brands4friends uses VIER engage with multichannel ACD and service numbers


The Challenge

"Our goal is to offer our customers, our friends, the very best service. And since we are in a business that is constantly changing, we need a flexible technical solution that can keep up with these changes," explains Michael Schroeder, Head of Customer Service, brands4friends. Previous service providers did not always meet these requirements. The company therefore switched to VIER in 2010 and has since been using its network-based Virtual ACD, among others. There is a good reason for the desire for flexibility: brands4friends only offers and sells high-quality brand products, for example from special collections, last season or surplus stock. The shopping club launches several sales campaigns every day, usually for two to four days, and often runs up to 150 campaigns a month. Those who want to buy do so exclusively online, by clicking on the website or via the mobile app.

There are no other ways to order goods - the company, which is always on a first-name basis with its friends, wants to be personally available to its customers for this very reason: "We handle our customer service completely ourselves, so we don't use any service providers," Schroeder confirms. "Proximity and direct contact with our customers is very important to us, which is why our service centre is right here in Berlin.

The Solution

The customer centre can be reached via a free service number from VIER. The service staff are there for their customers by telephone and e-mail on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and, in interaction with the virtual ACD, answer all questions about the order, i.e. questions about payment, shipping conditions or the delivery date. Every month, around 3,000 customer contacts are made by telephone alone. "In the past, technical barriers in customer service meant that it always took a lot more time and effort to maintain our high service level. With the virtual ACD and our personal contacts at VIER, all that is a thing of the past," says Schroeder. Customer surveys ensure quality. However, only the customers themselves can judge how good the service really is: brands4friends therefore regularly asks them for their opinion and uses VIER's quality check for this purpose. "We have set up the module in such a way that a short survey is conducted with the customer after every incoming telephone call," explains service expert Schroeder. For this purpose, the customer is automatically asked three questions on the phone that are specifically tailored to the company, which the customer answers by tone dialling according to the school grading system. "However, the quality check is set up in such a way that no customer can be asked more than once during a process - that is, not even if they call more than once," says Schroeder. "In this way, we also ensure that each customer takes part in the survey at most once within 14 days." The answers and evaluations collected in this way are used for quality control and service improvement "and are very valuable for us," confirms Schroeder. For him, the main thing is: "We want to get to know and understand our customers, our friends. And VIER supports us particularly well in this!"

About brands4friends

The online shopping club brands4friends has no customers. It has friends. Over four million friends. And they buy from the Berlin mail-order company the brand-name articles they have long wanted, but pay much less than usual for them. To implement this successful business model, brands4friends uses solutions from VIER.

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