Building Trust through an improved Customer Experience
More than seven million used cars are sold annually in Britain – many of them through organisations like Manheim Remarketing UK.
As the market for cars aged three to five years old has become increasingly competitive, there is a determination at Manheim UK – whose HQ is the global leader in its field, to set itself apart from rival organisations. Throughout 2014, it intends to achieve this goal by building stronger relationships with its many thousands of business customers.
A transformational Customer Experience Programme is now at the heart of the company’s UK business strategy. In simple terms, it requires Manheim Remarketing UK’s 1,500 employees to do everything they can to make the buying experience simple, straightforward and satisfactory for the high volume of customers who visit the company’s 18 auction centres every week.
It’s all about putting the customer at the forefront of our thinking" commented David Rathband, Manheim Remarketing UK’s Director of Customer Service.
“Trust is a critical factor in any business relationship, particularly in our sector. Customer service is part of our DNA, and with this comes the passion and ambition to be the most trusted company of our kind in the UK.”
To help turn this ambition into reality, CRT was briefed by Manheim UK to conduct a far-reaching and intensive customer experience survey.
The Customer Experience Brief
Like many organisations, Manheim UK seeks to gather actionable, local level information in order to identify and improve the things that matter most to its customers.
To this aim, it had historically run a variety of online surveys - specifically targeting car dealers, who account for the majority of Manheim’s annual sales. Although providing some value, the team found those engagement exercises were delivering very little fresh information. Participation levels had dropped, and because the questions had remained static for some time, the feedback had become predictable rather than insightful.
CRT’s customer insight experts worked closely with Manheim to scope a fully managed project of real-time feedback. The brief included:
- Surveying 1,000 customers over two weeks across 17 sites throughout the UK
- Measuring customer satisfaction levels across multiple touchpoints
- Designing an interactive survey that took less than 60 seconds to complete
- Presenting the key findings – including a ranked table of key service improvements – to Manheim’s UK board
Manheim's Approach to Customer Engagement
CRT deployed a team of independent researchers equipped with ViewPoint touchscreen tablets. The devices were the ideal medium, as they could be couriered to the sites and had a good battery life.
The survey was designed using intelligent routing and tabular questions which meant that up to 20 questions could be answered within Manheim’s requirement of a time of 60 seconds.
A comprehensive plan, clear lines of communication and regular updates ensured the project ran within budget, seamlessly, and did not interfere with the duties of front line operational staff.
Target-breaking Survey Results
The easy-to-use feedback technology, coupled with the warm and professional interactions of the researchers, achieved 1,337 completed customer surveys, smashing Manheim’s target by more than 30%.
CRT presented an executive summary, including detailed insight analysis by customer type and site, to the Manheim UK Operations Board.
Marcia Scott, Manheim Remarketing’s Customer Services Manager, commented: “CRT’s presentation had the wow factor. There was a sense of everyone stopping and catching their breath as they absorbed some very powerful information.
“The survey got everyone thinking and talking about a number of the findings. For example, site managers have an annual budget to spend on facilities. The survey highlighted that there were opportunities to deploy those budgets in a more tailored way for each site to deliver specific facilities improvements and ensure bigger impact with our customers.
“Armed with this evidence, there’s definitely a real commitment among the management team to raise the customer service bar even further.”
Customer Service Excellence
As for having the customer-focussed attitude that Manheim needs to achieve its goals, there was some very positive news.
Overwhelmingly, customers reported a high level of satisfaction with Manheim Remarketing's auction site staff, and the managers were able to take this encouraging feedback back to their teams.
Marcia added: “The project surpassed our expectations and provided some exceptional feedback on our staff. It also challenged some old ways of thinking and has given us clear guidance on where to focus more going forward. Ultimately, it’s a simple premise – we can only know what our customers want by asking them.”
Apr 17 2015