Wolseley UK is a specialist merchant and a leading distributor of plumbing, heating, and building products and materials in the UK. With over 6,000 employees and 500 brick and mortar trade counters, Wolseley continues to enhance the customer experience through digital engagement and communications.
High email and call volume at Wolseley UK were overwhelming their lean support team. Recognizing that strong customer support was still needed to grow, they looked to a proactive digital solution: goMoxie Suite (formerly Concierge). Now they’re dramatically increasing efficiency — and gaining new insights to keep customers in their sales funnel.
I’ll never forget the conversation when goMoxie told us they’re trying to ‘be there’ in the moments that matter. That’s what we're focusing on around the online experience.
Martin Girdlestone, Head of eCommerce for Wolseley UK, had a puzzle to solve. As a B2B business, Wolseley needs to build meaningful relationships with its customers. But their positioning requires above-average personal attention.
“Traditionally, conversations with customers take place either in person or over the phone but times are changing and so are customers’ expectations. They want to interact on their terms, and that might mean having a conversation digitally, so we found a way to connect them to a real person.”
However, at 5,000 – 7,000 calls and emails per month, their 10 person customer support team was reaching breaking point.
Alison Goodwin, Head of Customer Support Centres at Wolseley UK, knew there had to be a better way.
“Our goal is to make it easy for a customer to do business with us. And having them hang on the end of the phone line — or send an email and wait for a response — isn’t a particularly slick way of operating.”
They needed a proactive way to keep customers in the same channel. Chatbots were considered — but wouldn’t work well with Wolseley’s traditional customer base. Increasing support agent productivity became the direction.
Martin remembers when the right choice ‘clicked’.
“I’ll never forget the conversation when goMoxie told us they’re trying to ‘be there’ in the moments that matter. That’s what we’re focusing on around the online experience.”
Wolseley implemented goMoxie Suite — a suite of services for rapid personalized responses to online customers.
Support team efficiency quadrupled. Using goMoxie Live Chat, one of the tools in goMoxie Suite, they were able to offer immediate lines of communication right when needed. Agents that had been limited to one conversation via phone were now fielding 4 or more customers at once.
Live chat also enabled Wolseley to categorize and review monthly chat logs. Previously, they had no functionality to record why customers were calling. These new logs revealed unknown buyer struggle points.
“We’re getting extra contact reasons we didn’t know about. We then send those to our engagement teams. They create How-To Guides or FAQ that allows customers to self-serve instead. So we can be more proactive.”
Wolseley used goMoxie Suite to nudge site users toward another major goal: Login. “It’s the holy grail. When a customer logs in they’re identifying themselves to us. We use goMoxie to encourage that login. Then we know enough to give them the best possible experience.”
Since introducing goMoxie Suite, total call volume has been reduced 79%. Their previously overwhelmed support team — now 4x more efficient with several thousand less calls — was able to scale back headcount. The resulting 30% labour cost savings was reallocated.
In all, total customer contact dropped 47%. But total query volume has increased. The reason? Customers proactively got what they needed.
“They’re switching. They’re now engaging us with more in live chat than they would instead of clicking ‘Contact Us’. They’ve become more proactive engaging in chat.”
Less call volume
FTE cost savings
In all, the experience has shifted perspective for Wolseley. They’re recognizing that engaging at the right point keeps customers in the funnel on their way to conversion. “The proactive capability is driving a lot of our thinking with getting the best return out of the product. We’re now exploring proactive engagement in ways we didn’t think possible.”
And they’re continuing to make it easier for customers to do business with them.
“We recognized that the customer wants to interact with us wherever they are — whenever they like — no matter which platform. We want to aggregate all those into one easy, cost-efficient call center.”