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Prestigious shirt-maker Hawes & Curtis calls on outsourced customer care & achieves record sales figures

02/09/2014

Prestigious shirt-maker Hawes & Curtis calls on outsourced customer care & achieves record sales figures


Prestigious shirt-maker Hawes & Curtis calls on outsourced customer care & achieves record sales figures

Background:

'Famous in shirts since 1913', Hawes & Curtis was founded by Ralph Hawes and Freddie Curtis, with the intention of creating high quality, exclusive clothing for gentlemen. From its infancy, the company has been acclaimed by royalty and aristocracy alike; most famously by the Duke of Windsor and Earl Mountbatten.

As a result of high praise from Royals, Hawes & Curtis embodied and exuded a distinctly British gentlemen's style. Today Hawes & Curtis is still proud of its impeccable heritage. Whilst cherishing their exacting standards from the past and their classic English personality, Hawes & Curtis has evolved and developed over the years. As well as offering distinguished, luxurious style shirts for gentlemen it now offers designs for women too.

Starting with one shop located in Jermyn Street, the company now boasts 30 shops and is still expanding.

Challenge:

Needed a contact centre outsourcer with 'retail' experience to provide customer care & support

After their existing contact centre outsourcing partner unfortunately went into administration, Hawes & Curtis needed to find a new supplier to handle all its customer care enquiries for its website. Customer Services Manager at Hawes & Curtis, James Andrew explained, "We wanted an outsourcer that already had the relevant retailing experience and would be capable of meeting the impeccable levels of service that our customers expect of our brand."

Solution:

A partner with the right blend of passion, professionalism & expertise

"With our old outsourcer we were a little disappointed with the level of communication skills and also the lack of autonomy, so these were skills we were looking to find with a new relationship. We were already aware of Ventrica's credentials so decided to visit their operation and meet their staff to gauge whether they would be a suitable match for our requirements."

"We visited their contact centre and we immediately felt the passion of the staff who knew what they were talking about. Having worked for many similar companies to ourselves in the past, we felt confident that they could do a good job. The facility was also really impressive. The open plan and spacious environment was a really pleasant place to work and they also had the capability to expand in line with our own growth plans."

Up and running within 4 weeks – integrated technology to support the customer experience

Hawes & Curtis spent two days providing on-site training to Ventrica staff including running through key products. "Ventrica had all the technological know-how to enable their staff to have sufficient access to all our back-end systems such as CRM, stock and tracking. This worked very simply allowing full access via a browser to the back end of our website."

Results: - "Best ever sales figures in company's history"

Management of all customer enquiries on phone and via web – 400-500 per week

Not only is Ventrica responsible for handling all customer support calls (on average between 400-500 per week) they also respond to the same volume of email enquiries. "In the past it was difficult to track and prioritise email handling, but Ventrica suggested a way of integrating with the CRM and ensuring that this process was automated, saving a lot of time and also improving speed of response rates." says James

Ability to service customers around the globe

Ventrica provides a service 6 days a week, from 8-9 and responds to emails from all over the world. James says, "With email we can service huge markets globally without being operational 24/7."

Outsourcing takes the pressure off our core business

"What we like about outsourcing is that it takes the pressure off our core business. We can focus on what we do best, whilst Ventrica focuses on what they do best which is customer service and support."

"And we are also assured that they are doing a good job. The reporting is much better than with our previous partner because this is all automated rather than manual, so we can always see the figures we need. We also know from the positive feedback from customers that Ventrica's communication skills are excellent. They understand our business inside out and even have someone on board with tailoring experience."

Best ever sales recorded

"Last December and January we saw our sales hit record levels, more than any other time in our history and we give Ventrica full credit for their part in achieving this. The figures speak for themselves."

Future: Plans to increase communication channels like 'social media'

In the future Hawes & Curtis plans to extend the number of communication channels by which customers can contact them and will be calling on Ventrica to assist with handling sales over the phone as well as managing communications via other mediums such as social media.

Summary:

James concludes, "The relationship with Ventrica is built on trust and mutual respect. Everyone in the company from the MD through to the operational staff are really great people to work with. They have a real commitment and passion that is truly refreshing and I would fully recommend them to any company that wants a partner that is proactive, can work autonomously and will deliver high quality results."

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