Contact Centers is housed in De Leeuwenbrug in Deventer, a business hub that is strategically located next to the train station and within walking distance of the historic city centre. Soleo is where businesses can turn to to outsource not only customer contact, but also the implementation of loyalty programmes, sales and marketing campaigns, and management of debtors records. It is the third office of the company, which was founded in 2008 and has achieved impressive growth in recent years through hard work. Client Director Patricia Schra refers to this as a team achievement and considers the technical support of customer contact platform Steam an essential part of their success.
A cheerfully mooded person, Schra is clearly satisfied with Codelogic’s customer contact platform Steam. Running it since 2010, it is now impossible to imagine Soleo doing without Steam. It can be used with businesses of different sizes, which is ideal for the Deventer market. “There are smaller businesses that only deal with a handful of phone calls a day, and we offer them the option of placing their customer contact in the hands of a team that is in charge of operations for several companies. This does, of course, mean that our agents need to know immediately who they are speaking for. Steam puts the appropriate company-specific information on the workstation screen as soon as the phone rings. This often includes frequently asked questions, enabling agents to deal with the customer request as suitably and quickly as possible.”
Apart from using Steam as a fully-fledged customer contact platform, it is also possible to set up links to other systems. “All lines of contact enter Steam and you can add your own data about the customer. This allows you to store entire telephone calls, linking them to customer profiles. It makes handling customer contact much easier because agents instantly have all the required information right in front of them.” A big fish that Soleo recently landed is Van Dijk Educatie, known in many Dutch families as a supplier of school books. Schra characterises them as “an agreeable and multifaceted customer to work with.” From the run-up to the summer holiday up to the first weeks of the new school year, Van Dijk is extremely busy collecting pre-owned textbooks for reuse and distributing new ones. “During this period, people contact Van Dijk at various moments. And each time they ask different kinds of questions. For example, just before, or sometimes even after the time used books have to be handed in, a pupil may have lost a book. And in the week before school starts, when the new books can be picked up, some pupils discover that they have made a mistake and ordered the wrong title, or that they are too late.”
Moments of peak activity
Steam’s technology ensures that the provision of services at Soleo never comes under pressure, not even at times of peak activity. Schra spells it out enthusiastically: “Businesses can, for example, enable their customers to send an email from their own email program or the contact form on the website. We have duplicated the fields of that form within Steam, so that the content is automatically entered into the corresponding boxes. This allows us to sort customer requests by topic, such as questions about invoices or changes to data. To be able to help the customer as quickly and thoroughly as possible, we can then route the request to the most suitable agent — for example someone who is an expert in getting to the bottom of questions about invoicing.” The attentive reader will already have realised that companies are able to manage Steam themselves. Schra sees this as a clear advantage: “We can set up the system to our liking, and that’s great! It’s all very intuitive, so you can get cracking straight away, even without IT knowledge. We also find Steam to be very flexible, because the particular systems of our customers connect to it smoothly.” At all times, Codelogic is available and ready to answer questions or provide tips. “If you find that something is missing, you can inform them and they will do everything in their power to resolve the issue. As soon as they notice that other users are running into the same problem, they will even rebuild the system for you, at no extra cost. The ongoing development of their product ensures that as a company you can continue to be a Steam user at all times, even if your requirements or market requirements change.”
A special branch of customer contact is management of debtors records. “Very often this is a delicate matter, because nobody likes to receive a reminder, let alone to see a bailiff on their doorstep.
“If you find that something is missing, you can inform them and they will do everything in their power to resolve the issue.”
Fortunately, Steam enables us to assist the customer as appropriately as possible before that final step has to be taken. People are contacted by phone and given the opportunity to explain their financial situation or point out that the invoice has never arrived because they failed to notify a change of address. Adding that personal touch to the process can help to develop understanding and make sure that debt collection issues do not get out of hand that quickly.”
This human dimension is also a feature of Soleo’s corporate culture. All employees have their own unique characteristics and skills, which the company tries to apply in the most fitting way possible. Steam offers the possibility of remote working. It is even a structural feature of their work scheduling. “From Monday to Saturday there are always people at our office during the day and in the evening, but people who are on night shifts and Sunday shifts work from their homes. All they need is a properly working computer and an Internet connection.” As for the future, Schra anticipates considerable growth, underpinned by an investment of half a million euros. These people from Deventer are proud of their success, but at the same time they remain down-to-earth. “At Soleo, we have both feet on the ground and we are prepared to work very, very hard. Fortunately, we have always been able to preserve that mindset. We are a business partner that enables its customers to move swiftly, and Steam makes an important contribution to that,” Schra concludes.
Text: BBP media, Translation: Codelogic