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AM Awards 2021 winner: Supplier of the Year, CitNOW

CitNOW chief executive Alistair  Horsburgh (centre) collects the award from AM news and features editor Tom Sharpe

Coronavirus lockdowns made the UK motor retail industry more reliant than ever on digital channels of communication.

And AM’s dealer and manufacturer readers voted for CitNOW in their droves, leaving it a clear winner of the AM Awards 2021's Supplier of the Year Award.

Known mostly for its video communication platforms, which help dealerships engage and upsell service customers or offer personalised car walkarounds to remote prospective buyers, CitNOW is a digital communications specialist which says it is dedicated to transforming the way the automotive world communicates.

Already in widespread use by many franchised dealers, its systems became critically important for retailing to continue while showrooms were closed by lockdowns, by enabling safe, remote conversations to take place.

And dealers also welcomed the extra support it provided, such as suspending their monthly subscription charges during ‘Lockdown 1’ while car sales and service had halted and motor retailers were focused on preserving cashflow.

It assembled an advisory board of industry leaders to learn how it could support retailers and moved all its training academy online and removed charges for it.

Since March 2020, CitNOW has trained more than 1,000 dealerships remotely and video production has increased by 120% as a result.

Free weekly webinars and a ‘How2CitNOW’ YouTube series also help users improve their skills.

To support motor retailers in adapting to the ‘new normal’ and continue to sell cars remotely, CitNOW has launched new features that were offered as part of existing subscriptions.

These included Live Video for face-to-face interactions with customers, Desktop added screen-sharing capability for salespeople, and Clarity, powered by Dolby.io, boosts the audio quality of videos to improve the customer experience.

In a testimonial, John Clark Motor Group’s training manager Colin McAllister said: “COVID-19 has taught us a lot of lessons. It has made us advance what we do and how we make use of digital technology. CitNOW has been a fundamental part of that.”

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