ClassicCars.com - Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year

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Company: ClassicCars.com
Company Description: ClassicCars.com began as a car forum in 2002 and has succeeded in transforming itself in to the world’s largest online Classic Car marketplace. ClassicCars.com is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, where its 22 full-time employees collaborate to provide an exceptional online user experience and world-class customer service for both its customers and visitors to the company’s website.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year - All Other Industries

Nomination Title: Becoming Customer Ambassadors: Transition to New Website

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2015 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

As the world’s largest online collector car marketplace, ClassicCars.com is a trusted online location for buyers and sellers of classic and collector vehicles. Unlike many e-commerce businesses that are moving away from a business model that values the human-touch in customer support, our small but extremely dedicated team continue to play a vital role for our customers, one which cannot be replaced by automated processes. As the team expertly support both buyers and sellers of these unique and valuable vehicles, they actively help reduce instances of fraud, keeping the industry as safe and secure as possible for our customers. Our team are in fact a true front-line of defense for our customers, protecting the buyers and sellers on our marketplace.

Working with a customer base made up largely of an older demographic, our team is experienced in delivering a person-centered support experience that does not assume online and technical competencies.

In July 2015, a new challenge was presented to the ClassicCars.com Customer Support team. ClassicCars.com broke ground on the development phase of a new version of the website. As part of the design process, there was a delicate balance of preserving successful elements of the old website, while still delivering a superior experience for our users that would be accessible across all device categories. As with any website redesign, an important part of the process was ensuring that any changes to the user experience were not overly disruptive to the customer base.

With that being said, it was identified that we needed to have a strong voice for our customer in-house. With the level of interaction that our staff has with our customers, the logical approach was to have members of our team strictly dedicated to acting as the customer ambassador – providing insight throughout the design process, user testing, and deployment of the new website.

In order to carry out that mission, the following initiatives were put into place:

- Brand Awareness Training – We started by reconnecting our staff with the mission and values of the company. The training resulted in a list of customer support values which formed a value foundation for the project as a whole.

- Weekly Team Meetings – Designed to provide ample space for the team to voice known customer issues, and work together to troubleshoot.

- User Testing – The team utilized in-house testing tools to walk through numerous customer scenarios on the website and made note of any problems or observations, bringing their unique customer insight to identify areas that may be an issue.

- Launch Plan – As launch approached the team identified potential issues that customers might experience and focused on how they could best support our customers to overcome these obstacles.

- Customer Feedback Survey – The team created a this as a tool to gather in-depth feedback from customers on their experience of the new website. It was designed to increase our understanding of the customer experience and to identify any issues.

Our team rose to the challenge, fully engaging with the process from the outset. As front-line team members, they became the voice of the customer, critiquing page design, changes to functionality and the overall user experience. In every sense, they became true ambassadors for our customers. And it didn’t stop there. Once the website was launched, the team worked tirelessly with individual customers, dealing with an increased volume of calls and call times, troubleshooting and at all times ensuring each and every customer was able to fully engage and enjoy the new website.