LeasePlan has created a new business division solely focussed on improving customer service.
Matt Dyer, LeasePlan UK managing director, said the company has been working to create a combined service Engage Centre at its head office in Slough that will look to eliminate situations where customers are being passed from department to department.
He has set a first time resolution percentage average goal of 80% for the 100-strong customer service team. He said the company is already between 60-70% on enquiries around changes to options, quotation follow ups and end of contract questions.
Dyer told Fleet News: “The first step was to invest in our digital strategy with a new website, app and online portal. The next step requires something transformational with how you position the business.”
LeasePlan is transitioning to move all customer contact across its divisions through the Engage Centre.
Dyer explained: “Previously we would have a team that would run leasing quotes for drivers but if that quote became too complex it would be handed off to a separate team. It meant there was a chain of handoffs and the more links in the chain you have there’s a reduction in efficiency and potential for lack of clarity.”
He wants the Engage Centre to improve consistency with customer service where enquiries from corporate, public sector, SME or personal leasing can all be dealt with in one place by one team.
LeasePlan is one of the biggest leasing companies in the UK with a risk fleet of more than 165,000 vehicles and Dyer acknowledges that expecting one team to know everything it offers is a complex task.
He said: “I don’t want us to get ahead of ourselves. We know there is a lot of work to do and we are transitioning into a new way of working.”
The Engage Centre has staff with experience across all areas of the business and LeasePlan has recruited additional employees that will gain knowledge from the core team.
Dyer said it was important for LeasePlan to consistently invest in continued training for the Engage Centre staff to learn about all elements of the business.
The company has also built a digital “knowledge management tool” which will act as a LeasePlan ‘encyclopedia’ the team can reference.
LeasePlan has also invested in additional customer relationship management and workflow technology to help speed up responses.
Dyer said the average answer time for calls coming into the Engage Centre is now six seconds.
LeasePlan uses the TRI*M index of customer retention intensity to measure its customer satisfaction. This combines overall satisfaction, likelihood to recommend, likelihood to repurchase and assessment of competitive advantage. Its latest TRI*M scores were recently announced with an increase from 81 in 2015 to 82 in 2016.
Dyer said: “This places us near the top 10% of financial companies in Northern Europe, and in the top third of all industries in the UK. We are proud in the UK of what we have achieved so far. We just know we can do more.”
A major part of LeasePlan’s new customer service push is aimed at the drivers themselves.
Dyer admits that while the company is rated well by fleet decision makers and fleet managers, it needs to do more work to improve relationships with drivers.
He said: “We really want to elevate the role of the driver with what we do. They are increasingly important and are decision makers in their own right and we have to respect that. They play a large role in the vehicles that are chosen or joining or leaving schemes.”
Dyer said LeasePlan has 85% of drivers using its driver app and online portal tools and they increasingly expect a digital experience similar to other big brands they interact with on a daily basis.
Three-quarters of LeasePlan’s driver contact is now digital, with the remaining 25% by phone (it was previously a 50/50 split).
Dyer said: “We really want to drive loyalty directly with drivers and to build that relationship over time.”