Providing an added margin of expertise for complex vocational truck sales, Navistar’s Severe Service team recently launched an Application Engineering Hotline that provides International dealers with direct, rapid access to the product experts who designed the vehicles.
“Because of the highly customized and often complex configurations our severe service customers require, our dealers’ support for those customers can be enhanced through direct access to Navistar application engineers,” said Mark Stasell, vice president, Vocational Truck, Navistar. “The Application Engineering Hotline supports dealers’ strong relationships with customers by giving them the ability to get direct, expert advice when they need it.”
Rolled out to dealers through visits from the Severe Service team, as well as the dealer network’s online portal, the hotline can be reached through a simple phone call from any International dealer. Phone calls are immediately directed to an application engineer who listens to the dealer’s request and offers support moving forward.
During an initial pilot phase conducted earlier this year, the hotline quickly amassed well over 100 calls from dealers. Typical phone calls ranged from general questions on severe service truck configurations to advanced, application-specific questions from customers. Some dealers also reached out simply seeking an update on their orders or special quotations. No matter how big or small the issue, each phone call was received and answered quickly and accurately in order to provide dealers with full support.
“There are many times in a given day when a dealer sales person needs an update or has a specific customer question that they need to get answered rapidly,” said Melissa Gauger, chief product specialist, Severe Service, Navistar. “How quickly and accurately it gets answered could have a big impact on that customer’s decision to purchase an International truck. By having our application engineers available to help through this easily accessed, simple-to-use hotline, we’re putting our dealers’ sales teams in the best possible position to win.”
Since the launch of the hotline, dealer feedback and customer results have been continuously measured to determine the speed and success of responses. So far, the results have been extremely encouraging, with steady increases in the number of dealers using the hotline and the number of calls received each day.
Maudlin International Truck and Trailer, based in Orlando, Florida, was one of the first International dealers exposed to the hotline, and has since utilized it for sales growth.
“The Application Engineering Hotline is a game changer for dealer sales productivity,” said Steve Jenkins, sales director, Maudlin International Truck and Trailer. “All truck sales are perishable, so getting the right answers back to the customer as fast as possible helps us win more deals and grow our share."
In fact, this new tool has been so successful that the Severe Service team is looking at expanding the hotline to support Navistar’s other products
“Since launching the hotline, we have received such positive feedback that other product teams across the company want to use the same process for their segments,” Gauger continued. “It’s great to see that type of receptivity to the hotline, and we’re looking forward to continuing to provide this support for our Severe Service products, while helping different product teams across Navistar launch their own.”