In April 2015 electronics retailer Maplin announced that it had recorded its strongest sales growth since 2008. With a network of 220 stores and ambitious plans to accelerate growth, their revenue has increased by 6.3% to £237m p/a. Maplin’s Chief Executive, John Cleland, attributed these impressive statistics to a focus on “improving the product and service proposition, along with our commitment to the best customer experience”. Cleland added that he was “so proud of what our colleagues have done to change and improve the Maplin customer experience”. Maplin have invested heavily in their customer service department since 2008, and by doing so have became a client of ours and using our Email Management Software. As these recent figures show, they are now reaping the benefits of their decision to focus on delivering excellent customer service.

We recently spoke to Mark Dalgarno, Maplin’s Head of Customer Service, about the impact that Logicalware’s Email Management Software has had.  Here’s what he had to say:

Q. Mark, can you tell us a bit about what Maplin’s Customer Service was like in 2011 before you started using our Email Management Software?

A. To begin with, all the emails we were receiving were in one queue, and they were manually allocated to our agents, which was far from ideal. There was a complete lack of control within the department to ensure that we had the right agents receiving the correct emails. All emails were treated equally; there was no ability to prioritise. We basically had to cherry pick from the email queue and find the best colleague to deal with it.

There was a high volume of staff handling the enquiries and sometimes we would find there would be a double handling of certain queries. There was complete inability to monitor responses or understand our agent performance. As there was no facility to report on their performance, we couldn’t give them any individual feedback.

This service model was extremely expensive to scale, and it was creating a lot of frustration amongst our teams, and also amongst the management. With reporting, you need to be able to spot trending issues instantly, and we just couldn’t do this. You could clearly tell that our contact centre was nowhere near where it needed to be.

On top of this, we have a very big B2B mail order business. We were missing sales opportunities as we couldn’t prioritise emails such as purchase orders coming through, which resulted in us missing company deadlines, frustrating our customers and losing business.

Due to the increased staff costs there was a huge cost to the business; we were running at almost double our salary budget as a result of the poor systems in the background.

Q. As a solution, what did Logicalware do for Maplin?

A. We have 15 public facing email addresses. Having all that communication going in to one version of OutlookTM and ensuring the customers were responded to back through the same channel was a challenge. So first of all, Logicalware enabled us to bring all of this information in to the one place.

The software also enabled us to ensure incoming enquiries were rooted to a function specialist. It scans the body of the text, identifies certain words, and places the message in the correct category. This segregation of messages is great as we can ensure that they are directed to the correct colleague. Additionally, Logicalware makes sure that the enquiry is tied to the one colleague and that it isn’t passed around multiple people.

Before Logicalware we didn’t have an audit trail, which is important for our business; now we are provided with a full history of a ticket. We can now understand where a specific customer contacted us in the past and how quickly their issue has been resolved.

Q. What was the Business Impact of using the Logicalware solution, did you see a decrease in customer response times?

A. Using the email management software has automated the processes within the customer service departments and this has led to a 79% decrease in customer response times, which is absolutely fantastic. Before we implemented the software we were taking up to 14 days to respond to a customer, now we respond within 2 hours. What is even better about our response time is the fact that our customer enquiries have actually increased by around 20% due to increased use of social media, in particular Twitter.

The key thing is having the ability to condense as much as we can into one place. Because we have the data and information and the ticket history in the one place, we’re able to manage our customer expectations. It is now a lot easier to offer a first time resolution, and that’s something that we really want to promote within Maplin. Thanks to Logicalware, we’ve not had to increase staffing levels, and we’ve been able to focus our efforts on improving other social channels.

Learn more: Read the Maplin Case Study, access the webinar recording or view the slide presentation.

To find out how your business could see similar improvements to Maplin, please get in touch.