You no longer buy a car, you take out a subscription. Many people place less value on car ownership. They look more at mobility and therefore opt for convenience. Volvo is one of the car manufacturers that is capitalizing on this trend. For a fixed monthly fee you drive a new car and if you want, you can change the model after three months or cancel it again. Because the car subscription is a fairly new phenomenon, potential customers still have many questions about it. Volvo called in SalesQ to help everyone. The introduction of the service therefore got off to a flying start.

Volvo is a car manufacturer with a long history. The Swedish brand is best known for all kinds of innovations in the field of safety. So it came first with the safety cage, three-point seat belt, crumple zone, shock-absorbing bumpers and ABS. Traditionally, passenger cars (including Volvo's) find their way to the customer through an extensive network of dealers. In recent years, however, brands also sell directly to the customer, via online.

The latest trend is for manufacturers to offer a subscription to a car via their website. In doing so, they are following the example of other industries. For example, it has been common practice for some time not to purchase CDs or videos yourself, but to subscribe to a streaming service, such as Spotify or Netflix. In this case, all you have to do is go to Volvo's website and choose the model that suits you. You still have to pick up the car from the dealer, but after that you can immediately hit the road. For a fixed monthly amount you always drive a new car. Everything is arranged for you, such as insurance, motor vehicle tax, maintenance, breakdown assistance and replacement transport. Only electricity or fuel is not included.

Volvo currently offers subscriptions in six countries: the Netherlands, America, Great Britain, Norway, Germany and Sweden. The business model is very similar to private lease, but is more flexible, explains Niels Demesmaeker, Head of Online Business at Volvo. “You get a probationary period of thirty days and you have a notice period of only three months. Lease contracts often have a longer term. After this period you can return or exchange your car, without the hassle of trading in or selling.”

The Challenge: Answering Subscription Questions

The subscription is, among other things, a way for car manufacturers to increase their reach. Volvo, for example, appeals to a somewhat younger target group. When Volvo Netherlands started offering subscriptions in 2019, many potential customers sought direct contact via telephone, email and chat. Demesmaeker says that Volvo had expected that and planned from the start to have that first torrent of questions 'captured' by a partner. “At the time, we listed and approached a number of parties. SalesQ was chosen because their people are very professional and pleasant to deal with. They think along well and have a 'just fix things' mentality. In this way they quickly dragged us through the start-up phase.”

The solution: gain insights into best practices with a partner

Working with subscriptions is new and Volvo still had a lot to discover. The collaboration with SalesQ lasted about a year and enabled the brand to gain all kinds of insights. This way they found out at what times the most questions come in and what information customers are looking for the most.

“As a result, we knew how to set up our organization the moment we started answering customer questions ourselves again,” says Demesmaeker. “Thanks to SalesQ, we got a good idea of ​​how many people we need, what peak times are and what profile salespeople should have. The questions turned out to be mainly in the nature of a double check. People ask again what the exact conditions are, what the difference is with private lease, what the delivery times are and when subscriptions will also become available for the business market. As a result, we knew that we had to look for people who are good at explaining things. So more of a consultancy profile than hard sales.”

Result of the collaboration: target achieved

The result was that Volvo immediately achieved the target in the first year, with more than five hundred subscriptions. Demesmaeker emphasizes, however, that no hard requirements have been set for SalesQ. “We have not made any agreements about KPIs. Their role was really to help us go live. Watch what happens and learn from it. The people at SalesQ were also willing to try out what works. For example, we started using video calls; some are very adept at it.”

According to Demesmaeker, the collaboration was very intensive and he liked it very much. “The SalesQ agents showed in training that they are very eager to learn and to understand the service. As a result, they were quickly at a good level. “As mentioned, they are professional and pleasant to deal with. They want to do well, but are not afraid to make mistakes. They are friendly, self-critical and easily accessible. That is why I can recommend to anyone who wants to try something new to work with SalesQ. I certainly intend to use their services again in the future.”