May 15, 2008, 12:00 AM

TomTom’s sales rise, as web self-service helps keep costs in line

Navigation products maker TomTom’s sales are up 2,700% over the past three years. An on-demand customer self-service application has held the increase in incoming customer e-mail queries to 100%, TomTom says.

Navigation products maker TomTom says it’s grown its sales by 2,700% over the past three years, and a sales increase of that size on a complex product can mean a corresponding upswing in customer service calls and e-mails-but not at TomTom’s contact center, where a web-based customer self-service system has held the increase in customer e-mail queries to 100% during the same growth period, the company says.

The on-demand self-service customer relationship management software from RightNow Technologies Inc. has also kept the increase in incoming customer phone queries about products and service to about 200% during this time, the company says. The system provides visibility into customer interactions across all channels so TomTom can mine the information for marketing insights; for instance, identifying trends in customer questions on specific topics so it can add those answers to the self-service database. It also gives TomTom’s 170-plus call center agents access to the same centralized data so responses to customer queries are consistent across channels.

RightNow’s on-demand technology captures company and product knowledge, and provides that information to customers when and how they need it, according to TomTom’s general manager of support, Roy van Keulen. “We’ve been able to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction while keeping our contact center costs under tight control,” he says.

RightNow’s product replaces a previous system that started showing its limitations during an earlier holiday shopping season. A product update the company launched the following year garnered a big market response that added to the backlog of e-mail inquiries from customers.

After choosing RightNow’s solution, TomTom was able to implement it in less than a month, van Keulen says. TomTom was able to reduce incoming customer service e-mail volume by 25% almost immediately, van Keulen adds.

Based on the initial success of RightNow’s solution, TomTom has extended that implementation to include marketing automation capacities from the vendor to support the company’s growing loyalty program, according to TomTom.

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