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Call centres help to keep motor retail service running

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Call centre operations and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) within the motor retail industry has kept up with the pace of technology adoption and integration in the marketplace. This mission-critical area of business represents the cog that keeps the trade wheel turning within the automotive industry.

This is the view of Marthinus Strydom, MD at eliance, a national provider of comprehensive business solutions targeting this competitive sector.

According to Strydom the advent of technology, including new systems and solutions that streamline client point of contact and front office operations, has done much to enhance the influence of CRM across various industries and sectors.

This is particularly evident in the automotive sector, an area of commerce that has made rapid advances in system and process change through the integration of technology.

Management at eliance has refined this service to establish a Customer Support Services division. This area of the business comprises over thirty seats with trained agents assigned to various high profile clients that include McCarthy Motor Holdings, McCarthy Vehicle Imports, Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Toyota South Africa.

Agents handle inbound and outbound calls pertaining to three key focus areas including IT support, customer care services as well as value added services like the Customer Satisfaction Index (satisfaction over levels of pre- and post sales service at motor dealerships).

As far as call volume control and efficiency is concerned, eliance contact centre agents pride themselves on achieving a success rate of between 98% – 99% in resolving calls.

Strydom is particularly proud of the centre’s follow up service evaluation feature whereby customers are encouraged to offer feedback on the quality of service received. This input continues to help the company develop its offering.

The business model upon which the call centre is based offers the flexibility and functionality to allow the centre to grow quickly but without any risk to the quality of service provided.

“The eliance call centre operation has grown substantially in a very short space of time and we are pleased with the progress to date,” says Strydom.

From an HR point of view skilled agents are sought after in the market and it is a challenge to recruit and retain the best skills sets he explains.

“We pride ourselves in having acquired and retained the highest level of expertise within our call centre operation. This is predominantly a service environment and can be impersonal given the fact that interaction is mainly over the phone. Some people are better equipped to deal with this challenge than others. Although we are not a sales-based centre and do not work off commission, we try our best to offer in-house incentives and create as stress-free an environment as possible.”

Strydom believes that this formula for call centre operation at eliance will take the company closer towards its objective of having the best IT support services centre and set a president in terms of service level in the industry.

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