Advantage Finance Limited is one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist motor finance products to motor dealers throughout the UK. Advantage Finance’s products enable motor dealers to provide credit facilities to many customers who may otherwise be unable to secure finance for their motor purchases.
Advantage Finance was founded in 1999 as a subsidiary of the long-established S&U Group. Having built its success on competitive products, backed by high quality client sales support, and underpinned by industry-leading account management systems, Advantage Finance now employs over 70 people and achieved record profits of £5.9m in 2011/12.
In 2006 Advantage Finance identified text-messaging as a potentially valuable additional mechanism to communicate with its customers and partners. The Advantage Finance management system already used email as its electronic means of contact. However, the immediacy and low cost nature of text messaging prompted Advantage Finance to consider integrating the sending of text messages within its core systems.
As the finance provider behind hundreds of motor dealers, with tens of thousands of customers, and around 100,000 new customer applications a year, it was imperative that any text service had to be completely robust, and able to cope faultlessly with a constant stream of over 1,000 text messages each day.
“We decided to integrate SMS messaging at the heart of our business services to improve and quicken our communication with customers and partners, and provide a competitive edge to our systems”, commented Paul Turner, IT Manager at Advantage Finance.
Rather than build its own connections to the UK networks, Advantage Finance decided to partner with an organisation who had those connections in place, and who would provide an interface to enable simple and swift integration with the Advantage Finance business systems.
Following a market review and evaluation, Advantage Finance chose TextAnywhere as its SMS partner, and set about adding text messaging to its applications.
“We chose TextAnywhere because they offered a really straightforward way of sending automated messages from our systems by email; their infrastructure is business-grade, and they were the cheapest that we found”, added Paul Turner.
The Advantage Finance systems now have the capability to send out both automatically-generated and user-created text messages, all initiated as emails.
SMS messages are sent whenever a short message needs to be conveyed to a customer, a sales manager, or an introducer. Message examples include:
- Requesting a customer to make contact to discuss their credit application
- Contacting customers if direct debit payments are returned
- Confirming a customer’s credit application progress to the introducer
- Updating sales managers on the status of their dealers’ applications
Since introducing text-messaging as a means of communication with customers Advantage Finance has seen a significant shortening in the time taken to process credit applications.
“We have been able to improve our service to our customers and partners by providing better and quicker communication. Our customers like being updated and contacted in near real-time, and our partners like the shorter credit application cycle”, commented Paul Turner. “Our partnership with TextAnywhere has grown over the past four years, and their service remains completely reliable and great value.”
Advantage Finance is constantly exploring other ways that text-messaging can be deployed within the business as a means to improve customer communication and its internal business processes.
Since 2002, TextAnywhere has offered a range of text services that focus on reliability, ease of use, security and good value, backed by quality support from a financially secure, profitable organisation.
Range of Services
TextAnywhere provides commercial and public sector organisations with text messaging services that enable the sending and receiving of SMS messages from individual desktops or handheld devices, through online and email applications. These can be through a simple pre-paid model or monthly account terms.
The company also offers a Developer Toolkit for clients to integrate texting in to their own applications, as well as a White Label service for partners who wish to offer TextAnywhere's services as their own, branded text messaging services.
If you would like to find out more about how TextAnywhere can help your business communications, please visit www.textanywhere.net or call the sales team on 08451 221 302, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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