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 some large innovations designed to improve and streamline dealership processes.
In this article, we’ll look at those large innovations.
In closing, I’d like to thank each of you for your partnership, trust, and support during the past year. I look forward to all the new and exciting things to come in 2022! Happy Holidays to everyone and above all stay safe! Sincerely,
Quorum’s Mobile Sales CRM, Online Scheduling and Service Drive tools provide you with a seamless experience, whether it’s capturing online leads, digitally marketing to your customers or providing a touchless service experience.
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!
- 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:
• We make sure that you and your team are getting the support you need across our organization when you need it
• 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”
HELPFUL HINT: 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.
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.
Out With the Old.In With the New.
by Melissa Smith, Account Manager
Do you reorganize your home for the New Year? Start a New Year’s resolution to live a healthier life style? Financially re-budget for spending for the new year? We all take the time to refresh and start something new this time of year! So, if you put that effort into your personal life, why not make sure you do the same in your BDC?
There are a few steps that you can take to make sure that your BDC is operating in top form in 2022. First, set and communicate common goals. Make sure your team understands what the goals are for 2022 and the direction the dealership plans to take. The more people that are on board with these goals, the more likely you will be at achieving them. While you are covering the Dealership goals, ensure you are also setting clear expectations for your staff. They need to be clear on what they are expected to accomplish in the year 2022. It’s also important to give them the opportunity to ask for help in achieving that.
Second, make sure that your people are the best they can be. Take the time to ask questions, offer assistance and training. In the software world things are ever changing, watching the latest DealerMine on Demand video over lunch with your team can help refresh their memory or help them find a more productive way of doing things. Sometimes, the day to day of outbound calling can be mundane, we want to make sure that all staff feel accomplished and are confidently able to navigate the DealerMine platform so that they too can achieve their goals. DealerMine offers various training packages to ensure that your appointment coordinators are able to do their jobs efficiently.
Third, clean up! Remove all of the old goals, posters, charts, etc. from the walls. Start fresh, start positive. Let your staff participate in choices about what they would like to see around the office. The better they feel in their space, the harder they will work!
Fourth, meet with your Account Manager. They can help you make sure that you have the tools that you and your staff need to be successful.
Happy Holidays, and here’s wishing you all the success in 2022!
How to Make 2022 the Best Year Yet!
by Justin Doyle, Account Manager
After a few years of challenge, we need to make sure that 2022 is our year! At DealerMine we have made sure that we have the products and training in place to ensure your BDC gets what they need.
A dealership’s appointment coordinator or business development center (BDC) is crucial for a well-oiled service drive. That’s why it is important to ensure that, when your team is speaking with the customers, the quality of the call is meeting your standards. DealerMine has two solutions to help you monitor your customer interactions with your coordinators. Telephony and Mystery Calls.
The Telephony product records all phone calls made with your BDC, allowing you to pull and listen to any call made by your team. This allows you to conduct your own quality insurance, and to train your team on the proper scripting and phone etiquette you expect on your calls.
If you don’t have a way to listen to recorded conversations or if you find that the quality checks you are conducting are too time consuming, DealerMine can help with our Mystery Call solution. When you choose to have a Mystery Call done, our training team calls in as a customer and books an appointment with the Appointment Coordinator that you selected for the call. Once complete, our team sends you a graded report card with notes on all the areas that were conducted well and areas of improvement.
Lastly, all of this ends with training. If, through the use of Telephony or Mystery Calls, you discover that your team needs some assistance or development, we have you covered. Everyone at home utilizes OnDemand and you can at work too. DealerMine offers OnDemand training sessions as well as many different training packages. Reach out to your Account Manager today to discuss what options best suit your team!
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 Introduction
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
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.
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.
At Dealermine we know the holidays are a time for family and food. That’s why we are sharing a holiday cookie recipe with you! Take note, this will be the one time here at DealerMine we won’t tell you to clean your cookies!
The recipe for success (in cookies or life!) starts with the people, so make sure to take time out this season to appreciate your coworkers. Try making them cookies, everyone loves a snack!
• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tablespoons meringue powder
• ¼ cup room temperature water
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• gel food colouring (optional)
Make the Sugar Cookies:
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together using a hand mixer(or stand mixer) on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Turn the mixer to low speed and add baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour and mix until combined.
- Form the dough into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic cling wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour, up to overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a half sheet baking panwith parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Remove the dough from refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pinto roll the dough out until it is ¼-inch thick. Use Christmas cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes.
- Transfer the cookies onto the lined baking sheet, placing them 1-inch apart. Re-roll any scraps and repeat to cut out more cookies.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire cooling rackto cool completely (preferably overnight, if icing).
Prepare the Royal Icing:
- In medium mixing bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar with meringue powder. Add water and vanilla extract and beat with a hand mixeron medium-high speed, until smooth. If you find that the icing is too thick, add a little water (a teaspoon at a time). If you find the icing too thin, add a little more sugar.
- To color the icing, add gel food coloring. You can also use liquid food coloring, but this will have a slight effect on the consistency of the icing. You may need to add a little more sugar to get the consistency right.
Make ahead instructions: You will need to plan ahead and give yourself enough time when making these cookies. First, the cookies need to completely cool before icing (at least a few hours). Otherwise the icing will get too runny from the warm cookies and won’t set properly. Second, the icing needs a few hours, up to a day, to completely set and harden, otherwise it can easily get smudged when storing, handling, or transporting. If adding multiple layers of icing, you need to allow the bottom layer to dry first, at least 30 minutes.
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)
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!
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!
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.
L1 Support Specialist
We donate food to a local food bank and donate money to the local animal hospital to help when we can.
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!