Ferman Volvo Cars Uses Xtime to “Treat Customers Like Family”


Ferman Volvo Cars of Tarpon Springs, Florida, is widely known for its dedication to customer experience—one of many reasons that they were voted Xtime’s very first recipient of the Customer Experience Excellence award at this year’s Digital Dealer 24 conference in Orlando. Service Manager Matt Ketchum attributes this award and Ferman Volvo’s reputation for customer service to the simple rule he learned in grade school: treat others as you want to be treated.


Matt, who has worked with dealerships for nearly 15 years, has worked with businesses that used Xtime’s products and those that didn’t, and said that the difference is vast.

“I started [my career] with a dealership that used Xtime, then made the move to Volvo, where Xtime’s suite was used as well,” said Matt. “But for a brief while, we used another tool and then ended up coming back to Xtime. One of our healthier success points is that is allows us to have great communication with our customers.”

Starting with Schedule as a way to allow its customers the added convenience of scheduling appointments from various channels, Ferman Volvo quickly added Inspect and Engage. Ferman Volvo’s Fixed Operations Manager made the decision to install the platform in order to add a layer of transparency to the way in which they interfaced with customers.

“You have to remember that we’re a very intimate dealership, so what I like about Spectrum is that as soon as the customer sees you pull out the tablet, they’re right there with you, getting involved in what’s going on with their cars,” said Matt. “The tablet also encourages us to do a proper walk-around and not get lazy about doing so! The old way of doing things wasn’t as engaging, and I find a lot more guests get involved on the service lane thanks to Xtime.”

Matt added that the importance of retention tools to transition customers from the sales floor to the service lane became apparent early on in his career.

“When I first started in the car business, I was in sales,” he said. “I had no experience at first, but an older salesperson told me that when you tell a customer, ‘Follow me,’ they’ll do that. Engage is the equivalent of ‘follow me.’”

Xtime Engage strengthened another trait of Ferman Volvo—customer involvement. While most service customers are used to dropping off their cars and being as uninvolved as possible, Engage allows the service team to develop more meaningful relationships with each person who walks through the door.

“It’s not always about selling—it’s about getting to know the customers,” said Matt. “We probably know more about our guests than anyone. If the relationship isn’t there, you’ll never see them again. Engage has enhanced that because it gives us more time to talk to the customer and build that relationship while still being methodical about the vehicle walk-around.”

From the dealership personnel side of the business, Matt pointed out that with Inspect, they can better engage with customers and more explicitly discuss car needs, from immediate to upcoming.

“Our guests can look at what service work will be provided in an organized, itemized way, with full transparency,” said Matt. Because of that, they know we’re honest, there’s no bait-and-switch, and they’ll be back to see us because of that transparency.”

Having one technology platform to resolve all of its service needs has provided an element of convenience to customers and dealership personnel alike by working together in tandem and being customizable to Ferman Volvo’s needs.

“Using one platform is so important, because having all of your tools integrated frees you up to do more things, like service more guests but in a quality way,” said Matt. “Technology has made us all more efficient across the dealership. It equates to higher CSI scores and boost retention rates. Having Xtime’s suite, which integrate so well together, makes the flow so much easier.”

Soon, Ferman Volvo Cars will add Invite to recapture lost souls to its business.

“If a customer comes to us consistently for service, they’re a lifer—they’ll continue to come to use for service, or when they need another car, and so on,” said Matt. “But for the others who might not come to us as consistently, we can target them with deals and coupons. As for customers we’ve lost, we offer the most aggressive deals we can. I truly believe that once we bring them back here, they’ll become loyal customers.”

Ferman Volvo Cars’ dedication to its customers is one of the many reasons it was awarded the first-ever Xtime Customer Experience Excellence award at the 2018 Digital Dealer 24 conference.

“I think we won because we try our best every single day,” said Matt. “We put our guests before anything else. You treat others how you want to be treated and you never lose sight of that. I think that is what makes us stand out is that we don’t look at our guests as dollar signs—they’re family. Also, we don’t let compliments go to our heads. It’s nice, but we don’t get too relaxed when we receive accolades—we continue to strive for the best.”

Matt, having worked with dealerships with and without Xtime’s solutions, said that it is imperative for modern dealerships to be open to change, mostly in the form of employing technology to solve any issues preventing a business from providing anything less than a superior experience to its customers.


“I wouldn’t want to work at a dealership that doesn’t use Xtime.”


Xtime’s solutions have helped Ferman Volvo Cars realize the following success over a six-month period*:

  • 85% customer retention rate: “Dealerships have to be competitive now, so were very active in our marketing initiatives in addition to treating customers the way we do.”
  • 10.4% retention benefit: “We know our customers, so we know what they want. Adding Invite gives us more control over what we’re sending and track the results in real time. That’s something we didn’t have before. Unless it’s a must-have-now service, nothing we suggest to customers is a sales pitch—it’s something to keep in mind for when you come back. It makes customers feel in control and it helps us maintain the relationship with them.”
  • 96% show rate: “Schedule is so easy to use, and it enhances the communication with our guests. We have 80-year-old customers who know how to use it and it makes a difference in the way people have control over their appointments.”
  • Average RO of $781 per customer: “We’re honest, and Xtime provides the tools to show our guests that we are honest. We can tell them what services are in immediate need, what will be needed in the near future, and so on—it’s not all about selling, it’s about building that relationship.”

*From October 2017 – March 2018

To guarantee that Spectrum delivers not only that customer experience, but also an efficient service department, Ferman Volvo Cars works in partnership with Xtime Performance Management to find areas of opportunity and improve utilization. Every 30-45 days, dealership management connects with its dedicated performance manager to review Xtime reports and to create goals that ensure Ferman Volvo Cars consistently improves show rates, profitability and performance. In these webinar consultations, the performance manager will also go over newly released features and provide any needed support.

“I cringe when I hear people complain because they don’t know how to use the tools,” said Matt. “The support Xtime offers is second to none. They’re engaged with their partners. I wouldn’t want to work at a dealership that doesn’t use Xtime.”