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Phone, email, chat or face to face: which channels should you use for your customer contacts? The House of Contact Centers examines this topic every two years. ALD Automotive has already successfully opted for chatbot. And car dealer Malcorps Motors went all-in with a 360° solution.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

prefer to contact you?

How do customers

What stands out?

Researching preferred channels of communication

75% of companies say the importance of their contact center has increased. Customers now work from home more and therefore have more time to contact you. Which channels do they prefer? The House of Contact Centers (THoCC) conducts research into customer preferences every two years. 

  • Belgians are sticking with traditional channels: among the remote channels, the telephone remains the most popular – even among young people – at 36%.
  • Physical contact is declining year on year. 
  • Customers prefer physical and telephone contact when it comes to financial questions or questions involving emotion. Then they want immediate action.
  • They use email equally in almost every situation.
  • Chat is only a preferred channel for simple questions about products, orders and deliveries. 
  • A menu of choices or IVR is a source of enormous irritation.
kristof_van_der_stadt... (copy1)
image_10.png (copy2)
HEADER-INTRO

Chatbot, digital assistant to ALD Automotive

Got a question about your lease car? Just send it to ALD Automotive via WhatsApp. Thanks to a chatbot, you will get an instant answer, day or night. This enables the personnel at the contact center to focus on the difficult questions.

ALD Automotive

New expectations

The ‘traditional’ clients that ALD Automotive is in contact with are company fleet managers. “They call us during office hours and we send them info by letter or e-mail”, said Katie De Meerleer. “The private client would rather get in touch with us after office hours – and preferably any time of the day or night. The problem is we don’t have people in our contact center outside office hours.”

The profile of our clients is changing and so are their expectations. Both the private and the professional client want speedier answers to their questions. That got ALD Automotive thinking. “So we came up with the idea of adding extra channels – alongside phone and e-mail – such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. We link up a chatbot to them so we can respond to our clients night and day.”

Katie De Meerleer has worked for VRT and Brussels Airport, among others. In 2014 she started at ALD Automotive where she moved up the ranks to become Head of Client Care.

Katie De Meerleer

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ALD Automotive is an international fleet manager and operational lease company. They offer companies mobility solutions and customized advice through the leasing of cars, vans, bicycles, etc.

“Our clients love WhatsApp. They ping us a message and get an instant reply thanks to our chatbot.”

The project enables ALD Automotive to kill two birds with one stone. “A communication tool like WhatsApp works with short messages, which is ideal for trying out a chatbot.” 

For the practical application ALD Automotive used the Proximus platform #Interact. “Proximus is our partner for all telecommunication, so they were an obvious choice for this project”, said Katie De Meerleer. “#Interact bundles the influx of digital messages and sends them to the chatbot. The chatbot then formulates an answer and feeds it back via #Interact. If the chatbot can’t answer the question, a staff member from the contact center takes over the chat.”

The chatbot helps the client solve the problem step by step. Katie De Meerleer gave an example. “So, for instance, the client sends a WhatsApp message saying that a stone has caused a crack in his windscreen. The chatbot will first ask whether the client is insured for this type of incident. It will display a photo to show where the client can find this information in their insurance documents. Then the chatbot will explain step by step what the client has to do next.” That ensures a streamlined, digital communication process.

Streamlined communication

Digital assistant

The reactions have been very positive so far. “We inform them that they are communicating with a chatbot”, said Katie De Meerleer. “During the test phase we felt that was important. The clients clearly love using WhatsApp. We’ve noticed they like being able to send a quick message and get a quick reply.” The personnel in the contact center are also enthusiastic. “The chatbot takes care of the most common questions and so acts as a digital assistant. It means the staff can spend their time on more difficult questions – and make a real difference to the client.”

The use of #Interact points to the increasing digitalization of the relationship with the client. At the same time, a more radical digital transformation is taking place in the leasing branch. “There are new models whereby you purchase mobility – such as the use of a car – via a subscription formula”, said Katie De Meerleer. “The entire service is digital, as is already the case at, for example, Polestar: from quote and credit checks to digital signature. ALD Automotive is completely ready for this evolution.”

Digital service

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HEADER-INTRO

Technology, the answer to effective customer service

 A cloud solution has enabled the digital transformation of the dealership, thus meeting the challenges of customer satisfaction. According to Director of Operations Dimitri Gose you need to adapt to customers, not the other way around.

Malcorps Motors

Combining technology and the human factor

As soon as he started work at the dealership a few months ago, Dimitri Gose decided to speed up the user experience by, among other things, upgrading communication tools. But the priority was clear: “No compromise. The proposed solution must combine state-of-the-art equipment, efficient service, guaranteed connectivity and seamless integration with our business applications. An innovative package that I found at Proximus thanks to the support and advice of Cartronics (exclusive partner of Proximus).”

Solution without compromise

Customer experience is a real leitmotif for car dealerships. The ‘Digital Automotive’ initiative is proof, which frames the digital transformation of the entire ecosystem world-wide. Dimitri Gose, Director of Operations for Malcorps Motors: “Car dealerships invest considerable resources in marketing to develop their image and attract customers to their showrooms and workshops. When a customer does contact us, we simply must provide a quality response to their request as quickly as possible.” 

“Technology is logically part of this approach that aims to digitally optimize the entire distribution chain. In other words, after configuring their vehicle on the web, customers come to our dealership and we do our part. To do this, we have opted for a 360-degree solution for our telecommunications in order to support the human factor”, explains Dimitri Gose. And the excellent results in terms of customer satisfaction confirm this winning strategy initiated by the Volvo distributor in Wavre.

Adapt to customers, not the other way around. This is what it is all about, according to Dimitri Gose. “We addressed our weaknesses in customer service by thoroughly optimizing our telephony.” No more lost calls and countless messages that are never dealt with. The Call Connect solution allows each employee, from the workshop to management, to manage everything from their smartphone or computer. And best of all, we have added Voice Assist, an interactive message-taking system using Artificial Intelligence. This way, the customer cannot be forgotten.” 

And that is not the only advantage for the director of operations at Malcorps Motors.  "Our customers are in direct contact with technicians, our employees gain mobility, and we have an additional weapon in the war for talent thanks to a future-proof work culture.”

Virtual hub and innovative culture

Operational leasing and remote management

Dimitri Gose even went further by outsourcing the management of his mobile fleet. Proximus’. Engage Packs are a global solution combining the leasing of mobile devices with high-value services. “As well as reducing operational costs, we can be assured of always having high-performance and robust tools, of managing the fleet remotely and, above all, of ensuring a level of security that is essential in our business.” 

Ever since the integration of the Proximus’ new solutions, our 25 employees have a unique platform that combines Teams, Call Connect, a powerful Wi-Fi network via Meraki antennas, Volvo business applications, and even digital signage screens in the dealership. “Our internal communication has also changed. We have succeeded in seamlessly centralizing needs”, emphasizes Dimitri Gose, without forgetting the security aspect that is at the heart of the Proximus ecosystem. “The fact that the Volvo Cars Belgium infrastructure is already supported by the Explore network was a big plus for us.”

The all-in-one effect

Digital economy

Taking a more global look, Dimitri Gose sees that the automotive industry is shifting from being a supplier of equipment to a supplier of more global mobility solutions. “According to a study by our federation, barely 6% of consumers is ready to follow a fully digital process when purchasing their vehicle. I also acknowledge the impact that disruptive players can have on the market and that we have no choice but to enter this era of advanced technology. We are migrating our resources to the cloud and we are looking at the benefits that 5G could bring us, for example.”

A graduate of the ICHEC and INSEAD Business School, Dimitri Gose has made a career for himself in the automotive sector. His experience with importers and distributors has allowed him to secure the position of Director of Operations at Malcorps Motors, a member of the Ginion Group.

Dimitri Gose

COLOR (copy)
image_1.png (copy3)

Volvodealer Malcorps Motors was taken over by the Ginion Group in 2002. The group distributes BMW, MINI, BMW and Volvo in the Brussels region. Ginion Group currently has more than 280 employees.

“We addressed our weaknesses in customer service by thoroughly optimizing our telephony.”

Dimitri Gose's 4 tips

1. Plan your digital transformation through the eyes of the customer.

2. Stay curious and dare to question yourself.

3. Change your solution along the way if necessary.

4. Maintain your customer database; it is an invaluable asset.

04-header.jpg

CUSTOMER SERVICE

prefer to contact you?

How do customers

Phone, email, chat or face to face: which channels should you use for your customer contacts? The House of Contact Centers examines this topic every two years. ALD Automotive has already successfully opted for chatbot. And car dealer Malcorps Motors went all-in with a 360° solution.

Researching preferred channels of communication

75% of companies say the importance of their contact center has increased. Customers now work from home more and therefore have more time to contact you. Which channels do they prefer? The House of Contact Centers (THoCC) conducts research into customer preferences every two years. 

What stands out?

  • Belgians are sticking with traditional channels: among the remote channels, the telephone remains the most popular – even among young people – at 36%.
  • Physical contact is declining year on year. 
  • Customers prefer physical and telephone contact when it comes to financial questions or questions involving emotion. Then they want immediate action.
  • They use email equally in almost every situation.
  • Chat is only a preferred channel for simple questions about products, orders and deliveries. 
  • A menu of choices or IVR is a source of enormous irritation.
kristof_van_der_stadt... (copy1)

“You need to know which channels your customers want to use, choose the right channels based on your strategy, and get them to work right away.” 

Inge Vissers, 
Managing Partner ThoCC

HEADER-INTRO

“De Vlaamse ambtenaar is altijd correct geconnecteerd, onafhankelijk van zijn fysieke werkplek.”

ALD Automotive

Chatbot, digital assistant to ALD Automotive

Got a question about your lease car? Just send it to ALD Automotive via WhatsApp. Thanks to a chatbot, you will get an instant answer, day or night. This enables the personnel at the contact center to focus on the difficult questions.

image_10.png (copy2)

Katie De Meerleer has worked for VRT and Brussels Airport, among others. In 2014 she started at ALD Automotive where she moved up the ranks to become Head of Client Care.

Katie De Meerleer

COLOR (copy)

“Our clients love WhatsApp. They ping us a message and get an instant reply thanks to our chatbot.”

image_1.png (copy3)

ALD Automotive

ALD Automotive is an international fleet manager and operational lease company. They offer companies mobility solutions and customized advice through the leasing of cars, vans, bicycles, etc.

New expectations

The ‘traditional’ clients that ALD Automotive is in contact with are company fleet managers. “They call us during office hours and we send them info by letter or e-mail”, said Katie De Meerleer. “The private client would rather get in touch with us after office hours – and preferably any time of the day or night. The problem is we don’t have people in our contact center outside office hours.”

The profile of our clients is changing and so are their expectations. Both the private and the professional client want speedier answers to their questions. That got ALD Automotive thinking. “So we came up with the idea of adding extra channels – alongside phone and e-mail – such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. We link up a chatbot to them so we can respond to our clients night and day.”

Streamlined communication

The project enables ALD Automotive to kill two birds with one stone. “A communication tool like WhatsApp works with short messages, which is ideal for trying out a chatbot.” 

For the practical application ALD Automotive used the Proximus platform #Interact. “Proximus is our partner for all telecommunication, so they were an obvious choice for this project”, said Katie De Meerleer. “#Interact bundles the influx of digital messages and sends them to the chatbot. The chatbot then formulates an answer and feeds it back via #Interact. If the chatbot can’t answer the question, a staff member from the contact center takes over the chat.”

The chatbot helps the client solve the problem step by step. Katie De Meerleer gave an example. “So, for instance, the client sends a WhatsApp message saying that a stone has caused a crack in his windscreen. The chatbot will first ask whether the client is insured for this type of incident. It will display a photo to show where the client can find this information in their insurance documents. Then the chatbot will explain step by step what the client has to do next.” That ensures a streamlined, digital communication process.

HEADER-INTRO

“De Vlaamse ambtenaar is altijd correct geconnecteerd, onafhankelijk van zijn fysieke werkplek.”

Malcorps Motors

Technology, the answer to effective customer service

 A cloud solution has enabled the digital transformation of the dealership, thus meeting the challenges of customer satisfaction. According to Director of Operations Dimitri Gose you need to adapt to customers, not the other way around.

image_10.png (copy2)

Combining technology and the human factor

Customer experience is a real leitmotif for car dealerships. The ‘Digital Automotive’ initiative is proof, which frames the digital transformation of the entire ecosystem world-wide. Dimitri Gose, Director of Operations for Malcorps Motors: “Car dealerships invest considerable resources in marketing to develop their image and attract customers to their showrooms and workshops. When a customer does contact us, we simply must provide a quality response to their request as quickly as possible.” 

“Technology is logically part of this approach that aims to digitally optimize the entire distribution chain. In other words, after configuring their vehicle on the web, customers come to our dealership and we do our part. To do this, we have opted for a 360-degree solution for our telecommunications in order to support the human factor”, explains Dimitri Gose. And the excellent results in terms of customer satisfaction confirm this winning strategy initiated by the Volvo distributor in Wavre.

A graduate of the ICHEC and INSEAD Business School, Dimitri Gose has made a career for himself in the automotive sector. His experience with importers and distributors has allowed him to secure the position of Director of Operations at Malcorps Motors, a member of the Ginion Group.

Dimitri Gose

COLOR (copy)

“We addressed our weaknesses in customer service by thoroughly optimizing our telephony.”

image_1.png (copy3)

MALCORPS MOTORS

Volvodealer Malcorps Motors was taken over by the Ginion Group in 2002. The group distributes BMW, MINI, BMW and Volvo in the Brussels region. Ginion Group currently has more than 280 employees.

Virtual hub and innovative culture

Adapt to customers, not the other way around. This is what it is all about, according to Dimitri Gose. “We addressed our weaknesses in customer service by thoroughly optimizing our telephony.” No more lost calls and countless messages that are never dealt with. The Call Connect solution allows each employee, from the workshop to management, to manage everything from their smartphone or computer. And best of all, we have added Voice Assist, an interactive message-taking system using Artificial Intelligence. This way, the customer cannot be forgotten.” 

And that is not the only advantage for the director of operations at Malcorps Motors.  "Our customers are in direct contact with technicians, our employees gain mobility, and we have an additional weapon in the war for talent thanks to a future-proof work culture.”

Solution without compromise

As soon as he started work at the dealership a few months ago, Dimitri Gose decided to speed up the user experience by, among other things, upgrading communication tools. But the priority was clear: “No compromise. The proposed solution must combine state-of-the-art equipment, efficient service, guaranteed connectivity and seamless integration with our business applications. An innovative package that I found at Proximus thanks to the support and advice of Cartronics (exclusive partner of Proximus).”

Operational leasing and remote management

Dimitri Gose even went further by outsourcing the management of his mobile fleet. Proximus’. Engage Packs are a global solution combining the leasing of mobile devices with high-value services. “As well as reducing operational costs, we can be assured of always having high-performance and robust tools, of managing the fleet remotely and, above all, of ensuring a level of security that is essential in our business.” 

Digital economy

Taking a more global look, Dimitri Gose sees that the automotive industry is shifting from being a supplier of equipment to a supplier of more global mobility solutions. “According to a study by our federation, barely 6% of consumers is ready to follow a fully digital process when purchasing their vehicle. I also acknowledge the impact that disruptive players can have on the market and that we have no choice but to enter this era of advanced technology. We are migrating our resources to the cloud and we are looking at the benefits that 5G could bring us, for example.”

The all-in-one effect

Ever since the integration of the Proximus’ new solutions, our 25 employees have a unique platform that combines Teams, Call Connect, a powerful Wi-Fi network via Meraki antennas, Volvo business applications, and even digital signage screens in the dealership. “Our internal communication has also changed. We have succeeded in seamlessly centralizing needs”, emphasizes Dimitri Gose, without forgetting the security aspect that is at the heart of the Proximus ecosystem. “The fact that the Volvo Cars Belgium infrastructure is already supported by the Explore network was a big plus for us.”

Dimitri Gose's 4 tips

1. Plan your digital transformation through the eyes of the customer.

2. Stay curious and dare to question yourself.

3. Change your solution along the way if necessary.

4. Maintain your customer database; it is an invaluable asset.