Riis Bilglass AS is Norway’s largest car glass chain, with 185 branches.
The company’s success comes from its commitment to delivering exceptional customer service that stands out from the crowd, says Sales Manager Garth Smestad.
“Good customer service for me is the ability to always exceed the customer’s expectations. This is a strong feature throughout our organisation,” he says. “If we want to be the customer’s problem solver, then we have to be empathetic, solution-oriented and positive. These are qualities that help foster good dialogue with the customer.”
Happy employees = good service
Garth smiles with enthusiasm when talking about his workplace and its highly engaged employees.
There’s a reason why he loves his job: “I experience a strong team spirit among my colleagues. Everyone contributes to us being able to perform our tasks in the best possible way,” he says.
According to Garth, this is extremely important. “Because the level of customer service employees are able to provide is closely related to their own job satisfaction,” he explains. “If you’re unhappy, you lose the ability to give the customer ‘that little extra’. This, in the worst case, can lead to customers choosing our competitors the next time they need car glass services.”
A new call centre
Technology plays a big role in keeping employees happy, especially when it comes to customer service, Garth says. “A customer service centre with complicated processes is one of the things that reduces employee satisfaction. It leads to stressed employees who are unable to perform at their best,” he explains.
And that was exactly the problem Riis Bilglass faced in 2013.
At the time, all customer enquiries were handled by an external switchboard service that redirected them to a Riis Bilglass branch. This turned out to be an unpopular way of running customer service. “We needed to be more accessible to our customers and handle their enquiries faster and more efficiently,” Garth said.
He and his colleagues realised that the company needed to act as soon as possible. The chain therefore established its own customer service centre in 2013 at its head office in Fornebu.
Bespoke multichannel solution
The new call centre meant the company could introduce new solutions to simplify and streamline the experience for its customers and employees.
“When we were looking for smart solutions, we contacted Puzzel,” Garth said. “Puzzel tailored a multichannel solution for our needs, and we’ve used it ever since.”
The solution consists of three service channels; voice – which customers encounter when calling the company, chat – which customers can make use of on the company’s website, and SMS – which Riis Bilglass uses to contact their customers.
Effective customer communication
Garth smiles happily as he talks about the transition from old to new – especially when it comes to the SMS solution. “From the outset, we noticed that being able to use SMS to contact and inform our customers was the most effective and easiest way for us to communicate with them,” he explains.
The company has learned that the majority of its customers prefer to have information sent as a message on their mobile rather than being called directly.
“We send important information to the customer they can read when they have time. It also makes it easy for the customer to reply to us via text message if requested,” Garth says.
Riis Bilglass’s customer service centre is not only a first-line contact for customers, but also for the chain’s 185 branches, which use it as an information hub. Through the booking portal, all the branches can receive SMSs with links to ongoing bookings that allow for the uploading of images for window replacements and to send digital insurance claims directly to customers.
“The SMS solution is the ideal way for us to create good customer relationships,” Garth says.
Implementing Puzzel’s cloud contact centre solution has resulted in more satisfied employees, who find their workload less stressful, according to Garth.
It has also lead to higher customer satisfaction scores. “We ran a customer survey a few years after the establishment of the new contact centre with our new communication solutions. It focused on the entire customer journey, from the customer contacting us to us returning the car to them. The results showed that we exceeded customer expectations in more than 90% of responses,” Garth explained.
“This feedback boosts both job satisfaction and motivation by several notches,” he adds, smiling again.
But he also emphasises that the customer service representatives at Riis Bilglass do not rest on their laurels. “While customers appreciate our service, it’s important to stay hungry, and to not settle for being ‘good enough’. We need to be better,” he says. “We work across the board to contribute to the best possible results for the chain, which helps us stay sharper.”