Our client is a publicly traded cosmetics retailer facing major challenges as the fourth quarter of 2018 opened. Despite a strong global sales footprint and a positive brand perception, the firm was losing market share to longtime competitors and new market entrants alike. Managers needed to cut costs while improving a customer service operation that was struggling with frustrated callers hanging up the phone.
The firm brought in OutPLEX to set up a team with a small footprint that could manage inbound service for several independent product lines. Management’s top priority was improving the abandoned call rate, which was hovering at 8%.
With a team of skilled agents, OutPLEX needed to leverage technology solutions in order to beat expectations. Building an IVR (interactive voice response) deflection feature into the phone system gave customers who didn’t want to wait for an agent the option of switching to a digital messaging channel. The messaging channel, in turn, gave customers a chance to resolve their query with a chat bot. These bots used intent detection and a constantly expanding knowledge base to resolve conversations.
The automation was required to handle numerous functions, including checkout support, upselling and cross-selling, order status inquiries, and general information. Even with this challenge, the bots were consistently able to redirect and contain 5% of phone contacts, which reduced wait times significantly, breaking the service bottleneck.
These bots weren’t just for deflected phone contacts—they were also the first point of contact for customers reaching out via web messaging, email, SMS, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, and Google Business Chat. Promising results throughout 2018 and 2019 led the firm to add more product lines to OutPLEX’s operations, including a premium grooming line for men.
Abandoned calls hit an all-time low at 0.14% in September of 2020, a major improvement when just two years earlier, one in every twelve callers were walking away without establishing contact. This metric held below 4% during the fourth quarter holiday rush, despite a 38% increase in call volume compared to Q4 2019.
Sales also improved, giving the firm a much-needed revenue bump. Automation improvements from 2019 to 2020 helped agents realize a major gain in conversion rate, a staggering 53% increase over the previous year during the fourth quarter.
Even as the client firm continues to downsize, OutPLEX’s small team handles more volume every day with ever stronger results. Get in touch today to learn more about how OutPLEX’s low-cost, high performance approach can transform your customer service operations.
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