A major global car maker was winning plaudits from auto buffs for the high quality of its engineering and manufacturing. But it was continually ranking near the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys. With 21 million customers driving 16 million models, the company faced a formidable challenge. TeleTech was brought in to fix the problem, and took a three-pronged approach to the task: Revamping a chaotic customer service IT infrastructure; then enhancing the customer service experience; and finally reaping the fruits of both improvements via enhanced sales. The result was not only a sharp increase in revenues, but also one of the single biggest yearly increases in customer satisfaction scores the auto industry has ever seen.
TeleTech arrived at the company to discover contact centre staffers working with a mish-mash of disconnected legacy applications stitched together with on-the-fly spreadsheets and a barely-functioning email system. The simplest task, such as notifying a dealer about a car owner's problem, involved toggling between multiple computer screens, each representing a different silo of customer information. Staffers also had to master a seemingly arbitrary series of reporting codes that made it nearly impossible to connect related cases. Worse, some important customer information wasn't even kept in-house, but was instead held by outside vendors, each with their own bulky and incompatible IT systems that made the data for all practical purposes inaccessible.
To create a seamless system that made all customer information available in a single, easily-accessed location, TeleTech implemented a Salesforce cloud-based solution. New reporting procedures were put in place, with records of all phone calls, emails and chats stored centrally. It integrated not only with the auto maker's legacy customer support operations, but also with its back-office enterprise systems. For the first time, the company was able to easily share information among different departments, and to generate reports that provided real-time insights into bread-and-butter customer issues such as warranty claims and service reminders. The new system was able to handle one million customer records a day, and within a month, the majority of contact centre staffers were meeting or exceeding performance targets.
The new technology platform allowed the car maker to begin the journey to a vastly-improved customer experience. Improvements were seen almost immediately. The time required to serve customer inquiries decreased by 36%, and the number of daily calls that contact centers could handle jumped by 18%. The company was also able to orchestrate customer interactions that had previously simply not been possible. For example, it was able to automatically notify customers about overdue service visits. What's more, having a high-level view of customer attitudes allowed the company, for the first time, to identify and then begin rectifying common customer complaints. It also gave the company the ability to reach out to dissatisfied customers to resolve whatever issues were of concern to them. The company began monitoring Net Promoter Scores on a daily basis, and they quickly soared to levels that had never before been seen.
With the integrated CRM system in place, the final step in the process was to take advantage of all the new capabilities to do what matters most: ignite sales. This ongoing effort started with the client's auto leasing program. With the newly available insights being immediately available in the contact centres, the company had the ability to reach out to high-value customers who were near the end of their vehicle leases and who were at risk of not renewing. These customers were first contacted via personalised direct mail, followed by emails and in some cases phone calls. The CRM system was sufficiently flexible for proposed renewal terms to be changed the closer a lease was to expiring. The system could track the campaign's status with every customer, giving the client real-time insights into the overall progress of its leasing business.
In 2016 alone, TeleTech was able to drive Â£10 million in incremental profit from the lease loyalty campaign. The program has also encouraged 49% of lease transfers to convert to sales, generating Â£354.6M in incremental new sales profit to date. The entire customer experience upgrade project was showing a positive ROI after just two years, well ahead of projections. And the platform has been rolled out to new users, including dealers and field staffs, making an improved customer experience an integral part of the mission of everyone associated with the enterprise.
Today's fiercely competitive global auto industry allows no room for error, certainly not in dealing with customers. Its work with the auto maker demonstrated TeleTech's across-the-board customer-related skills, from the nitty-gritty of IT systems to an awareness of how to focus the attention of an entire organisation, including senior management, on the importance of the customer experience. Those skill helped an automaker regain a position at the top of its industry, on the cusp of even greater accomplishments to come.