The Digital Experience Team
In 2016 we had a dream, provide our valued customers with an exceptional experience during every parts interaction. In order to bring this to fruition, a step back to basics was required. We needed to answer the phone, every time a customer calls, in 3 rings or less. Seems simple enough, right?
How did we help make this happen? We knew we had teams of highly experienced people, so what could we do to make them even more efficient and effective to be able to answer as many calls as possible, to answer them all? In comes the technology that saved the day!
A new way of working
While working on this project, maintaining customer relationships was the most important, lucky for our customers, we are able to have the right people and tools in place so that no matter who answers the phone, no matter where they are sitting, a skilled person answering can assist them. We decided to create contact centres within the regions to allow our pool of parts service reps to be able to answer more calls from their branch, all the while helping other branches along the way. When designing the contact centre, keeping calls within a region where the person answering the phone understands industry as well as geography has always been key to this process working.
And so it Begun
This past year of has been a wild ride for all of us in so many ways, we have gone through a rapid technological transformation! For the Digital Experience team, it was like finally getting to watch the season finale on our favourite show. Three major contact center projects, plus one bonus initiative, were completed in Northern Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. This has meant that now across all Toromont Cat regions, our parts operations teams are part of a contact center and able to help each other when needed. During the pandemic, the requirement for this has been more important than ever as we have all had to adapt to working remotely. Moving towards this model has been a journey, we have learned a lot, stumbled a few times, but understanding the importance of what we set out to do was ultimately persevered.
Northern Ontario Parts teams were among the first to embark on this technological journey with us in 2017. Ever ready for a new challenge, they decided to move to a more hybrid parts model and so we collaborated with them to implement a version 2.0 contact center for the parts operations, thus separating duties between phones and counter. What this has meant for the region is if a customer calls, there are 5 highly skilled parts technicians, prepared to help with anything they need, not tied up building a hose, or assisting a customer at the counter. If a customer walks into the branch there will be a highly skilled person standing at the counter prepared to help with anything they need, not tied up with another customer on the phone. The results have been exactly what we had hoped for, we quickly saw abandon rates drop and Customers happy not having to hold.
Quebec and Maritimes projects brought Toromont full circle. Bringing all parts operations across the Toromont Cat branches onto contact centers. This means better coverage during vacations, peak times, staffing shortages…. even department closures during a pandemic. Realizing this can be a big change for customers, our marketing teams have worked tirelessly to ensure we got the word out explaining the initiative. Front line teams have been doing a fantastic job walking customers through what these changes mean for them, selling the value in the new model.
During the height of the pandemic, an initiative was born as a reactive measure to what was going on in our branches who needed support. We needed someone who could handle parts calls for branches suddenly finding themselves short due to pandemic related restrictions. Phil Pleasance was the pioneer, quickly jumping into the position without even knowing what he might be agreeing to. Over the last two years this has developed into a department of two highly skilled parts technicians who now backup all legacy parts operations from the comfort of their homes. They only receive a call if the region has no one available, or if a branch finds themselves shorthanded and requires an extra voice. Handling 85+ calls some days, Ben Sage and recently added Mark Tinney are an extremely valuable resource to our operations! Their enthusiasm and dedication to this initiative is the reason for its success.
We are constantly in the mindset of ensuring that our customers get the best possible experience and our journey with the Digital Experience of our Toromont Cat customers has only just begun! So Stay tuned!