Interview with Robert Jonker, Manager Customer Service, iBOOD
In 8 years’ time, iBOOD has grown to become Europe's largest online one day deal platform. In plain English: a web shop which offers one new product a day for a very good price. For the 5th year in a row, the website has been proclaimed "website of the year" in the E-Commerce category. iBOOD grew through word of mouth, which makes positive customer experiences all the more valuable. 'The phone makes our service personal', says Customer Service Manager Robert Jonker. 'And with Mtel's contact center solution, we have the tools to improve that service.'
The phone helps iBOOD customers get a better picture of the company. Not insignificant for a purely online provider. 'You could say that the phone provides us with a face. Because we only operate online, people tend to think "who is behind all of this?“ The fact that they can call us immediately makes it more personal and improves trust. That's why the phone is still important for iBOOD in their customer communication, besides channels like e-mail, Twitter and Facebook.
Missed Phone Call, Missed Chance
When Robert started at iBOOD, the customer service department only had normal phones at their disposal. He wanted to make the switch to a solution with real insight into the quality of the service as soon as possible. 'We couldn't track anything, so we didn't even know if we'd missed a phone call. As a virtual provider, this was definitely a missed opportunity, because you risk people wondering whether there is actually someone working there. You immediately lose the customer's trust and take two step backwards.'
Thanks to Mtel's contact center software, Robert now always knows what is going on. 'For example, I can now see that we answer 80% of our phone calls within 10 seconds and that our customers need 20 seconds maximum to go through our selection menu. The reports also show that I don't need to worry about missed calls, because those are neglectable. We only have around 0.005% abandoned calls a week.' Another positive effect that is shown is the easing of work pressure for the department. 'I sometimes say: are you happy when you go to work, then you're happy when you're on the phone. If the people on my team feel good, this eventually leads to satisfied customers as well.'
iBOOD is a special concept, with the lowest customer prices and a fast-growing and changing organisation. An interesting party to work with. But in his relationship with iBOOD, Robert mostly experiences patience and understanding. 'There is no pressure whatsoever from Mtel. They understand how we work and that we are constantly building, which frequently changes our plans. That is no problem for them and they flexibly adapt. Even if we for example have to postpone a planned expansion.'
'The contact center solution relieves pressure from the department. In the end leading to happier customers.'
Besides, Mtel is not trying to sell you a Ferrari. 'It has been clear from the start that we always need to find the right balance between costs and the system's possibilities. We offer the lowest price to our customers and therefore pay extra attention to every investment that needs to be done. My contacts at Mtel are really considerate about this and also look at the long term. They don't push me to expand the system when I'm not ready for that.'
Robert is someone who does his homework. This is why he could already paint a pretty clear picture of the system he had in mind. Based on internal inventory, he knew iBOOD wanted a cloud solution. 'Part of our philosophy is working on the thing you're good at. We therefore want our own IT department to focus on things that are essential to us, like our website, the ordering process and order processing. This is possible with a SaaS solution and maintenance is left to the right specialists. This means we don't have to worry as much and we can save our manpower.'
iBOOD of course went to multiple companies with their question about a new customer service phone system. They ended up with three potential suppliers who were relatively similar in the technical features they offered. What was in the end decisive for Robert, apart from the costs, was the personal connection with Mtel. 'Apart from the fact that the Mtel team actually unburdens us, that we have one contact partner and constantly get competent reactions, you really notice that our communication is very natural. We can be honest with each other and they really listen to our questions. They are a real communication partner. And just like us, they like to get their hands dirty, which ensures potential problems get taken care of quickly and effectively.'
'We focus on good customer experiences so that positive reviews stimulate our word-to-mouth promotion. This way, we can stay well within our marketing budget and keep the costs for the customer low as well. It is my mission that iBOOD will always get 4 stars or more on the known review sites. We can get there by being even more helpful to our customers on the phone and preventing online complaints. The possibilities of this service will definitely help us with that, also if we want to expand in the future.'