Stoneacre has started to introduced extended hours with sales executives covering phone lines and live chat until 10pm as part of a new home based working scheme.
Run by the group's digital sales manager, Mark Zavagno, the out-of-hours scheme has been adopted by eight sales executives so far and it means phone and live chat are covered between the hours of 7:00-10:00pm, an increased availability of three hours.
If the scheme remains successful, Stoneacre is expecting more sales executives to sign up to the scheme with the possibility of a 24 hour service.
Zavagno claims that the need for such a service is highlighted in data published by Orbital Response, it reveals that 95% of consumers find real time help is of use when shopping online. Furthermore, 71% expect help to be available within a maximum of five minutes, failing this, 48% of consumers would take their business to another company.
Furthermore, data published by AutoTrader shows that 74% of consumer would be happy to make an out of hours enquiry to a car dealer.
Zavagno, said: “Consumers increasingly expect to be able to reach out to retailers at a time and place that suits them, which is increasingly from their home, via a mobile, tablet or laptop device and often falls outside of standard opening hours.”
Stoneacre's Group managing director, Shuan Foweather, said the home working scheme means the business is better equipped to meet the needs of consumers, but it will also make the working environment more flexible for stay at home parents.]
Forweather said: “There is a lack of employer understanding surrounding the real world scenarios many parents face with commitments and the lack of flexibility in many working environments.
“Stoneacre is a family run business that upholds strong family values across the group, our people and the way in which we treat our customers, we are therefore ideally positioned to work with stay at home parents, helping them back into work and even undertake training opportunities with the aim of building long-term careers in the automotive industry.”
Home based sales executive Gemma Evans, said home based working has enabled her to work three hour evening shifts several days a week “without the worry or expense of child care”.