Peek under the hood at H.R. Owen and find out how automation put it in the fast lane to success

Time to read: 5 minutes

Lamborghini. Maserati. Ferrari. Bentley. Rolls-Royce. These are not just cars. This is a lifestyle. And when you’re shopping for a lifestyle, experience is everything. At H.R. Owen, customers get a seamless, personalized experience from prospect through the life of the purchased vehicle. Whether they’re buying their first luxury car or looking for an exclusive model to add to their collection, H.R. Owen is there with the right advice, exclusive offers, and everything a driver needs to enjoy their car.

“The luxury market is not a numbers game. It’s experience over profit every time,” explained Brett Ward, Chief Technical Officer at H.R. Owen. “Trust is the most valuable asset in the automotive industry. The more data customers trust us with, the more value we can show them.”

Take service visits for example. H.R. Owen proactively notifies the customer when their vehicle is due for service. Relevant records such as the car’s maintenance and service history are all logged in Salesforce, so the customer doesn’t need to bring anything with them. The service center itself is unlike any other. Customers can grab something to eat, relax, or even race in a Formula 1 simulator while they wait.

But, things get even better for customers who have consented to share their data. If they’ve shown interest in a particular model online, the sales rep can prearrange a test drive while their car is being serviced. Thanks to integrations with third parties and automated workflows, all the necessary digital documentation to take the new car for a spin can be ready to go. All the customer has to do is swap their signature for the car keys and hit the road.

And whatever they choose to do during the service visit, they’ll receive updates at every stage. There’s even a photobooth to capture stunning 360-degree images of the vehicle that could be minted as a non-fungible token (NFT).

H.R. Owen isn’t about winning thousands of new customers. It’s more about making the customers it already has a thousand times happier. Let’s take a closer look at how it’s building exceptional customer experiences with Salesforce.


“The luxury market is not a numbers game. It’s experience over profit every time. With Salesforce, we can automate processes behind the scenes and free our team up to deliver truly outstanding experiences.”

Brett Ward, H.R. Owen
Table of Contents

Building foundations for greater efficiency.

For the past few years, H.R. Owen and its automotive transformation partner, Feasa, have been on a journey to create a connected ecosystem at the heart of the business. Customers today are more willing to share data in exchange for personalized service. This presents a huge opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves by connecting touchpoints to get a bigger picture of their customers, including their interests, wants, and needs.

“We worked with Brett to apply his vision of a 360-degree customer view and put a transformation delivery plan in place which focused on delivering an integrated, seamless customer journey while funding the program through cost savings and efficiencies created by the removal of double keying and real-time data”, said Drew Tyrrell, Director, Feasa.

But H.R. Owen hasn’t just captured and connected more data. It’s also undergone a company-wide transformation to ensure staff understand that their job is to give customers an amazing experience and not just close the deal.

“Salesforce was the foundation we needed to fundamentally change the way H.R. OWEN operates. There’s more transparency and accountability, and we’re taking that single view of the customer and turning it into an amazing, blended experience, whether they’re interacting with our website, attending an event, or browsing the showroom,” commented Ward.

The platform built on Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud give every department full visibility of what’s happening across the organization, including notes or attachments from emails that automatically attach to the customer record. Thanks to the Feasa GetAUTO APIs in Salesforce, third-party systems can easily be integrated with Salesforce to capture more insights and give customers a truly seamless experience.

H.R. Owen also worked with a conversion rate optimization (CRO) partner, TRS Digital, to clean its data. The team achieved this by customizing the platform to allow the company to curate data and build a hub of high-quality customer information. Instead of taking weeks to collate information in the document management system, with Salesforce it takes seconds.

“Salesforce means we can see every customer’s curiosities, actions, sales history, visits, issues, and crucially, identify their wants at a glance,” said Ward. “That means we don’t have to ask them to repeat information and can jump straight into hyper-personalized conversations.”

Customers also have greater control over their data. They can manage preferences via self-service, so they only receive relevant communications on their chosen topics and platforms. This also makes identifying cross-selling opportunities a breeze for H.R. Owen if a customer is interested in more than one of its luxury brands.



“Salesforce gives us full visibility of every customer so we can have more relevant, hyper-personalised conversations with them everytime.”

Brett Ward, H.R. Owen

Creating value from first contact.

Prestigious brands generate a lot of interest from word of mouth. But whether someone’s using a search engine to check out a particular brand or wants to know more about H.R. Owen, they usually start by visiting the website.

“Our website is a goldmine of information. We can track how people find us and which pages they interact with,” said Neville Luff, Head of Search and Audience at H.R. Owen. “We feed that data into Salesforce to get a picture of what they’re interested in. Both sales and marketing teams use these insights to shape communications and follow up on hot leads more efficiently.”

If a known contact is redirected to the H.R. Owen website after searching for “Bentley London,” for example, H.R. Owen routes the lead to the London showroom and the person who knows the most about Bentley.

Web forms are also captured in Salesforce to send new prospects on a personalized, trigger-based journey. If someone consents to being contacted, the platform automatically notifies a sales rep to reach out. The prospect stays in control of how their data is used, and the sales rep has everything they need to hit the ground running.

Where once, website visitors had to go through a 17-click process to submit the webform, now they can do it in just three. Inquiries are categorized by “finance,” “general,” or “test drive.” The prospect selects their preferred method of communication and chooses between the London or Manchester retailer.

Behind the scenes, browsing data is captured and the request is routed to the most relevant person with all the information the prospect provided, along with which model they were looking at when they submitted their enquiry.

Requests for test drives are routed to agents who use Service Cloud to arrange and confirm the booking.

“Taking website optimization in-house saved a huge amount of money. We used to outsource search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click services, but now we have one team designing the website experience and capturing richer metrics,” said Ward. “We can filter low-value inquiries where people are asking for a keyring, for example, and identify people who are serious about buying a car. With this and other key initiatives we have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and we’re investing a percentage of that into rolling out more Salesforce features.”


“Before Salesforce, we couldn’t build new functionality for our partners. We were at the mercy of their disparate systems. Now, we can redefine what good looks like and create ‘the wonderful’ on all levels with our Salesforce building blocks.”

Hollie Woosnam, H.R. Owen

Automating marketing journeys.

The next step in the prospect journey is transforming leads from the unknown into the known, and H.R. Owen achieves this with Marketing Cloud. Previously, the marketing team had to follow a series of manual steps for every email, which ran on a daily schedule. This was time-consuming and inefficient.

The new automated prospect (or pre-delivery) journey is one of three pathways defined by Group CRM Manager, Hollie Woosnam. Manual steps have been replaced with a series of decision splits in Journey Builder, making life easier for the marketing team. Existing customers are sent on a post-delivery journey, and Woosnam is currently designing one to support them after the sale.

“The data we capture on each person’s interests and behaviors shape the journey we send them on in Marketing Cloud,” said Woosnam. “For example, if we see someone is interested in a brand and we have an event coming up, we can send them an invitation. If they accept, we track attendance via a QR code they scan on arrival and Salesforce generates a task for the sales team to reach out afterwards to follow up with them.”

When a lead converts into a sale, signatures are captured digitally with DocuSign and the order is tracked in Salesforce. Different brands have different customer journeys, which would be challenging to manage without automated workflows. For example, Rolls-Royce requires H.R. Owen’s sales team to check in with the customer in the first 24 hours and follow up again two weeks later to welcome them to their aftersales service.

Thanks to third-party integrations, Marketing Cloud also automates emails such as reminders when insurance is due to expire. “The flexibility of Salesforce is really useful because our manufacturers all work differently,” said Woosnam. “Some handle communications themselves, but certain actions generate a task for our team – that’s where the integration comes in. It not only makes things much more efficient, but it also eliminates any duplicate effort and ensures the customer gets a seamless experience.”

Marketing Cloud modules help to streamline the design and build of communications while keeping the look and feel consistent. AppExchange solution, Playable, is used to embed video content in emails so the user doesn’t have to open a new window to view them.

The solution is also configured to give staff who don’t have Marketing Cloud visibility of how campaigns have performed.


“Our partners all have different requirements for aftersales. By integrating their systems with Salesforce, we can manage tasks much more efficiently and give customers a truly seamless experience.”

Shelley Newell, H.R. Owen

White-glove experience for collectors thanks to intelligent insights.

For the sales team, it’s never been easier to give customers an exclusive, white-glove service. “We’re a luxury retailer, not a car dealer. We know our customers and prospects really well. Salesforce helps the team make better decisions and respond to every customer’s question,” said Ward.

As well as customer-driven sales, this level of insight helps to match the most exclusive vehicles to their biggest fans – the collectors. With Salesforce, the sales team can quickly identify who’s expressed interest in a particular model. They also have the power to reward customer loyalty by offering first refusal to the most dedicated collectors or brand aficionados.

When a car is sold, all customers automatically receive a copy of the warranty, as well as reminders when maintenance or service is due. They’re not just buying a car, they’re getting a service to make running and maintaining the vehicle easier to manage. When it comes to lifetime value, it doesn’t get much better than that.


Frictionless collaboration with partners.

Working with a large network of partners can be complicated, and there are many parties involved in the sale and running of a vehicle. H.R. Owen needed to align with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the driver and vehicle licensing agency (DVLA), software companies, vehicle trading websites, and its luxury brands, and that meant bringing them into Salesforce.

“We reviewed key partners to identify which to prioritize when we connected them with Salesforce. Now, we don’t work with any new partners who can’t integrate with the platform. It is and always will be our central source of truth,” said Ward.

In fact, H.R. Owen partner Feasa also works with many of the company’s suppliers, which makes connecting all parties involved in the automotive journey easier. All interactions with partners are now tracked in Salesforce. This simplifies collaboration such as working alongside OEMs to expand into new territories and secure multimillion dollar deals.

“Before Salesforce, we couldn’t build new functionality for our partners. We were at the mercy of their disparate systems. Now, we can redefine what good looks like and create ‘the wonderful’ on all levels with our Salesforce building blocks,” said Woosnam.

Embracing data from top down.

H.R. Owen might deal in luxury, but it firmly believes that what matters most is people. It aims to eliminate pain points, smooth out processes, and save time. While automated workflows are making life better for employees, richer data is helping the company to make smarter decisions and better support its customers.

“Vehicle retention rates are high. But we noticed people are refinancing and keeping cars longer in response to economic uncertainty,” said Ward. “Having that level of insight means we can make sure we have great financing options available and aren’t sending insensitive communications about exciting new models.”

This data culture has caught on. Everyone from C-level to brand directors, sales managers, and the marketing team are using reports based on collated and cleaned data. Popular reports include intelligent insights such as sales figures per brand and how many test drives convert, and productivity metrics such as how individual team members are performing and how many pending actions are open. The team can also track service metrics such as the volume of communications per channel.

“We don’t use metrics in a traditional way. Our goal isn’t just to supply more cars, it’s to make sure we match the right person to the right car and do everything we can to keep it running well,” said Ward. “Salesforce means we can focus on efficiency and efficacy. It’s a nice bonus that keeping customers happy also reduces demand on customer service, but their experience is everything.”


“Salesforce is and always will be our central source of truth. We don’t work with any new partners who can’t connect to the platform.”

Brett Ward, H.R. Owen

On the road to future success with Automotive Cloud.

H.R. Owen has big plans for the future. In the next 12 months, it’s planning to migrate to Automotive Cloud to take advantage of all the tailor-made features designed to support the industry.

“Salesforce offers something truly unique. It has great features and hooks we can use to meet our specific needs. You simply can’t get the same functionality elsewhere,” said Woosnam. “It empowers the team to think outside the box and build anything we dream.”


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