Case Study: Automotive
Forging personal, unforgettable connections with luxury goods consumers
Enabling inspiring interactions with affluent, knowledgeable, European consumers using video chat and traditional contact center channels
Award-winning roadside assistance, complaints, lead generation, product inquiries, sales, warranty claims, service reminders, and loyalty
The client manufactures inspirational, upscale vehicles with striking lines, the latest onboard technologies, and distinctive performance. They strive to shape the total ownership experience by always exceeding expectations. Indeed, they provide a concierge-type service focused on reducing the work and hassle in owning a vehicle (dealers drop vehicles off at customer homes!) — they want a contact center that defies convention, lightens the customer burden, and redefines the premium segment.
Current and would-be customers know the products, recognize the competitive options, and can easily discern high quality. The young affluent, worldly professionals the client seeks to do business with expect the best. They want elegant statement vehicles with style and power. They demand prompt, reliable, and tailored attention.
With these considerations in mind, the client chose to:
An average contact center solution does not suffice for an international brand focused on luxury, performance, and inspired design. Only a modern, exceptional contact center will do. After garnering experience with several global outsourcers, the client chose HGS to deliver a premium, state-of-the-art contact center in London, England.
HGS established the contact center within two months. The initial HGS model included inbound roadside assistance, complaint management, lead management, sales inquiries, general product inquiries, warranty claims, dealer support, and goodwill management business processes through voice and email channels. Outbound lead generation, incentives, and events support as well as video chat were layered on later. The matrixed team of approximately 20 full-time employees is now organized by contact origin—inbound, outbound, geographical region, language, and channel.
HGS consultants typically have degrees in marketing or business as well as management, retail, or premier brand experience. They use numerous tools in their daily work, including telephony, customer relationship management (CRM) software, a dealer management system, the HGS Digital Natural Assist (DNA) knowledgebase, and interaction technologies. All new hires are equally comfortable responding via keyboard, by phone, or on-camera.
Each consultant spends two days in a dealership shadowing experienced sales and service employees, absorbing the culture, and driving the vehicles. Consultants also receive training on systems, best practices, sales techniques, as well as how to best present professionally via video chat (dress code, body language, clean desk, etc.).
Video chat launched as a pilot in 2014 in the UK. HGS subject matter experts assisted with the needs analysis, product research, technical and operational implementation, and change management for video chat. After exploring several options, HGS and the client chose Vee24 to increase accessibility, deliver a rich customer experience, control technology costs, and improve conversion rates. To implement video chat for all of Europe, HGS worked with a dozen country representatives and the supplier for three months.
As an interaction platform (featuring multilingual voice, live video chat, text chat, and co-browsing), the system allows the contact center to connect with customers on desktops, tablets, apps, dashboardtechnologies, and smart phones. The platform includes a media tower that plugs into the consultant’s desktop via USB and provides a built-in HD camera, diffused lighting, Bluetooth headset, a broadcast monitor, and an on-air light. Consultants and customers have the ability to switch between channels during any interaction. The platform also includes reporting and analytics, a website communications interface and APIs, and inbound and web-based interaction invitation options. The platform builds trust and credibility and provides an in-store type of experience.
Quality, consistency, and unified experiences are important to the client. Consultants receive updates simultaneously at their computers, are subject to quality monitoring and mystery shopper reviews, and attend group calibration sessions. All types of exchanges are recorded, reviewed, and analyzed. Quality assurance layering ensures the client’s total ownership experience goals remain in focus.
HGS has adopted the client’s culture down to the tiniest of details. HGS consultants adhere to the client’s dress codes and customer service philosophy. They access the client’s systems, participate in their training (the client flew the team to Lisbon for specialized training!), and stay abreast of product launches and marketing campaigns. The interior design of the HGS office mimics the client’s headquarters. The client’s employees visit monthly, using a dedicated meeting room reserved just for them. HGS takes great care to ensure consultants feel connected.
HGS makes it easy for Europeans to interact with bona fide brand ambassadors. With their first-hand, onroad vehicle experience, they can also answer confidently and offer opinions. They are fully equipped to help weigh the pros and cons and to guide educated consumers to the best
Since launch, HGS has continued to meet the client’s goals and extend the brand. HGS is a fully fledged member of the client’s team on many levels, flexing and evolving to align with strategy and to prepare for growth. The client’s vehicles are new to the European market, but the brand is gaining momentum and HGS is building a solid foundation for a much bigger operation. The team has accomplished a lot in a few short years.
In addition to embracing video chat, one of HGS’s consultants suggested a new mobile app that enables customers to build and configure a 3D image of their dream vehicle. The client has made this app available to the public, and HGS is now working to integrate video and text chat into the app.
HGS is actively participating in the search for a new CRM tool for all the client’s European offices. With our broad exposure to numerous CRM systems and understanding of the client’s growth goals, clients, products, and IT infrastructure, HGS is helping to evaluate options. Once chosen, the HGS team will also assist in shaping customizations and front-end usability.
HGS set up a lead qualification team for the European centers/dealerships. The team has expedited the processing of leads and test drives from up to 10 days to within 2 hours and has increased uptakes from 30% to 65%. The dealer network has a much improved flow of leads, marketing has greater insight into ad campaign performance, and customers have a much more positive customer experience.
HGS reduced roadside assistance expenditures through a new authorization process. The process has decreased costs of vehicle rentals, yielded 45% year-over-year cost savings, and increased CSAT due to improved repair times. The roadside assistance contact center operation was cost-neutral during its first year of operation at HGS. The HGS team essentially pays for itself through effective management of complaint and warranty cases.
HGS has attracted attention to the client’s excellent overall customer service by becoming a finalist at the European Call Center Awards 2015. The team also joined the Top 50 Companies for Customer Service Club in the UK for 2015—the only automotive brand included in this prestigious group.
HGS is not only an international company in its own right, we work as a member of the client’s global team. For example, HGS recently hired Polish-speaking consultants and is now preparing to take on support for Netherlands, Hungary, and Bulgaria. The HGS team triages incoming contacts from Africa, North America, and Asia Pacific; they are rerouted to the appropriate node in the worldwide network. If no coverage for a particular country exists, the HGS team addresses the inquiries.
The client not only has extraordinarily high standards, they are passionate about doing things properly and professionally. This commitment extends to HGS. Visitors to the contact center are awestruck at the dedication to the brand, the positive vibe on the floor, and the high degree of investment made in all aspects. This wow-factor leaves visitors and employees feeling that “this is what a contact center should be!”