The Motor Ombudsman

Enabling dispute resolution through technology

About

The Motor Ombudsman is the automotive dispute resolution body. Fully impartial, it is the first ombudsman to be focused solely on the automotive sector. As well as providing dispute resolution within the automotive sector, TMO also self-regulates the UK’s motor industry through its industry Codes of Practice.

Thousands of businesses, including vehicle manufacturers, warranty product providers, franchised dealers and independent garages are compliant with The Motor Ombudsman’s Codes of Practice, which help drive even higher standards of work and service throughout the industry. Should disputes arise between a business and consumer, the Ombudsman can step in to help find a resolution.

Increased efficiency

The Motor Ombudsman’s previous phone system was outdated, presenting the organisation with a plethora of issues. Lacking connection to any sort of CRM system, there was no function that allowed the easy labelling or organisation of calls once they had taken place. 

Call recordings are a fundamental requirement for an Ombudsman, and with the previous system, they were simply placed unlabelled into a network file. This resulted in a long and arduous process for recalling customer calls involving the need for the team to manually sift through and listen to individual calls. Not only a poor use of employee time, this also delayed the case handling process. David Godfrey, Project Manager at The Motor Ombudsman, described the experience of identifying the call files as both “time consuming” and “challenging”. 

Additionally, staff had no way of being able to see how many calls were being taken, apart from manually tallying them during the course of the day. Similarly, they also had no visibility of the number of calls not being answered.

Recognising the issues, The Motor Ombudsman required a solution that would increase the efficiency of its system, boost customer service quality and reliability, and reduce case handling times, thereby enhancing the professionalism of The Motor Ombudsman’s offering and increasing customer satisfaction.

After looking at various possible solutions, Natterbox’s global business phone system was identified as providing the best solution to the Motor Ombudsman’s needs. It could be fully embedded and managed within Salesforce, the CRM system used by the Ombudsman, thereby allowing call recordings to be easily stored and accessed directly by users, and provided a suite of management reports. This would not only help with efficiency, but would also ensure quality assurance, and that training and compliance needs would be met. 

Dealing with frustrated customers

David Godfrey said: “Due to the nature of our business, we are dealing with disputes, which means many of the calls that we receive are from frustrated customers or businesses – people who have been unable to solve a dispute and are turning to TMO for assistance.”

It was therefore incredibly important that The Motor Ombudsman had a phone system in place that was seamless, provided information to the customer and helped reduce customer waiting times. David added: “If customers were placed on hold for a long period of time, or if a member of our team was unable to find or access existing information on a particular case quickly, stressed customers often become even more frustrated, making the whole experience negative for both the customer and the call agent.”

Natterbox’s platform was the optimum solution, as it now provides The Motor Ombudsman with 360-degree visibility of incoming calls. Call agents can easily and securely access information on the customer as soon as they are connected. This includes a background on their open cases, a log of previous interactions they have had with the Ombudsman, as well as details of who within the organisation they have previously had contact with.

Armed with these details, The Motor Ombudsman’s call agents are now better equipped, and therefore more relaxed, resulting in increased professionalism and a better experience for the consumer.

Small team, thousands of calls

The Motor Ombudsman’s customer service agents deal with a large volume of inbound calls – approximately 75,000 every year. Historically, this would result in long wait times for customers and, in turn, a high abandonment rate.

Natterbox helped to reduce the abandonment rate and increase the availability of The Motor Ombudsman’s services by streamlining the entire process. Through proactively authenticating callers, providing visibility into call volume and sources, and giving TMO agents access to reams of customer data, the overall call time was halved to 10 minutes.

A previously overwhelmed customer service team is now not only able to deal with problems more efficiently, but can also handle them in a more professional manner, thereby leaving callers satisfied. The result? Zero percent of calls missed, as the organisation is now able to capture every call made to them by consumers.

Managing technical issues

David Godfrey explained: “Our previous system required on-the-ground IT support to fix any technical issues, which resulted in The Motor Ombudsman having to liaise with multiple third parties. This caused delays, and we’d often spend the rest of the week playing catch-up because the system was offline for a significant period of time.”

Now, with the Natterbox platform, The Motor Ombudsman has a much more effective troubleshooting process. This takes place remotely via the customer service helpline, increasing the overall efficiency of the organisation, and allowing employees to spend more of their time dealing with the disputes that they are working to resolve.

Bill Fennell, Managing Director and Chief Ombudsman, said: “Natterbox has allowed us to increase our performance and offer an even better service to both consumers and our accredited businesses. A phone call is often the very first interaction with us, so providing a professional approach is vital.

Our investment came into its own during the COVID-19 pandemic when we needed to immediately adapt our office-based phone system to a remote working configuration, so that every one of our team members had access to our inbound calls in their own homes. Making this transition was seamless thanks to the simple guidance provided by Natterbox, which meant that there was no interruption in communications with our consumers or accredited businesses.”

Looking to the future

The Motor Ombudsman is continuing to work with Natterbox to ensure the customer journey is as efficient as possible. They are looking at using the Natterbox platform to allow callers to proactively authenticate their identity with an automated tool before being put through to an agent or while waiting in the call queue. The Motor Ombudsman feels this will drastically reduce the volume of tedious questions that the agent must ask once connected to the customer, thereby allowing them to delve right into looking to help resolve the consumer’s issue.

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Key challenges

  • Outdated phone system requiring on the ground, time-consuming support
  • Poorly structured call recording and filing process
  • No visibility into number of unanswered calls
  • Long wait times leading to high abandonment rates

“Our previous system required on-the-ground IT support to fix any technical issues, which resulted in The Motor Ombudsman having to liaise with multiple third parties. This caused delays, and we’d often spend the rest of the week playing catch-up because the system was offline for a significant period of time.”

Key features

  • Live 360-degree caller visibility
  • Proactive caller authentication
  • Easy-to-use filing and labelling process, including range of accessible management reports
  • Full provision of customer data with log of previous interactions

Key business benefits

  • Call times halved, meaning a more efficient customer experience
  • Call abandonment rate reduced to 0%
  • Call agents can easily and securely access information on the customer as soon as they are connected for an improved customer experience
  • Improved and quicker troubleshooting process

“Natterbox has allowed us to increase our performance and offer an even better service to both consumers and our accredited businesses. A phone call is often the very first interaction with us, so providing a professional approach is vital.”