eCommerce, B2C Retail
To answer as many customer calls as possible with the intention of increasing sales and ensuring a quality experience and complete accessibility for their customers, in the context of seasonal variances in call volumes
Mr Fothergill’s is one of the most respected seed retailers in the UK market, supplying over 3,000 garden centres, shops and retail outlets. They also supply to international markets and direct to the customer through mail order and online.
Mr Fothergill’s is made up of 4 brands, catering for all gardening needs: Mr Fothergill’s Seeds; D T Brown; Woolmans; Johnsons Seeds.
Mr Fothergill’s existing outsource partner were finding themselves overwhelmed with the number of orders they were taking by phone, particularly between the months of January and June which constitutes their peak trading season. Every year they recruited additional seasonal staff, which incurred additional training and overhead costs.
Mr Fothergill’s needed a partner who could provide assistance with these high call volumes. As a company that relies on its reputation for quality, they also needed experienced customer service agents who could help their callers in a confident yet friendly manner.
When Mr Fothergill’s chose to appoint OpenContact in 2016, they invited the team to their base in Suffolk to see their seed test laboratory, packing and storage buildings and trial garden before taking any calls, meaning they were able to understand the products they were selling, and the processes involved from the order being placed to the products being delivered.
OpenContact take inbound order and customer service calls on behalf of Mr Fothergill’s. New orders and payments are processed directly through their in-house CRM system and agents respond to, and where necessary, action customers services enquiries using the same system. If the OpenContact team is unable to resolve the query, they follow a query escalation process for issues that need to be raised with relevant Mr Fothergill’s personnel.
OpenContact’s agents all fully appreciate the prestige and history of the brands they are now part of. Their training and first-hand experience allows them to approach every call with a combination of professionalism and enthusiasm.
From the very beginning, the partnership with OpenContact increased the number of calls that Mr Fothergill’s were able to handle, resulting in increased sales and a consistently higher quality, reliable customer service operation. OpenContact have allowed Mr Fothergill’s more flexibility, providing support for the peaks and troughs associated with such a seasonal business. Mr Fothergill’s in-house team are now able to be more focussed and more compact – they no longer need to employ additional seasonal staff, and this has reduced overhead expenses and freed up management time.