Arun Estates is one of the largest independent estate agency groups in the UK with five brands – Cubitt & West, Ward & Partners, Pittis, Douglas Allen and Hadleys of London – comprising 114 branches covering London, Essex, the South East, and Southern England.
As with all forward-thinking businesses, Arun Estates recognised a dramatic change in consumer behaviour and saw the need to improve customer service across the group’s websites.
Initially the business decided to add a live chat function to their websites, to be handled by themselves, in-house at their customer contact centre, Biz-e located in Kent.
The team there was charged with handling chats during extended working hours, in addition to also handling inbound and outbound telephone calls.
Live chat immediately produced results for Arun Estates, but it was complicated, and a tough task for the staff involved.
Web visitors showed a clear desire to engage in real time with human operatives, but with chat being driven by the customer, and speed of response being of the essence, the in-house team struggled to answer chats quickly as they were often busy with other tasks.
Multi-tasking was resulting in them missing almost one in five new chats.
However, the potential was clear – people were engaging, and there were opportunities to capture new business. But without quick, intelligent responses, people were abandoning chats and there was a risk of creating a poor customer experience.
Additionally, while the Arun Estates team initially welcomed the addition of live chat, the sheen soon rubbed off. For the staff it often created more of a problem than a solution.
The question was: How could the true potential of those opportunities be captured?
Arun Estates recognised they needed help targeting enquiries on their websites, especially during evenings and weekends.
After a few months operating live chat in-house during business hours, they approached Yomdel to explore out-of-hours support to deliver a full 24/7 service.
Yomdel took a close look at the in-house operations, offered advice and guidance to optimise the in-house, daytime live chat service, but crucially implemented Yomdel's fully managed live chat service for Arun Estates out of hours.
As for all clients, we created in-depth knowledge banks and other key information to enable Yomdel live chat operators to represent each of the Arun Estates brands credibly, professionally and effectively.
The leads very quickly started to flow. Yomdel consistently delivered a 15-second initial speed to answer, as opposed to the nearly two minutes that Arun Estates was achieving. In addition, zero chats were missed by Yomdel, compared to the 18% that Arun saw staffing their own solution. Beyond that, the volume of leads that Yomdel was able to generate was substantially more than the in-house team could muster due to Yomdel proactively inviting web visitors to chat.
As the leads and enquiries rolled in from Yomdel, the Arun management team carefully assessed the results and directly tested them in the market.
“It was a huge surprise to all of us here at Arun Estates that a supplier from outside of the group was able to represent our brands so well. And what’s more, the Yomdel team is a delight to work with, so fast at responding and very in tune with our needs,” Richard added.“I took it upon myself to call some of these Yomdel leads myself and the results were exceptional,” said Richard.
Customer satisfaction scores also hit an all-time high, with a word-class average of 99%.
|“Not only was Yomdel producing far more leads than we could manage ourselves directly, but they were also converting to appointments at much higher levels as well.”|
After two months of having Yomdel in place out of hours, it was decided that the Arun Estates in-house live chat team would stand down and, in their place, Yomdel would run the service on a 24/7 basis.
The Arun team would instead focus on their core strength of converting the incredible volume of leads that Yomdel was now delivering.
“Arun Estates positions its brands as offering a premium service, and having Yomdel available 24/7, supplying super quick and incredibly intelligent live chat fits our goal of being responsive and always available to our customers,” said managing director David Lench.
“Yomdel is now integral to Arun Estates as they are the perfect partners to work with and generate significant volumes of new leads. They deliver a phenomenal return on investment, so Yomdel is very much part of our future plans as we continue to innovate and grow the business,” he added.
The incredible partnership with Arun Estates continues to go from strength to strength, growing their business by delivering world-class customer experience.