Team Gillman Automates Customer Experience to Increase Revenue, Reduce Headcount, and Boost CSI with Generative AI

Team Gillman saves time and money while providing an enhanced experience for their customers using Generative AI with Numa.

Marla Cardenas is an automotive industry veteran with over 36 years of experience. She’s spent the last five years as an employee at Team Gillman, a Houston-based, family-owned automotive dealership group that represents well-known brands like Acura, Chevrolet, Honda, Mazda, and Subaru.

At the company, Marla wears many hats — serving as the director of marketing, overseeing everything related to the BDC, and managing all customer-facing, reception, and call center staff members across the dealership, among other things.

In this case study, she shares how Numa has helped her team save time and money while providing an enhanced experience for their customers. 

The challenge: The need for more options for customer follow-ups

Marla first learned about Numa at an NCM 20 Group meeting. While she already had BDC software in place, Numa sparked her interest because it offered more diverse options for managing missed customer calls. 

“I don't think it’s the best course of action to just automatically call a customer back after missing their call. We live in a world where people don't always want to talk to another person. We liked that Numa gave us the option to send the customer a text message if they hung up, before calling them back.”

After vetting other solutions, Marla felt that Numa would be the best fit for her team and rolled out the tool across all seven locations. 

The solution: A flexible solution for multiple use cases

The first thing Team Gillman did with Numa was to give her a name. “We call her Arielle. I give my dogs people names, so it didn’t seem fair that she didn’t have one too!”

Today, Marla and her team primarily use Numa (or Arielle) for two use cases: 

Return calls 

Numa serves as a safety net for missed customer calls. For example, if a customer calls but hangs up, Numa will automatically send out a text message to offer assistance. If the customer doesn’t respond to the text, Numa then follows up with an AI-assisted call. Marla shared recent metrics around Numa’s impact.

“Of the 1,203 return calls that needed to be made, we were able to contact 662 of those people with Numa — a contact rate of 55.03%. Out of those people, we were then able to set 190 appointments.”


One unconventional way Marla and her team use Numa is for their marketing efforts. “We were having new owner’s clinics at our stores, and a couple of them weren’t doing well, only getting around 20 to 30 people.”

Marla used what she calls her tried-and-true ‘cake recipe’ — a four-tiered approach to marketing that layers phone calls, email, text messages, and Numa — to see if they could boost attendance. 

The results?

“We used Numa as a fallback, in case people tried to call in to get more information about the clinic but couldn’t get a hold of somebody, just like we do in our service departments. With this approach, we ended up having 144 people show up at a new owner’s clinic at one of our locations.”

The Results: Happier customers, happier advisors 

The results of these individual instances are clear, but has Numa had a broader, positive impact on Team Gillman’s business? According to Marla: “140%, yes.” Here are some of the outcomes she’s noticed:

Fewer hires 

As Team Gillman has grown their BDC, they’ve experienced some turnover. But, according to Marla, nobody has needed to be replaced.

“Numa is a big reason why. We’re able to resolve a lot more for customers without needing more manpower. And we also feel that we’re giving the customers a better experience.” 

More dollars per RO

One of the benefits of having Numa make more calls out to customers is that it makes walk-in traffic more predictable for advisors — especially at their Honda store locations, where around 45% to 50% of their traffic is from walk-ins. 

“After we had Numa, we were making more contacts out and had fewer people walking in. But the RO counts still went up so did the dollars per RO. The reason for this is that we were getting a hold of a lot of people who might have just hung up and then just walked in, which meant that we had a better handle on what was happening in the lane. By having that handle, our advisors could spend more high-quality time with the customers and actually sell more.” 

Improved CSI

Another outcome of using Numa? Happier customers and advisors.

“Because we were actually making appointments for these people, our advisors were able to give our customers the undivided attention they need. As a result, they were building more rapport, so CSI was going up, along with dollars per customer.” 

For businesses that are concerned that a tool like Numa might hinder the “people touch” of their business, Marla offers her perspective: “In our case, we felt it enhanced it, and the proof was in the dollars and the expedited experience to the customer. All in all, that is the ultimate goal: to make customers extremely happy and run profitably."

Looking forward

With two more Team Gillman locations currently under construction, Marla looks forward to rolling out Numa to even more parts of the business. For other dealerships that are considering adding Numa as a solution, she shares some advice: 

“Your vendor is only as good as the partnership you provide them on the dealership side. You’re never going to get the full benefits of how powerful this tool is unless you push your sleeves up and work with the vendor to make sure everything gets set up properly.”

The benefits of doing so, says Marla, will be well worth it. 

“Whatever I give to Numa in terms of time and energy, they always give tenfold back to our team —  and that's why I love doing business with them. This is what separates Numa from 95% of the vendors that we deal with.”

We struggled with CSI before Numa, now we have hit the CSI mark 7 out of the past 8 months.

Jeff Clear

Service Manager

We hired a BDC backup to respond to Numa Sales Inbox, she's selling average 15 cars a month by just responding to the conversations in Numa Sales Inbox.

Arisha Walker

Sales Consultant

Numa is an integral part of how we communicate with a customer... Tearing it out would be like tearing the transmission out of a car.

Eric Frost

Service Director

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