Hippy Campers is a traditional camper van hire company that has taken to Vonage to support their business needs. Ian Matthews, director of Hippy Campers, was looking for an affordable and flexible telecommunications solutions for his fledgling company. The company has grown steadily since Ian acquired it in October 2014. From six vans when they acquired the company, they have added two more vans to the fleet. By summer 2016, they hope to have a fleet of around eleven vans. In order to continue growing the company, they needed a reliable telephone system.
Hippy Campers - Small Business Case Study Video Transcript
My name's Ian Matthews. I'm director of Hippy Campers Limited, and we're a VW classic camper van hire company. We're based in Tring in Hertfordshire, and we have seven classic camper vans.
We actually bought this company a year ago, and the incumbents at the time were using mobile telephones, which wasn't what we wanted to do. We wanted a proper dedicated landline number. We decided to go with Vonage rather than the BT line, for a number of reasons: costs, we didn't want to get tied into a contract, and we didn't want the aggravation of an engineer. The Vonage system came in a very small box within 24 hours, plugged it into our router, five minutes later, we had a telephone line, and we could actually choose the number we wanted as well. And since the company had previously been in London, it was very convenient for us to have an 0203 number. We found the geographical number gives us some form of credence, a much more professional forward-facing image and it proves that we're a proper company rather than just something running off a mobile.
Vonage gives us a fixed cost every month which includes the line, our calls, and also with Vonage Extensions, which is a downloadable app. It allows me to make and answer calls from my mobile, and it appears that we are returning the call from our landline rather than the mobile. And again, this looks much more professional.
We are now looking to open a satellite unit down in the southwest, and we have confidence that Vonage will be able to supply us. We will be able to choose our telephone number. It might even be another London number answered in an Exeter location.
After five stars, we would give it five out of five without any shadow of a doubt. It's a superb system. We would never go back to BT.
Problem - Costly phone plans
"The previous owners used to run the business using their mobiles, which we still do, but we also wanted a dedicated landline," said Ian. "Before we had Vonage, we already had broadband and could have easily put in a second line, but it would have been with a more expensive provider, such as BT or Virgin. Vonage is the ideal solution because so many extras are included in the monthly fee – such as call divert and answerphone – that you'd have to pay extra for to get with other brands. Going with Vonage was a no-brainer."
Solution - Vonage Premium
Ian decided to go with Vonage Premium, which provides consumers with a wide range of services for a starting price of just £10 per month*. The offering has more than 26 features, including Vonage Extensions. It also offers consumers unlimited UK and Ireland landline calls as well as unlimited calls to the US, Canada, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. "When it comes to technology, it's all about quick response either via the web or telephone, especially as some of our clientele are international," said Ian. "We decided to go with Vonage Premium. The second line works beautifully. We initially used our own home line, but often business calls were mixed up with personal calls. We now have a separate phone for our Vonage business calls. When the business phone rings, we know that it's a customer."
The company found that having a second line gave them a more professional image. Ian continues, "What I like about Vonage is that it allows you to appear more professional. People tend to take a business more seriously when it has a dedicated landline. It comforts people knowing you have bricks and mortar around you and you're not working from a café or the backseat of your car."
*Prices correct at time of video recording
Results - Affordable and reliable communications
Hippy Camper now has as reliable and affordable second phone line. Ian concludes, "Vonage is a great service. We frequently use the included features such as call divert and the messaging service - should we be out and can't take calls. It's a very 'plug and play' system, we didn't need technical support when setting up the service. The customer service has also been excellent. I know as the season gets busier and we're not actually in the office, the call divert function will be very handy for us."