Tochigi Toyota Motor Corporation, which is in charge of new car and U-Car sales in Tochigi Prefecture, adopted LINE WORKS as a communication tool. The objective was to ensure a smooth exchange of information among 27 sales stores and the head office. According to the sales staff, the overall work efficiency and customer satisfaction have improved as they can securely contact customers who use LINE via ‘external messenger connecting service.’ We interviewed Mr. Edagawa and Ms. Amagai from General Administration and Human Resources Group about management-related use cases and Ms. Ishikawa and Ms. Takezawa from Tochigi Toyota Yokota Store for sales office usage.
Please tell us about your roles and responsibilities
Our company provides Toyota car sales and related services by operating 20 new car, 6 U-Car, and 1 LEXUS sales stores within Tochigi Prefecture. As the General Administration and Human Resources Development team manager, my responsibilities include talent recruitment and training, system selection, and operation maintenance.
My role in General Administration and Human Resources Development team is to manage personnel affairs and LINE WORKS operations.
I am responsible for customer response and new car sales related business at the Yokota store, established within the head office.
I also work at the Yokota store, mainly responsible for new car sales.
What were the challenges you faced before using LINE WORKS?
There were issues with disseminating information from the head office to sales offices effectively. We used to post notifications via the company’s internal portal. Since not all of the employees had access to the company’s PC or e-mail, the delivery process was often slow or faulted. Therefore, we felt the need to implement a better communication tool to deliver our announcements in a timely and accurate manner to all employees.
Recently, sales representatives have been individually responding to customers through LINE to meet the increasing demands. However, I felt uneasy thinking whether LINE would enable our representatives to contact customers without compromising security and going against the company’s management regime.
Before introducing LINE WORKS, we wasted so much time trying to communicate with just fixed-line phone and fax. As a result, I wanted to add new means of communication to improve the situation and to promote Paperless ways.
Why and how did you introduce LINE WORKS?
Mr. Edagawa :
We paid attention to LINE WORKS as a tool that facilitates much-needed communications for work and connects to customers’ LINE securely. Thus, we began by conducting an employee survey and free testing at head quarter’s Management Department and Yokota store. The result indicated that LINE WORKS was easy-to-use and can solve various problems that we were experiencing at the time.
After selecting LINE WORKS, we distributed user manuals suitable for potential work situations to the head office and all sales stores. We were able to roll out LINE WORKS promptly and effortlessly, even more so than our expectation, as it has a similar user interface with LINE. The employees welcomed the concept of ‘Business version of LINE.’ After the employees adapted to using LINE WORKS, we actively utilized surveys and suggested use examples to promote the use further.
How do you optimize in-store tasks and sales activities with LINE WORKS?
Before LINE WORKS, sales representatives out on the field could not be informed immediately about the information from the clients or head office that came in during their desk absence. People who were briefed on behalf would leave the memo on the desk, and the sales representatives can only access them once they return to the office.
Fortunately, with LINE WORKS, employees can dispatch information immediately and reliably through chat features. Moreover, employees do not have to worry about whether the person in absence got the info with the message acknowledgment feature.
Furthermore, we had to ask to be connected when contacting a salesperson from other branches that we were not acquainted with. Now with LINE WORKS, we can contact whoever whenever by looking through contacts section. As a result, we can see how LINE WORKS streamlines internal communication, speeding business insight.
What are the advantages of using LINE WORKS? Tell us about the specific use cases
Customers who wish to contact me via LINE can add me by using the QR code on my business card. With the external messenger connection feature, I can communicate with customers in a digitally secure environment. Also, customer support became more convenient since the majority of relatively young working-age generation prefers to communicate with LINE. For instance, I could not specify the address that the customer designated and asked for more information with LINE. Then the customer immediately sent me a map with the exact location. It is one of the examples of how a seamless response happens without waiting for the other person to call or wasting customer time.
Moreover, we can quickly initiate responding to customer’s trouble with car breakdown once the video with the sound about the car status is given. By connecting the repair support representative to given videos, the customer can benefit from immediate judgment of whether a repair visit is needed. Thanks to LINE WORKS, we have achieved more immediate and effective communication with our customers, which has led to improved customer satisfaction.
How do you use LINE WORKS for management purposes?
Instant messaging, e-mail and home features allow us to deliver the information from head office real-time and accurately. In-house portal, which was not available to all employees, was replaced by LINE WORKS home, and LINE WORKS mail integrated internal and external e-mail systems into one. In conclusion, the overall burden of managing software diminished significantly as previously dispersed calendar, facility reservation, and e-mail features have merged into one application: LINE WORKS.
One of our primary considerations was finding reliable software to confirm our employees’ safety in case of an emergency. However, the LINE WORKS survey feature enabled us to achieve the desired outcome without an additional fee – we can now check on our employees’ safety at ease.
Form is a very convenient feature; we use it to manage in-house event attendances and various internal polls. It is also used for the company’s unique operations by connecting the pay system with data and managerial positions with non-managerial employees, who are unlikely to face each other on a regular basis.
Prior to introducing LINE WORKS, the much-needed process of collecting and sending all employees’ responses included using in-house mail delivery and fax. In this sense, the time spent and the workload was quite considerable. LINE WORKS Form promoted Paperless ways and gave a positive impact on response rate and speed: the Form can be delivered directly to each employee and answered using smartphones. The Form system also shows answer results, which allows us to check the progress rate; this then minimized the need to collect and count answers separately. With LINE WORKS, we could optimize workflows, automate simple procedures, and thus experience a noticeable improvement in work efficiency.
We are currently blooming with ideas and therefore researching ways to improve work efficiency thanks to the various features of LINE WORKS. Improvements in work efficiency are quite visible and already yielding practical outcomes. We would like to continue incorporating the use of LINE WORKS features into daily business operations.
How do you plan to use LINE WORKS in the future?
We are considering whether we can utilize the PC version of a group call feature for manager meetings. I am aware that the feature is currently at a beta stage, but it is a great advantage to have video conferences without introducing any additional software.
LINE WORKS enable employees to get work done regardless of the location. Therefore, we will consider using it as a backbone to Teleworking in the future.
※ All details, affiliations, and positions specified were gathered at the time of interview.