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Peugeot & Citroën Dealerships Go Wireless with TP-LINK

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French Car manufacturer boosts customer satisfaction and increases revenues with wireless connectivity from Chinese

Back in 1890, when Armand Peugeot exhibited the company’s first petrol-powered car, the company that became PSA Peugeot Citroën has continually pushed the boundaries of automotive design as one of Europe’s leading car manufacturers. Now they are also moving into the forefront of technological innovation.

Tablets in the showroom

Facing fierce competition to sell new cars and determined to provide customers with exceptional customer service, PSA Peugeot Citroën designed a bespoke app for the sales and services teams within the dealerships. The app brings together all the information about the various models and accessories creating a powerful tool for the sales team to bring their desk to the customer. They can demonstrate what the chosen car would look like with extras, provide quotes and check availability in real time. The company has found this approach directly reduces the time required to close deals and better helps the customer visualise the prospective product being purchased.

The roll out of tablets and the app across Citroen's UK dealerships with the help of Value Added Reseller Cameo Computers also enables:  

•           MOT staff to run tests and record results via their tablets

•           Customers are also able to access the high speed wireless network on the new wi-fi network while they wait for repaired vehicles.

Citroen are able to speed up the sales cycle in its UK stores by using this bespoke shop floor app, enabling the customer to see what their future new car could look like, with all the accessories, in real time.

 Sales staff are able to check availability of trims and accessories on the spot, providing a higher level of service to their customers.

 TP-LINK Technologies Co is a manufacturer of computer networking products based in Shenzhen, China and is the largest “Small Office and Home Office” networking market share holder in China.

Terry Ward, Senior Data Networks, Technical Services team, PSA Peugeot Citroën Automobiles UK Ltd explained: “We wanted to streamline our processes, increase customer satisfaction and strengthen our competitive edge by delivering an exceptional customer experience. The tablet roll-out at dealerships and the use of our custom app means we can do just that. For example, a member of the sales team can double-check prices, provide customers with multiple colour options and run through various car features with a couple of taps and swipes. Similarly, in the workshop technicians run various tests and record the results via tablets, speeding up servicing so we can service, MOT and repair more cars, quicker.”

The need for wireless

The app’s success triggered a network infrastructure review to maximise performance. With multiple devices accessing critical data like pricing, in real time from the back office, security was also high on the agenda.  Providing high speed, free wireless to customers while they wait was also a critical component of the final solution. Giving customers access to high speed WiFi means they can still be productive while their car is being serviced reducing the demand for courtesy cars or the pick-up service.

Wireless for all

With a small IT team of 4 people responsible for delivering the initiative to multiple dealerships across the country, the company needed a great value solution which could be rolled out rapidly. At head office, they currently use Cisco for their networking backbone. However, when scoping the project it became clear there was no ROI to deploy Cisco at the dealerships too. Therefore the team examined other options on the market that were compatible with Linux, offering similar business class functionality but without the enterprise price tag.

After carrying out a number of performance and compatibility tests with help from Cameo Computers, Peugeot Citroën implemented TP-LINK’s WDR360 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router. The company purchased 150 TP-LINK routers to equip 130 Peugeot Citroën dealerships across the country.

Ward explained: “We evaluated various solutions compatible with the Linux software we wanted to use. We selected TP-LINK as the brand is renowned for providing high quality products, being durable and offer great value for money. The product we went with is a feature rich router that has an impressive wireless range. We worked with Cameo Computers to effectively and quickly install the solution at the numerous dealerships across the country. Cameo were also able to provide us with a years’ warranty including regular router maintenance.”

Easy implementation

The roll-out was straightforward because the user interface was so intuitive. Ward’s team easily flashed the Linux solution onto the TP-LINK routers, configuring them to the right settings at the touch of a button. An MPLS network was created for customer WiFi access and a sonic wall for web filtering. Two separate routers were deployed at each dealership, one for customer hotspots and one for the sales team, creating two separate networks in order to meet the restrictions of the Linux firewall protocol and to ensure wireless coverage throughout the dealership.

Superior performance

At any one time, in the dealership, there are on average 4 sales tablets accessing the network at the same time, and the guest network can support up to 10 consecutive customers accessing the hotspot. To optimise performance, simultaneous dual band is used combining the crystal clear 5GHz band and the traditional 2.4GHz band. As a result, users have 600Mbps of total bandwidth to ensure high speed Internet access for everyone. To prevent bandwidth hogging, the N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router supports IP Quality of Service giving the IT team the tools to better control bandwidth and prevent congestion. For security purposes customers log on to the guest network via a valid email address.  This helps to track rogue devices and maintain a secure working environment.

Ward said: “This is a hugely competitive market, with increasingly digitally savvy customers actively hunting the best price and service deals. By empowering our sales teams with tablets and wireless connectivity, we ensure that they always have the latest information at their fingertips. TP-LINK enables us to serve our customers better and boost customer satisfaction levels by providing reliable, super-fast and secure wireless connectivity throughout our dealerships. Ultimately it increases sales and saves us time and so far the wireless connectivity has worked seamlessly.”