If you’re a homeowner, you know that one thing is pretty much constant: caring for your home. Issues pop up routinely, from plumbing problems to replacements and more, and most of them require specific products and services to resolve.
Enter Aroundhome, Germany’s largest platform for home products and services. The Berlin-based company provides consumers with a platform that connects them with specialist companies or contractors for household products and services. For example, a solar-curious homeowner can find specialist solar panel vendors in their region with Aroundhome.
With two million customer inquiries a year and annual orders totalling more than one billion euros, the company has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008. Part of that growth meant managing a less-than-transparent telephone system connecting agents and customers, and evolving to provide a better, more streamlined customer experience for consumers. Twilio helped them make it happen.
For Aroundhome customers, the journey with the platform begins with a webform requesting information about the product or service they need, along with their zip code, to find partners nearby. That information is integrated into Aroundhome’s CRM, triggering a phone call by an Aroundhome agent who gathers further info in order to make a solid recommendation. The agent then gathers quotes for comparison, and shares all that with the requester.
To better manage incoming calls and also take advantage of the troves of data each call generates, Aroundhome knew they needed complete transparency across the telephony actions taken by a total of 310 agents, 80 of which are are Aroundhome employees, with the other 240 agents distributed across three different partners. Each partner had their own telephone system, so Aroundhome wasn't able to view and consolidate data on this part of the customer journey, limiting Aroundhome’s ability to manage their customers’ experience holistically.
“We needed a solution based in the cloud. We are migrating towards a more data-driven business, and we want every agent on the same system to get high quality data,” explained Steffen Heilmann, Chief Technology Officer at Aroundhome.
The company asked its developers for their recommendations regarding the best voice platform to build out their cloud-based contact center. Because those developers were already familiar with Twilio, having used Twilio’s Programmable Messaging product already for the company, they enthusiastically recommended Twilio Programmable Voice, which also relies on Twilio's Super Network and could seamlessly integrate into the company’s existing infrastructure, particularly their existing CRM.
Now, the company uses several Twilio products, including conferencing and call recording capabilities, to unify all agents and customers on one central platform. Their CRM system is built in-house and they've integrated the Twilio Client, so that a call can easily be initiated via their CRM system. If the user does not answer the call after the first few tries, an SMS is sent, informing the user that Aroundhome is trying to contact them to gather more details on the project.
That one system lets the company see what’s happening when and where for each agent and subject, independent of agent or customer location and irregardless of which partner an agent might be operating through.
The easy dashboard capabilities enable them to gather data on the important first steps in the customer journey, allowing Aroundhome to support their agents and their customers in real time, run elaborate analysis and improve agent efficiency as well as customer satisfaction at the same time.
And soon, Aroundhome will integrate Twilio's TaskRouter for inbound calls, so specific requests can be forwarded directly to the subject matter expert agent.
One of the reasons why we went with Twilio was our confidence that [Twilio is] at the forefront of developing other services, and once we are ready for it, then we can just plug it in.
In just three months, with just three developers (who had additional duties and were not fully dedicated to the build), the company had its fully-functioning cloud-based contact center up and running.
In addition, the team built an analytics system on Twilio VoiceInsights that helps the company discover, analyze, and resolve voice quality issues. For example, an agent in South America was experiencing quality issues due to the limitations of their phone provider, which was ID’ed and rapidly resolved.
Now, agents can transfer calls appropriately, which results in customers being more satisfied because they are routed to the right person within 30 seconds, as compared to hours or more in the past. It’s one more door opened in the company’s quest to create exceptional customer experiences, and they’re pursuing more as they continue to grow, Heilmann said.
“One of the reasons why we went with Twilio was our confidence that [Twilio is] at the forefront of developing other services and once we are ready for it, then we can just plug it in,” he said.