Driving the customer experience

Leading French multinational automotive manufacturer and Arvato partner to improve services for customers

Challenge: to deliver an outstanding customer experience while keeping costs low

When the multinational automotive manufacturer was looking for an outsourcing provider to deliver its front office customer service for its brands, the company needed a partner that could support its ambitious growth strategy for the UK market –to achieve 5% market share by 2017. Three objectives emerged as key: to build a partnership that could evolve together, to achieve cost-savings without compromising on quality and to identify additional commercial opportunities to drive sales through customer contacts.

Having been a trusted partner for its fleet services since 2007, Arvato was chosen thanks to its innovative solutions and technology, its flexible approach to partnership and its ethos of looking after employees.

Solution: to build on technology and skills

Together the partners completely re-designed the customer experience model to focus on leading effective conversations with customers and identifying and fulfilling customer needs at first point of contact. On top of the initial requirement for customer service via telephone and email, Arvato implemented new digital service channels to improve engagement with customers and identify additional commercial opportunities.

The partners introduced proactive web-chat which has since become the most popular contact channel for customers. Supported by social media channels, the contact centre has been able to generate more leads and generate appropriate additional service offer relevant to each customer.

With 12 new models launched in the UK in 2012-2013 alone staff’s product knowledge is key. The partners developed an ‘immersive brand experience’ programme including test drives, product demonstrations and on-going training. Knowing the cars inside out ultimately enables the customer service agents to have effective conversations with customers, resolving queries and offering additional services at first point of contact.

The team developed ‘best-in-class’ standards for customer service which have now been rolled out across the automoive group.  A close-knit set of KPIs and independent, externally audited quality measures enables the team to continually evaluate performance; and a partnership built on trust allows the partners to regularly challenge each other to improve services and deliver their vision of outstanding customer experience.

Successes: happier customers, more commercial opportunities

Driving sales

  • Generated around 2,000 qualified new vehicle leads per year – over 8,000 in total since the beginning of the partnership
  • Front office and marketing support activities resulted in sales worth over £3m in 2014 alone, delivering a ROI of 447%
  • Web-chat is now the most popular contact option for customers, and 60% of leads are generated through this innovative channel
  • A four-month pilot of after sales customer retention activity generated a 9% uplift in additional technical services sales, resulting in estimated additional £128,600 revenue for 22 dealers in the brand's network

Outstanding customer service

  • Improved the company’s own, externally audited customer satisfaction quality assurance model, by almost 40% since the beginning of the partnership
  • As a result, the UK operation is regarded as ‘best in class’ internationally for customer service within the wider automotive group globally
  • In 2014, the manufacturer was in the top 10 organisations for recording the most significant growth in its UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) score since January 2013
  • Improved Net Promoter Scores by 86% over a 12 month period

A flexible, content team

  • Developed a flexible staffing model to meet seasonal demands, enabling the team to increase staffing levels by up to 50% at short notice
  • Introduced Quality and Commercial Opportunity financial based incentives
  • High staff morale leading to low attrition (33% in 2013) and absence (2% in 2013) rates
  • Thanks to its success, the team size has seasonally grown by up to 100% to support additional activities including aftersales retention and marketing support

Cost savings

  • Realised guaranteed cost savings of 5% year-on-year
  • Implemented a flexible monthly staffing model based on customer buying habits, delivering an additional annual cost saving of 5%

Services: to deliver a multi-channel, multi-functional customer contact solution

  • Inbound: Multi-channel (social media, web chat, telephone, email, letters etc.) front office customer services, marketing enquiries and complaints handling
  • Outbound: Lead generation using data sources from dealerships, website and marketing events
  • The partnership supports customers as well as dealerships

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