Question: What do industries like auto, supply, and manufacturing have in common?
Answer: They’ve been around a heck of a lot longer than live chat.
So what role does live chat play for online industrial supply, manufacturing, and service companies that have decades of customer support experience and have already built a loyal customer base without it?
I got together with The Gear Centre, Canada’s leading powertrain parts and service provider, to find out.
In less than a year since adding live chat, The Gear Centre has seen customer satisfaction improve significantly, and their sales attributable to live chat are still increasing. Most importantly, live chat has helped them maintain the high quality standards that earned them an ISO 9001:2015 certification.
What is an ISO certification?
The ISO 9001:2015 is the current version of the most globally-respected quality management systems certification offered by the International Organization for Standards.
The Gear Centre is a member of The Gear Centre Group of Companies, which has been ISO certified since 1995.
To earn this certification, a company must build systems that drive safety, efficiency, and adherence to strict quality standards. For a company that has multiple branches, sells both new and remanufactured products, and operates multiple facilities for removal, installation, and repair — like The Gear Centre Group — maintaining an ISO 9001 certification demonstrates to customers that they’re committed to and can guarantee the quality of their products.
However, the ISO 9001 certification isn’t just about product quality; customer service satisfaction requirements are prevalent. That’s where live chat comes in.
Live chat is not just for ecommerce
Many people think live chat is only for online shopping, but any type of business can experience the benefits of live chat.
The Gear Centre saw an opportunity to lead the the automotive and heavy truck industry, stay profitable, and provide innovative customer service with live chat. Since installing Olark, they’ve seen increases in online traffic, leads, and leads converting to sales.
They’ve also received positive customer feedback. Isolde Henning, Marketing Assistant at The Gear Centre Group, says that they “have had a number of customers say that they love the service and that it is so much better than having to make a phone call or waiting for an email”.
Keeping customers happy on chat often falls to The Gear Centre managers: the master multi-taskers who manage retail and service locations, while also communicating with website visitors using Olark. Alex Torrance, Parts Manager, enjoys the challenge because he believes it makes their business more accessible to customers.
Melissa Larson, Web Designer, also helps to staff chat, often working with Isolde. Melissa, Isolde, and Alex all mentioned that Olark's !transfer feature has been especially useful for their team — even with geographically distributed branch locations, transferring chats allows them to quickly route website visitors to an available agent or to the agent best able to answer their question.
The ability to get an answer quickly is increasingly critical to customers' sales decisions and satisfaction. With Olark, The Gear Centre is able to make their collective expertise available to every customer.
The future of live chat
Motor vehicle components have been built and distributed for over 100 years — same goes for the telephone. As communication technology continues to advance, even established companies will need to evolve their sales and service practices to avoid falling behind.
The Gear Centre is a fantastic example of a company that’s done exactly that. Their team has enthusiastically embraced Olark live chat, which has benefitted their business — and most importantly — their happy customers.
Are you new to using chat, too? Tell us about your team in the comments section below!