In today’s economic climate, delivering excellent customer service and achieving sales leads can be difficult when resource is low.
Many manufacturers have bucked the trend by partnering with Arvato, a contact centre and support company that helps to drive efficiency, sales and overall customer experience.
With more than 60,000 employees worldwide, 3,000 of which are based in the UK and Ireland, Arvato offers a wide range of services from inbound/outbound calls to dealer support, customer service, sales and brochure fulfilment.
Customers include manufacturers such as Land Rover, Mazda, Saab and Renault.
“We are not a standard call centre business,” said Mark Brown, managing director, Arvato.
“There is a very strong recognition that they work for the brand they represent. All our employees are very passionate and it is very important for us that our staff are motivated and enjoy their work.
Each client has a service tailored to their individual needs. There are dedicated teams for each brand, and some work in the customers’ own offices.
“Companies wouldn’t stay with us for such a long time if they didn’t trust us,” said Brown.
“We are flexible and adapt our services to the needs of the client.”
Outbound lead generation
Arvato has been working with Citroën for the past five years, delivering a lead generation and relationship introduction service.
It looks to build relationships with fleet managers and provide a contact for them in case of questions. It also provides other services to manufacturers such as events, marketing, data management and aftersales support.
All Arvato employees undergo regular training on at least a monthly basis.
This is supplemented by ongoing coaching. Citroën provides regular brand training updates, training around new launches or changes in priorities so the team can answer queries from customers.
Each member of the team will look after a specific area dealing with a wide range of questions from fleet managers, from purchase queries, questions on financing, how Citroën compares to the competition, to duty of care.
Having a dedicated team enables Citroën to help fleet managers gain the information they need quickly and more efficiently.
Once the lead is confirmed, the Arvato team books the appointment with the fleet manager and Citroën sales manager.
By using Citroën’s own system, it enables both parties to have full visibility of all sale prospects and overall progress. The team has been very successful and has achieved 127% success in 2010.
Liasing with local business managers
Dennis Shepherd, business support team member for Citroen, joined Avarto in May 2008.
On a day-to-day basis he liaises with the local business manager to find out if he has specific requirements or needs to showcase any new types of offers.
On the back of that, Shepherd will generate leads by contacting businesses.
“We have worked really hard to put together a bespoke contact strategy and a close working relationship with Citroën,” said Shepherd.
“You get a lot of satisfaction knowing that your work has produced results.”
A key challenge for Shepherd is getting through to the right people and trying to show clients that they can save while giving them the bigger picture.
“It comes down to making sure you are contacting the right people and making a targeted approach,” he said. “Inevitably you will have people who put the phone down on you, but most people will give you their time.”
The relationship between Arvato and Citroën has grown over the past five years, Citroën now sees the team as an extension of their business.
“Our partnership with Arvato has delivered real business results – improving our fleet presence in the competitive small business industry,” said Mark Lynch, fleet marketing manager, Citroën UK.
“Arvato’s experience of the automotive sector is second-to-none. Our highly-trained Arvato team understands Citroen’s products and objectives, and is committed to our brand.”