Exclusive Q&A: Triumph achieves customer service victory with text-based interaction

Vertical motorcycle retailer revs up intimacy of marketing and call center operations.

Triumph Motorcycles America, the North American division of U.K.-based motorcycle brand Triumph Motorcycle, directly sells vehicles, parts and accessories, and clothing to consumers in the U.S. and Canada. Chain Store Age recently sat down with Brandon Keller, operations manager at Triumph Motorcycles America, to discuss how enabling SMS text-based customer interaction with voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology from RingCentral is transforming communications both internally and externally.

What business issues made you decide to shift to VoIP-based customer service?
“In early 2017, I took over the customer service department of Triumph Motorcycles North America in a temporary role. Our phone system was causing more problems than it was solving. It was a private branch exchange (PBX) system and running a report was a painful experience.

“In addition, there were costs with the provider to perform any little change to the system. I decided it was time to see what else was out there and researched voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems to get away from PBX. RingCentral offered a user-friendly admin, was flexible, and had built-in meeting software, as well as text capabilities. We migrated in March 2017.”

What advantages do you get from SMS text-based customer interaction?
“We try to generate sales leads with 180 dealers across the U.S. and Canada so they can sell motorcycles to consumers. If a consumer viewed a Triumph motorcycle on a site or banner ad, a pop-up would ask for their opt-in email or phone information and we would reach out. We discovered that nobody replied to email or answered their phone.

“However, if we texted after they filled out the form, they would text back right away, asking to connect to a dealer for more information. There was a 40% jump in customer engagement with texts compared to calls or emails. Also our customer service representatives can communicate with customers right from their desktops rather than pick up a phone or open an email.”

How have customers responded?
“Because of our ability to connect faster and more intimately, we can push more hot leads where the contact shows active interest to dealers. That is in comparison to cold leads, where the consumer on their own chooses to fill out a form on a site like Facebook. There is a significant increase in conversion rates of leads to buying when hot leads are included, as compared to cold leads only.”

Do you have access to analytics?
“There is a full analytical suite we use all the time. We can see what ratio of people answer calls and how well each department does in real time. We can track if someone tried to call six times and see if those callers got to the bottom of their questions. With the old PBX system, you couldn’t answer those questions before.”

Can you share any metrics?
“Engagement rate is up. The RingCentral system’s internal meeting software is friendly and easy for all the users in the office. We can do video conferencing between our North American dealer network and the head office in the U.K. It also provides the ability to move through on desktop phone, laptop and cell phone. You can ring my cell if I’m not at my desk, or call from a laptop. We never had a central way of communicating other than email.”