spending their hard-earned money, because let’s face it – the holidays are expensive and there is a financial recovery period that most families go through to get back on track. It makes it even more critical that you are maximizing every interaction and moment you have with them.

At Quorum, we want you and your team to ring in the new year with total confidence that you are focusing in all the right areas.
So how can you do this? Given that it’s the Holiday Season, it only makes sense to follow this tried and true Recipe for Success!

Ingredients:

  • One knowledgeable, committed Account Manager
  • A solid plan for Customer Outreach
  • An assortment of customizable and automated marketing tools
  • A dusting of “In-the-Drive” enhancements
  • A gathering of previously missed revenue opportunities

1. Contact your Quorum Account Manager to set up a meeting to review your team’s performance, and highlight areas of opportunity that exist. The Account Manager role in our organization is specifically tailored to help you in two ways:

  1. We make sure that you and your team are getting the support you need across our organization when you need it
  2. We help you Make More Money!

2. Work with your Account Manager to determine how you are contacting your customers. That’s not just about answering their calls, but how are YOU contacting THEM. It can’t be stressed enough how important regular and consistent outreach is. There’s a couple of ways you can achieve that, but if you do not have a BDC or employee(s) dedicated full time to this job, then you are already behind the curve to maximize your profits. If this is not something you want to take on and manage yourself, we have a managed BDC solution through DealerMine that can do it for you.

3. Maximize the use of other ways to make every moment count with your customers. Talk to your Account Manager about some of the options the Quorum family provides to help you get the right message to the right audience at the right time. Options like:

  • XSellerator DMS has what we call “Communicator” and “Dealer Promotions”
  • DealerMine CRM has what we call “Fetch” “Batch texting” and “Voice drops”

What better a time to promote a special offer to customers to drum up business than during a time where they cannot afford to spend as much. Did you know we have a team of Product Specialists that can help train your team in how to use these products and functions? Now you do!

4. Every customer interaction matters, so even if they are right in front of you, you still want to make the most of that visit and potentially create a follow up one. Both XSellerator DMS and DealerMine CRM have an “In the Drive” Walk-Around Solution that can help you. In this step, all you need to do is simply ask your Account Manager for more information. In addition to this, we can help you optimize your XSellerator DMS set up with Part Round Up and Discounts.

5. In this step, you gather missed revenue opportunities. Again, the Quorum family has options that can help you focus on Declined Services. Most recently, we moved into the pilot stage with a Declined Service console at XSellerator DMS that can help you follow up on those previously missed opportunities. While it’s still fairly new, your Account Manager can give you more details.

Final Step:

With your trusted Account Manager, combine your enhanced customer outreach capabilities with your assortment of customizable and automated marketing tools like Communicator or Fetch and blend well. Add your enhanced “In the Drive” solution until just mixed in, and drizzle with all the recovered Declined Services opportunities.

Nuture the growth of your business and celebrate your rewards! Enjoy your success!

A Year in Review: EVERYTHING CX

(that’s Customer eXperience!)

by Kate-Lynn Holmes, Customer Experience Manager

In 2021, Quorum wasted NO time investing in their customers. In January of this year, for the first time in Quorum history, the role of Customer Experience (CX) Manager was created and filled. As Quorum’s inaugural CX Manager, I have been spending my days analyzing sentiment, calling and listening to customers and taking a stand for what our customers want.

To date, we’ve launched three quarterly survey campaigns with over 700 responses, transactional feedback forms averaging over 150 responses/month and over 35 actionable items handed to corresponding departments for improvement!

With three brand new CX initiatives underway in 2021, and more plans to move forward in 2022, CX is truly just beginning. Our commitment is to continue to make our customers our number one priority, and do so in a fun, informative and collaborative way so that everyone is winning. You, our customers, can rest assured that with each participation invite, survey request or call from us, it is coming forward with great meaning and sincere intent to make Quorum the company you truly want to work with.

Pulling Back the Curtain on Product Management

Quorum’s plan to get our customers’ fingerprints on our products

by Rick Johnston, Vice President - Product Management

One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to building software for the automotive industry is the fact that the people who have the skills to build software are generally not the target audience for the software they produce. In fact, in many cases, the folks on our team who are most well-versed in software development have never even set foot inside a dealership. Of course, it would be amazing if each of our software developers had a strong background in automotive, but that would be an unrealistic expectation: there is as much of an art to dealership operations as there is to software development, and mastery of both crafts requires dedication and many years of practice. Instead, we must find other ways to bridge the gap.

 

The Challenge

In the past, our attempts to engage our customers in the software development lifecycle have not always been met with success. In a few cases, such attempts involved business analysts, account managers and support agents acting as mediators or project managers with a vague mandate of translating the customer’s “business requirements” into “technical specifications”. Members of our development team would then have to pore over these technical specs to intuit the problem the customer was facing, and then determine how to bend the product into working the way the customer might expect.

In spite of good intentions on the part of everyone involved in the process, this disconnect between the development team and the customer naturally led to frustration on all sides of the relationship: customers occasionally felt like they were being roped into testing our software for us, developers felt like they were being handed lists of tasks to complete without much context or connection to the original problem, and everyone else felt trapped in between, fighting fires on both sides.

These frustrations culminated in the customer survey we completed last year where we received a mountain of feedback, and while some of that feedback was difficult to hear, two things were evident: you, our customers, want your fingerprints on the software we produce and, despite the challenges that we’ve encountered in the past, you want us to win.

 

Pulling Back the Curtain

It is in this spirit that we spent the past few months formulating a dedicated Product Management group, whose mission is to design, deploy, and deliver software solutions that improve the daily working lives of the folks inside of your stores. This new group is responsible for:

 

 

  • Defining our product roadmap, ensuring that we continue to drive value for our customers
  • Leveraging the relationships that we have with our customers in order to validate our assumptions throughout the software development process: this means talking to them frequently, building strong feedback loops in order to deliver a polished product experience that meets the needs of our customers
  • Discovering and clearly articulating the problems our customers are facing, and partnering with the appropriate teams to deliver solutions that satisfy everyone involved
  • Partnering with our development teams to overcome technical roadblocks and constraints, while ensuring that we build a sustainable platform for the future
  • Working closely with our Continuous Improvement team to identify where we needed to improve our processes

The Outcome

The outcome we hope to achieve is to bridge the gap between theory and practice when it comes to solving meaningful problems for our customers: we believe that you are the most valuable part of this process, and that it is your insights that will continue to drive Quorum to bring new and amazing products to life.

Quorum has always been committed to treating our customers like partners, helping to increase their profitability and reduce the costs involved in running high-performing dealerships. This new team will bring us closer than ever to realizing this vision. Above all, we want to make sure that we get your fingerprints on all our products: the ones that you’re using at present, and the ones we will invent together in the future.

Product Spotlight

Communicator featuring QTemplates
Play Video

Pioneering Communication with Communicator and QTemplates

Be Wary of Messages That Look Suspicious

by Rob Burns, Information Security Manager

All of us have heard about ransomware and other types of malware attacks in the news, but not everyone knows the tricks the attacker uses to infiltrate the internal networks of companies. Despite all of the efforts we have made in securing the Internet “wall” around us (firewalls, intrusion detection, anti-virus apps, etc.), there is one method that has proven to be successful for the bad guys- internal employees! Yes, in most of the cases that have made the headlines over the last few years, the “inside man” has been the catalyst in getting past our defenses.

No, your employees aren’t allowing attackers past your defenses on purpose, but attackers have tended to gravitate toward using social engineering as their “way in”, knowing that many businesses often trust things inside their firewalls. By social engineering, we are referring to emails, phone calls, social messaging, insecure passwords, rogue USB thumb drives, etc. Basically anything a normal employee might access while connected to the dealership network, which makes them hard to detect and protect against, especially as it is normal for employees to use these tools WITH EXTRA PERMISSIONS. Here are some of the most common attack methods being used today:


1)  Phishing/Smishing/Vishing/Spearfishing/Whaling: These are all attacks that use messaging as their delivery method. Phishing refers to sending a generic email that seems to be legit, asking you to click on a link or open an attachment, which opens the back door to the attackers. Smishing is the same, but using social messaging (Facebook, text messages, Twitter, etc.), while vishing refers to fraudulent phone calls, often claiming to be from the government or a bank. Spearfishing are targeted phishing attacks that are less generic and more specific- usually the attacker has done some reconnaissance to gain some inside knowledge on a person or company, and crafts the email to look even more authentic- calling the person by name, mentioning the dealership name, referring to another employee…all info which can be found on the dealership’s website. Whaling is another form of spearfishing, but is targeted at senior management of companies (i.e. the big fish), as there tends to be more to gain by attacking them.
How to protect yourself: a good healthy level of common sense and paranoia is key- if it looks or sounds funny, it probably is. Follow up suspect emails by calling the “sender” to see if they really did message you, check for spelling/grammar mistakes, ask for more proof that the sender is really who they claim to be, are they asking for something out of the normal, etc.

2) External Media/USB drives: So you are walking through the dealership lot and notice a USB thumb drive on the ground. Of course, wanting to find the owner, you plug it in to your computer to see if there is anything on it to identify the person, right? Well, just like CD’s and DVD’s in the past, Windows likes to use autorun to automatically launch a program when you insert the USB key into your computer…and a malware app can load in the background without you knowing, Maybe you’ve disabled autorun on your computer- that’s good. However, there is a file on the USB drive that looks enticing- maybe called “Payroll2021.xlsx” or “[insert competitor name]SalesLeads.xlsx”. Who wouldn’t be tempted to take a peek, right?
How to protect yourself: as above, a good healthy level of paranoia is a bonus here. Ask yourself- would someone actually copy sensitive data like that to a USB key and just leave it lying around? Like a fish, they are luring you with attractive bait…don’t bite.

3) Insecure Passwords: We all know it’s hard to remember passwords, especially ones that are complex. So we write them down (maybe under the keyboard), or we use easy ones to remember (i.e. “Spring2021”), or we use ones with personal info in them (your birthday or anniversary, etc.) that can be found on your social media (Facebook, etc.). Attackers use simple programs (that are freely available, by the way) to test/crack passwords using lists of actual passwords that have been collected in breaches. One website that checks passwords to see if they have been compromised currently has over 11.6 BILLION passwords in their list. So you think yours is really secure??
How to protect yourself: use a complex password, of course. Think more like “passphrases” that deliberately use poor spelling (i.e. “sUp3rsT@r-S@lesgUy”) or link multiple unrelated items together (i.e. “gOat1776Twinkie”). Easy(er) for you to remember but almost uncrackable by the bad guys.


Naturally, there are other types of attacks that ALL can’t be listed in a single article, but these 3 are probably the “Top Performers” as attack vectors these days. Fix all 3 and you are well on your way to not becoming the weak link in the IT Security chain. Stay safe!

Yossi Ronnen

Employee Spotlight

Vice President of Software Development

With over 20 years of software industry experience, Yossi Ronnen joins Quorum as Vice President of Software development, determined to improve our software and bring it to the cloud, while fostering a culture of collaboration, transparency, and dedication within his team.

Yossi had worked in start-up companies, as well as large corporations starting as a software developer and moving to leadership roles. He helped modernize legacy systems as well as create new and highly performing applications that can run on your computer or phone. In his recent position, Yossi and his team delivered an ecommerce cloud-based software used by merchants such as Sephora, Columbia, and Ubisoft that handled 3.4 million orders valued at 148mm CAD during last Black Friday alone. While working at VFA, Yossi delivered FacilityView. an award-winning mobile SaaS software solution that allows clients to monitor their assets portfolio using a customizable dashboard, used by large municipalities, government organizations, and private sector corporations.

Yossi has a Master of Business Administration (majoring in MIS and Finance) from Degroote School of Business of McMaster University, an engineering BSc in Information Systems, PMP Certificate from the Project Management Institute, and a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification from ISACA.

Yossi is an avid runner and was excited to go back to an in person running recently at the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon. He is now looking forward to next spring’s Sporting Life 10K where he plans on fund raising for Campfire Circle, and organization that restores the life experiences that are lost due to childhood cancer. As a father of two, Yossi likes to explore the great outdoors with his family.

Steve Harwood Introduction

Employee Spotlight

Director of BDC Operations

Steve joined Quorum in November 2021 as the Director of BDC operations. Steve has a proven track record with over 25 years in Senior Leadership roles, all with a focus on elevating the client experience and to foster those key relationships. He has led teams in the financial sector as well as insurance. Steve has led teams that have been laser focused on enhancing the client experience and will continue to do so with the BDC team and our clients. These former roles have enabled him to lead teams in Ontario, Western Canada as well as New Brunswick and Newfoundland. A great client experience is the key foundation that drives Steve and his teams.

Successes have included significant client retention, Increased client satisfaction scores as well as streamlined processes , all with the goal of a better client experience.  While the client experience is paramount, Steve has also had tremendous success in developing and mentoring his team. He has started several Mentoring programs in the past including an 18-month “Leadership in Development Program” for front line staff who aspire to develop their leadership skills. This is reflected in his team receiving several Manager of the year awards for a North American insurance company.

Born in Montreal and a graduate of McGill University Steve has lived in Saint John and now resides in Milton Ontario, just West of Toronto. He is married and has 2 sons as well as 2 dogs and 2 cats. He likes to spend any free time golfing, bowling, playing darts, and is a Formula 1 fan and has attended 15 F1 races so far with his sons. He owns a classic 1966 Impala SS. Steve is a strong supporter of The Local Terry Fox run and co organizes this event in Milton. He also coached competitive hockey for 5 years in Milton.

Product Support Re-Organization – One Quorum Support

by Julia Whiffen - Director, Product Support

This past Quarter saw the Product Support Team Re-org introduce a brand-new environment for, not only our team who proved to be incredibly understanding, hard working and adaptable, but also our loyal and valued clients – always at the top of mind when enhancing our processes.

We evaluated client feedback and considered needs when implementing new ways of working, and new ways of delivering quality service to our dealers. From a product support perspective, we knew it was important to deliver certain benefits to our clients, such as:

  • A single phone system for our customers and agents
  • A single ticketing system across all product support departments
  • A brand-new online Support Portal (which many of our users are already raving about!)
  • A vast knowledge base covering a variety of topics supporting “One & Done” customer resolution
  • Quality, trained and dedicated support teams

Behind the scenes, we maintain a commitment to creating a truly collective “One Quorum” culture, and we have been collecting our teams ongoing sentiment through surveys, one on one’s and team meetings. Our vision is that we continue to make the product support function a quality, memorable experience for each and every support interaction.

As we broaden our knowledge and continue to listen to our clients and our team, we are confident that, should there be a need to reach out to our support team, our clients will feel valued, taken care of and supported at every step of their journey with us.

Quorum in the Community

Just in time to sprinkle the upcoming season with the spirit of giving, we asked some of our team members to let us know what they’ve been up to. Here’s just a few feel good stories and tidbits from your friends at Quorum!

It’s Time To Donate
by Jessica Meaney, Marketing Analyst

This year, the Quorum Social Committee put their heads together and thought… What would be the best way to work with our teams (safely) and kick off the holidays? When the suggestion was made for a ‘Backpack Drive’, the whole Committee jumped on the opportunity!

We were thrilled to have the support of our amazing teams throughout Quorum. Through our donations, we have been able to help the Calgary Dream Centre, a homeless and addictions centre, The Mustard Seed, a non-profit organization, caring for individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty, also in Calgary, Alberta, and Waypoints, an organization offering programs to young people and families in St. John’s Newfoundland. That’s just to name a few! While we still have a little over a week before the last backpack is to be delivered to its new home, we truly feel the difference our organization has been making, and we are extremely grateful for all the contributors!

Our hope was to make an impact, and to give to those who may be without, this holiday season. What we also achieved was the feeling of closeness and teamwork from putting our backpacks together.

One of the great parts of this program was selecting our charity of choice. A couple of our Quorum team members had some charities they held near and dear to their hearts, and they had the opportunity to deliver their backpack to the organization(s). The joy providing some items we take for granted to a cherished centre really was the cherry (or maybe the candy cane 😊) on top of this initiative!

So once again, we want to send a major thank you to the Social Committee for organizing this event, the organizations for being so welcoming, and most importantly, to our Quorum team who took the time to stuff a backpack, or two, and deliver it. The holidays will be a little less stressful for some families, thanks to you!

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – AESOP

 

Opening Hearts and Homes
by your Product Support Team (and extended Quorum friends)
Kelsey Israel...
L1 Support Specialist

Anna’s Angels Dog Rescue based out of Lumberton, Texas saves unwanted dogs on the euthanasia lists at local shelters, strays, and owner surrenders. They transport dogs roughly once/month from Texas to St Stephen, NB.  They rescued Kia, my husky lab mix, from a euthanasia list at the local shelter. She had reached their maximum stay of 45 days last August and was advertised as “Pet of the Day”.

Kelsey applied, received a quick response and Kia was on her way for the adoption fee of $225USD + $200 USD Transport fee + $ 120USD Broker fee. After a long wait at the Cda/US border Kia finally arrived at her furever home and is settling in well with big brother Murphy.

Kelsey has been volunteering with the rescue team ever since by processing applications and helping other dogs!

If you’re interested in adopting, here is the application .

Donnelly Morris
Sales Support Specialist

Donnelly is a foster for a local rescue agency in her area (Last Chance Cat Ranch in Lethbridge, Alberta) and this season she is fostering a little family of kitties! Donnelly has 5 kittens, HoHo, Snoball, Twinkie, Moonpie and Little Debbie, as well as their sweet mom, Kannika. They have just gotten their shots and are ready for their fur-ever home!

Erin McGlenn
Manager, L1 Product Support

Our family reaches out to the principal of our local school to pick 2 families who could use assistance with Christmas dinner and presents for the kids.

Derek Nippard
L1 Support Specialist

We donate food to a local food bank and donate money to the local animal hospital to help when we can.

Dean Shears
Manager, L1 Product Support

In a flashback to last year, I participated in what I believe was the only Christmas Parade in Newfoundland in 2020. As you can imagine, I did my best to put a smile on the kids’ face’s in my Grinch-mode, including a bit of a disagreement with Santa! I’m pictured here with my youngest (in the green and black shirt) and my oldest. I have happily accepted a starring role once again in this year’s parade!

Enhance Customer Experience

We're committed to your privacy. XSellerator uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.