Development and optimization of the customer experience in an international FMCG group
- FMCG / Consumer goods manufacturers / Chemicals
- Interim Customer Service Manager
- International Scope
What was the initial situation/challenge you faced?
The company was not satisfied with the performance of Customer Service and therefore had to part with the management at short notice. There were large gaps in the know-how regarding tools and processes in customer service, but also weak leadership of the team. Therefore, an interim solution was sought to establish good leadership here, to strengthen the team and also to bring in practical experience and know-how in customer service.
Why did you bring the GOiNTERIM Manager on board?
The strategic decision to optimize the customer service area and develop it in the direction of customer experience required a quick solution. The urgent and important process optimization in all areas had to be tackled immediately, so an interim manager was sought. The GOiNTERIM Manager was the right choice. He had years of customer service experience, had successfully implemented many projects and topics also on an international level and, above all, had the corresponding leadership and management experience, namely to optimize topics together with the employees and to bring them forward. Since employees had already been demotivated by poor leadership in the past, careful but clear guidance and support was extremely important here.
What are the prerequisites for the GOiNTERIM Manager?
The manager was spot on. He had many years of professional experience in Customer Service with a remarkable track record in retail, pronounced hands on mentality as well as process knowledge in all areas and that in detail.
In addition, his very good leadership and management skills were very impressive, because the team has to be taken along. Very important also the knowledge in SAP S4/HANA.
After all, there was a strong leadership role in the mandate, yet it was important that the manager still had his feet on the ground and was also operationally in charge of the issues and lending a hand himself. A pure director mentality would have been far too little.
What were the goals / tasks of the project?
There were a number of goals that were very diverse and extensive. This was necessary because we started a complete transition process in Customer Service and throughout Customer Awarness.
The goals were:
- Interim management of the Customer Service department
- Responsible for the markets in Germany, Austria and Nordics
- Leadership of the entire team, incl. Acceptance and induction of new employees, team development very centrally important
- The pressure regarding complaints and grievances must be taken off employees – through experience, tools and leadership
- Participate and collaborate in the implementation of new processes, in a working capital project and an SOP project. All this also has an impact and interfaces to the customer service, these must be taken into account and installed
- Complete set-up of the basics us implementation of the transition: document processes, process load indications, prioritization, optimize teamwork, etc.
- New tools must be introduced, structures created and processes optimized, especially correction of faulty processes and workflows in Customer Service / Order To Cash
- New service should be implemented for the client
- Identify and resolve causes of process weaknesses in the order to cash process
- Establishment of new service for customers / Direct to Consumer (D2C) for the world’s largest retailer
What success did the management deployment bring?
With the interim management assignment, the complete transition of the customer service team and the optimization of the customer experience could be implemented. The project was centrally important for the group, we were able to achieve all goals with GOiNTERIM Manager.
In detail, the following successes are worth highlighting:
- Improve customer service to B2B retail customers
- Improved accessibility of Customer Service
- Faster and more timely order processing and fulfillment
- Reduction of errors in electronic order processing and handling
- EDI solutions revised
- The customer service team has grown together into one unit, meanwhile one of the best customer service teams in Austria.
- Internal collaboration with Finance, Sales & Logistics has improved and is now running optimally
How did this development come about? What were the most important steps that GOiNTERIM Manager implemented?
All this was only possible with the strong involvement of all employees in the team. Clear leadership from the manager and consistent implementation of all issues brought a real “pull” to the project. All topics were addressed, clearly assigned and implemented. Everyone in the team was always informed about the progress and thus also involved.
- At the beginning, define and implement recording of process errors and quick wins. Important to quickly show success and thus enable initial motivation – it works!
- As the project progresses, major disruptors and labor-intensive processes are reduced with the help of smaller IT solutions or structural simplifications. The manager’s know-how is particularly noteworthy here. This enabled many topics to be automated and digitized quickly and in a targeted manner.
- Developed a joint solution with Customer Service, Sales, Finance and IT, thus also raising communication among them to a higher level.
What successes / results would you highlight?
- The Customer Service team has grown together as a unit, with a very customer-oriented, problem-solving and independent way of working.
- New services developed for trading partners and more sales
- Process errors and manual processes significantly reduced, freeing up more working time for revenue-generating activities.
- Order-to-cash processes have been simplified and can now be carried out faster and more efficiently.
- The seasonal business from November to May was successfully implemented by the Customer Service Team.
Would you use GOiNTERIM again?
Yes, and we already have several times! GOiNTERIM is a partner that is more than a consultant for management needs. Always on hand, very competent and thinks in terms of the customer/client. Highly recommended.