Vertu Motors weathers the pandemic with digital upgrade from Twilio

Automotive firm, Vertu Motors, has built a fully-digitised remote vehicle purchase capability, using Twilio’s communications tools. The company, which operates 147 outlets representing 23 vehicle manufacturers across the UK, has been able to deliver a multi-channel digital showroom experience, encompassing all elements of the process, from meeting the dealer and looking at the vehicle to completing FCA-compliant finance paperwork.

The digital upgrade has enabled the organisation to quickly ramp its finance signups to close to pre-COVID levels and to maintain sales volume through the most recent pandemic restrictions across the United Kingdom. On average, since the beginning of the most recent lockdown, Vertu has been able to sell almost 3,000 cars a week without requiring customers to come into a dealership ahead of collection.

Twilio Programmable Video was used to embed video chat into Vertu Motors’ Showroom product, which is used by its team for day-to-day interaction with all Vertu systems and customers. Using video allows staff to do everything as though the customer was sitting in front of them, from creating and presenting a deal to customers to working through finance calculators in a compliant way.

The Twilio platform also allows sales staff to walk customers around cars and answer queries via tablet cameras, giving them confidence to make often significant financial decisions at a distance.

Once the customer has made the decision to proceed with a purchase and wants to agree to a finance deal, Vertu Motors, Twilio enables Vertu to complete transitional paperwork – from the purchase contract to any finance agreement – with a digital signature, in compliance with FCA regulations.

Using Programmable SMS from Twilio, Vertu Motors is able to send a customer a link to documents via SMS as well as a 4-digit code. Once happy with the content of the document the customer replies with the 4-digit code and their date of birth to sign. The document then comes back into the Vertu Motors system for the sales manager to add a digital signature. Since the introduction of this system, Vertu Motors has sent more than half a million SMS signature messages.

This has not been a shift from analogue to digital: Vertu Motors was already moving forward with digital acceleration but the pandemic meant we had to put our foot on the accelerator. Because of COVID-19, things that would have taken months became an immediate priority so we could continue to meet the needs of our customers and our business.

David Crane, chief operations officer, Vertu Motors