By Richard Robinson, COO REALtime Communications
Last year was a busy one to say the least! But we wanted to reflect on some of the amazing things the team at REALtime Communications delivered in 2022.
So, where to start?
Key platform statistics and performance
Let’s kick off with the statistics taken directly from the REALaftersales and REALevhc aftersales product range.
In 2022, over 3.3 million eVHCs were completed through the platform. That’s equal to six eVHCs being completed via our technology every minute of every day in 2022!
On top of that, technicians and service advisors identified £729 million in Amber work and £701 million in Red work – a combined opportunity of £1.43 billion in service work.
We also reached a milestone in active RTC-trained technicians using the software, with 13,500 fully trained technicians now actively using the system every day.
Customer success and growth
Next, let’s look at our all-important customers.
35% of our customers renewed and extended contracts with us in 2022, and even more added additional products to their solution, from Online Service Booking, Advisor Applications and more! We also added a further 105 additional retailer rooftops, adding more customers to the REALtime Communications family.
Many of our customers started the journey to go fully digital for their aftersales teams, with many more in the pipeline for 2023. The digital revolution in aftersales is well and truly in full swing, and our Account Management team are looking forward to offering their continued support to our customers.
Business Intelligence opportunities
Our REALinsights Business Intelligence platform has made some fantastic progress in 2022, working with a number of the AM100 retail groups as well as Auto Trader. The solution is empowering retailers to spot trends quickly in their aftersales data, view and manage their finance P&L in seconds, as well as check and update all their vehicle stock – saving hours every week and getting vehicles priced correctly to sell from day one.
There is more to come with REALinsights in 2023, with more integrations in the pipeline and additional reports being deployed. As the leading business intelligence solution for the automotive industry, we will continue to take the lead in delivering actionable insight reporting that is developed by automotive experts for the automotive industry.
From a marketing perspective, we had a busy year.
We have doubled our LinkedIn followers to over 1,000 in less than 12 months. This has been supported by a range of content and thought leadership articles we targeted to create.
Our aim was, and still is, to keep giving back to the industry – be that through data and insights, whitepapers or simply our experience supporting automotive retail for over 21 years. We are looking to continue sharing our experiences and support in 2023.
We also launched our own webinars, running successful webinars with EMaC and Auto Trader as well as the Auto Retail network – sharing the panel with Sarah Brettle from Ford UK and Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu (these are available to view again on our website!). There will be more to come this year as we look to work closely with our partners.
Finally, from a marketing perspective – awards. We were shortlisted for “IT Innovation of the Year” at the Motor Trader Independent Awards and for “Aftersales Product of the Year” at the Motor Trader Awards. Unfortunately, we didn’t take home the prize this time, but we will be back this year to try again!
Support and development
Our support team and development team were busy as ever in 2022. Our dedicated support team resolved 15,700 tickets and delivered an impressive 100% first-line SLA resolution response and a 99% second-line SLA resolution response – keep up the great work team!
The development team delivered over 20,000 lines of code in 2022 across 877 development tickets. This was equal to 90 new features and enhancements across six general releases. In total, 85% of our customers upgraded in 2022, with the rest following shortly. It’s great to see so many of our customers taking advantage of these new features, and we have more to come this year and will be sharing these good news stories with you throughout the year.
Charity and the RTC team
We do like to think of ourselves as a charitable bunch at REALtime Communications, and 2022 was no different. As a team, we raised £1,539 for charities and good causes.
Simon Coates donned his annual whoopee cushion outfit, raising £180 for Breast Cancer Now and Tracey Potts raised a further £280 for this great charity by walking 100 miles. Scott Robertson raised £310 in aid of the DEC Ukraine Appeal thanks to his triathlon efforts, and Nathan Cooper raised £180 for Cancer Research doing 100 press-ups a day in May and raised a further £100 for Movember after growing a rather large moustache!
On top of this, we had sweepstakes and other charity events in the office, as well as members of the team taking time out to support foodbanks and Christmas tree sales. Well done to everyone who got involved!
On the subject of congratulations, we also had a busy year for weddings here at REALtime Communications. Melanie Streeter married Gary, Dave Roffey married Debbie and Matthew Bonney married Beth – congratulations from everyone!
CitNOW Group acquisition
Finally, and without doubt the biggest news of last year, was our acquisition by CitNOW Group!
At the end of 2022, we became part of the wider CitNOW Group family and have been busy over the last few months getting to know our new team members across the group (10 companies in total now!).
There is lots of fantastic collaboration and ideas coming from this acquisition, and we see it as nothing but positive for REALtime Communications as our solutions and services continue to grow in the UK and globally. Thanks to the scale of the group, we are looking to fast-track a number of key initiatives, so keep an eye out in 2023 for more news on what’s next.
Thank you again to all our customers and colleagues for a fantastic 2022. We are looking forward to what 2023 will bring.