A great many well-known companies use the software of Livecom to deliver better, faster customer service via live chat, e-mail or self-service. Douwe Egberts is one of them.

Douwe Egberts Nederland is part of D.E Master Blenders 1753, an international coffee and tea company that operates a series of top brands that are sold in more than 45 countries. The enterprise employs about 7,500 people worldwide.

The story of Douwe Egberts

Under the flag of Douwe Egberts there are many A-level brands, including Senseo, Pickwick, L’OR EspressO and of course Douwe Egberts. Before Livecom was engaged to improve customer contact, all customer questions came to one mailbox. “An additional problem was that we did not manage some brand sites ourselves”, Kerstin de Haan, manager of Consumer Relations, remembers. “If we wanted to change something, we had to work through an external agency. That was not ideal.”

The customer service team was looking for service optimization for interactions with the consumer. Next to a better system for mail handling, the organization was also looking for a smarter way to present and update frequently asked questions. And third, there was a desire to start offering live chat, in order to let consumers ask their question in a quick and easy way.

Streamlined, fast mail handling via Livecom

The first point of attention of the D.E. team was to get more structure in handling e-mails. “We were working at that time with a customized program within Microsoft Outlook”, De Haan says. “It sufficed until it was no longer sufficient. We worked with flags and colours, a patchwork solution that could no longer do what we wanted it to do. We needed to handle all the e-mails from customers in a streamlined, fast way.”

A supplier of smart solutions for customer contact was needed. Of course extensive research was done first. De Haan: “We preferred someone with whom we would be able to problem-solve, and from whom we could learn a good deal. We also wanted a flexible developer, who would not make too much of a fuss about extra options and customization.”

Livecom was the partner that met these criteria, and the application was put into use at the end of 2013. “Livecom goes further than you would expect. It is not a situation where you hardly hear from them anymore once the contract is signed. To the contrary: they continue collaborating and giving tips, and they are happy to talk about best practices from which we can learn.”.

Half an hour of training was enough for the customer service team to get started. “Our employees are happy with the change. The application looks great, and professional. They can easily select a brand, and everyone knows what other people are doing. Thanks to the software from Livecom, there is more of an overview and a better work flow.”

Livecom FAQ: more feeling for the customer

Simultaneously with the new handling of customer mails, the list of frequently asked questions was also taken on. “Some FAQ pages are outdated, hard to find or inefficient”, De Haan thinks. ‘Usually, they are long lists of questions, which you certainly do not want to go through on your smartphone. In our previous situation, we also had difficulty updating that list ourselves.”

The answers were not easy to find at that time, so customer service received a great many mails with standard questions. “Thanks to the easy-to-use technology from Livecom, we can add new questions to the list.” There is a knowledge bank behind the FAQ, which becomes more powerful as more information is entered into it. “The comprehensive reporting function of Livecom gives a great deal of insight into the information need of our consumers, and with that we can in turn optimize the general information on the websites.”

The dynamic FAQ appears not only to have reduced the number of e-mails, but also the number of telephone calls. “That is because we know every day, every minute, what is going on. We have more of a feeling for the customer, and at the same time, the customer feels heard. If the same question is clicked frequently, then we take a look at how we can optimize the information on the brand site in question. And if we often get the same question by e-mail or telephone, then we add that question and the answer. That can be done very easily. You then immediately see the number of questions that we handle in customer service decrease.”

Live chat: alternative for e-mail and telephone

The same knowledge bank that feeds the FAQ is also used while answering questions via live chat, and that is the third improvement that D.E. implemented in collaboration with Livecom. The first impression is positive: “Both our team and the online visitors experience live chat as fast and pleasant. It adds a new dimension, so that people can be looser and more informal.”

About Livecom

Livecom, founded in 2003, is the market leader in the Benelux in the area of customer contact software and online conversion solutions. The Livecom modules, such as Live Chat, Self Service and Email Management, enable companies like Philips, Ziggo and BMW to help customers more efficiently. You can find more information on our website.