Vindis Group is miles ahead of the competition with Automotive Cloud

Vindis Group combines Driver 360 and Vehicle 360 to create outstanding customer experiences.
MARCH 14, 2023. 7 MIN READ

When you’re buying a car, ‘simple’ probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind. But at Vindis Group, customers get a hassle-free experience, clear pricing, and even home delivery. This is car buying made simple.

Founded in 1960, Vindis Group is a family-owned business selling Volkswagen Group brands across 15 locations in the UK’s eastern regions. The company prides itself on being an industry leader – never a follower. And what matters most to Vindis Group is the customer experience.

“Customer-centricity is part of our culture. It’s not enough to give them the choice between buying online or coming into the showroom. We want the customer to feel in control and our team to have everything they need to be as helpful as possible,” explained Matthew Wootton, Head of Compliance at Vindis Group.

The way people shop for cars has changed. By the time they come to a showroom they’re no longer at the first stage of the journey. Customers are researching online and coming to a dealership with a good idea of what they want.

This is where 360-degree visibility comes into play. Combining a prospect’s web browsing history with CRM and service data gives a clear picture of what they’re interested in, their budget, and whether they’re browsing or ready to buy. The customer doesn’t have to repeat information to get a smooth experience throughout the sales process and with service after the purchase.

Vindis Group is taking innovation one step further. The company rolled out Automotive Cloud and Marketing Cloud in just three months to combine full visibility of every driver, vehicle, and service visit with automated processes, personalized communications, and self-service functionality.

Let’s take a closer look at the first steps in Vindis Group’s transformation.


“Customer-centricity is the foundation of our culture. With Automotive Cloud we can give customers more control over their journey throughout the entire sales process and life of the vehicle.”

Matthew Wootton, Head of Compliance, Vindis Group

Vindis 360: a single view of the customer.

Vindis Group wants to deliver more value through seamless customer journeys. Automotive Cloud will provide a data-rich view of the customer (Driver 360) and their car (Vehicle 360) to help the company deliver on its Vindis 360 vision.

“We set goals for Vindis 360, including personalizing more touchpoints, getting greater transparency of our marketing spend, and improving data quality and compliance,” said Peter Toop, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Vindis Group.

The number of systems at play in the automotive industry means data is often siloed. By centralizing business on one platform, Vindis Group’s staff will immediately be able to tailor conversations with customers to be more relevant.

For example, if a car is due for a service and the customer has been browsing new models online, the sales team can use the visit as an opportunity to discuss buying options. The vehicle console in Automotive Cloud, known as “Vehicle 360,” will contain all the details necessary to evaluate whether the customer can do a part exchange, where they can use the value of their old car as part payment towards the new one, and how much the old car is worth.

This isn’t just better for customers, it’s also more satisfying for staff. And this type of experience will help Vindis Group to differentiate itself from the competition in a changing landscape.

As Toop explained, “The industry is evolving. An emerging trend is that customers are buying directly from manufacturers and using companies like us as an agent. That means we can’t compete on price or availability because those are defined by the manufacturer. The best way to compete is with a hyper-personalized customer experience.”


"The industry is changing. Retailers are competing on customer experience. With Salesforce, we can create hyper-personalized experiences that offer more value to our customers."

Peter Toop, Group Sales and Marketing Director, Vindis Group

Finding a partner that talks the talk.

When Vindis Group went to market to find a new platform, it was flexibility and innovation that made Salesforce stand out.

“Salesforce has a vision to transform the automotive industry. We could see how connecting our ecosystem would create efficiencies and a fantastic customer experience,” said Toop. “The agility of the platform gives us a foundation we can build on, which is worlds apart from our legacy environment.”

Vindis Group also liked that other industry players, such as their original equipment manufacturer (OEM), are Salesforce customers too. In a sector that relies on seamless interactions between multiple partners, having a common platform will be a big advantage and open up more opportunities in the future.

To help with the implementation, Vindis Group worked with Feasa, the partner of choice for automotive companies using Salesforce.

“The Feasa team were fantastic from day one. They helped us navigate the platform and advised us on best practices,” said Peter Martin-Jones, Head of Marketing at Vindis Group. “We’re experts on the automotive industry, not technology, so having someone who spoke our language was a real benefit.”

Together, the team implemented Automotive Cloud with Marketing Cloud to personalize customer journeys. With support from Feasa, the platform was ready to use in just three months.

“Feasa are delighted to work on this amazing transformation project with Vindis Group, and to deliver one of the first implementations of Automotive Cloud for Salesforce. From the start, Vindis Group wanted us to take a complete landscape view to design and deliver a roadmap that would be a foundation the business needed to respond to their customers’ needs, drive efficiencies, and reduce costs,” added Drew Tyrrell, Director at Feasa.


"Salesforce has a vision to transform the automotive industry. By aligning with innovative partners we can all work together to shape the best possible platform to meet our needs."

Peter Toop, Group Sales and Marketing Director, Vindis Group

3 months to design and implement Salesforce

Getting started with Automotive Cloud.

The Salesforce transformation is one of a number of projects Vindis Group is running to improve the customer experience. It’s also launching a new website, ecommerce journey, and online self-service functionality to book cars in for a service or maintenance, while migrating data held in its document management solution to Salesforce.

This will be a significant win for the company. Previously, it needed to run processes overnight to pull together datasets to uncover insights. With Salesforce, real-time data will be accurate, available, and actionable at the tap of a button.

One of the first processes it moved to Automotive Cloud is the aftersales contact center They had multiple platforms they had to check to engage with customers. Now the Vindis 360 Console combines customer, vehicle, OEM service reminders and maintenance together to allow the team to see a holistic view of the customer. Automotive Cloud is already driving real efficiencies across the team with faster and better customer touchpoints, plus significant reduction in manual data preparation tasks and dynamic real-time dashboards.

“We’re starting to use Automotive Cloud to make processes more efficient. We’ll be onboarding more teams and automating elements of the customer journey to make it faster and more efficient, and to give them more options on how to connect with us,” said Martin-Jones. “It’s exciting to see how much impact those small changes will have on user satisfaction.”

Simplifying the customer journey is always front of mind. Other processes to be improved include adding a button to request a call back on the website, which will be routed to an agent along with details of whether the customer is interested in sales, services, or specific offers.


"Automotive Cloud will make processes more efficient. It’s exciting to see how much impact those small changes will have on user satisfaction."

Peter Martin-Jones, Head of Marketing, Vindis Group

60% reduction in time taken to create marketing campaigns

Putting customers in control of their marketing journeys.

Vindis Group has swapped mass mailing for personalized, trigger-based journeys in Marketing Cloud. “Rather than mapping the customer journey to our processes, we decided to shape processes around the needs of the customer and give them greater control of marketing preferences,” said Martin-Jones.

Previously, it was difficult to segment leads and track how recipients were interacting with communications. This meant campaigns had to be broader and more generic to appeal to the widest audience, and opt-in rates were low as a result.

Capturing consent and preferences to ensure GDPR compliance was also time-consuming. With data siloed across multiple systems, the team had to manually check to make sure they were only sending communications the customer had agreed to on each channel.

Now, the customer can self-serve to manage permissions and they’re automatically updated in Salesforce. Leads are segmented, and the team can send hyper-personalized messages that are relevant, timely, and engaging. And creating those great campaigns takes 60% less time than it did previously, which is a significant productivity gain for Vindis Group.

“It would be easy to assume a customer who always favors a Golf would want to know about the latest model. With Salesforce, we don’t have to assume. That customer might have started a family and need a bigger car. If they’ve been browsing online then we’ll know that and can follow up with the right information,” said Toop.

Although it’s early days, more than 200 qualified leads were generated from the first round of testing. Retention is also expected to increase with more people choosing to opt in to marketing campaigns. This also helps Vindis Group position itself as a brand that cares about its customers, working alongside them to find the right car at the right price rather than sending messages that sound like a sales pitch.

“We’re tracking data to benchmark what good looks like. It will help us to refine our messaging and make the most of our marketing spend,” said Martin-Jones. “Next, we’re looking at how we can bring sales and marketing closer together to give customers a smoother experience.”


200 qualified leads generated in marketing pilot

Taking the next steps on the pathway to success.

Vindis Group is just beginning its Salesforce journey, and the team is excited. Feasa is working alongside the company to make sure the platform can deliver more efficiency gains, and a better customer and employee experience.

“We’re still discovering all the possibilities with Automotive Cloud, and we’re thinking about aftersales. We want to make it easier to follow up on purchases and leases and put all customer, vehicle, and finance information in one place. Eventually, we could automate the trade-in process completely and give customers more options to choose from,” said Toop.

The system will also be able to proactively notify customers or staff when they have an action. For example, customers could receive texts or emails after browsing online inviting them to book an appointment at their dealership of choice. This would then trigger an automated journey to confirm the booking and generate an action for the sales representative to follow up afterwards.

“We’re exploring new ways to deliver better services with Salesforce, whether that’s smarter campaigns or by joining-up departments,” Wootton explained. “Wherever the road takes us, we know that Salesforce is on this journey with us, and Automotive Cloud will continue to get better and better at supporting our industry.”


"Wherever the road takes us, we know that Salesforce is on this journey with us, and Automotive Cloud will continue to get better and better at supporting our industry."

Matthew Wootton, Head of Compliance, Vindis Group



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