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Digital solutions for analogue companies: the success of San Marco Group
What does a company specializing in paint production do with applications for Smart Working and IoT technologies ?
San Marco Group can answer this question: with the success story of this company we will see how the use of the right combination of digital tools has improved the efficiency of business processes and customer experience , while solving many of the critical issues related to the lockdown.
A company close to its customers
San Marco Group is a reality active in the production of colors for use in construction, which over time has grown to acquire and coordinate the activities of eight production sites and three commercial companies, in different countries around the world.
Another of the strengths of San Marco Group has always been the customer service , which includes excellent assistance to individuals and professionals and a line of info-products, responding to requests more or less technical by individuals and professionals.
Among the customers of San Marco Group there are also color factories : to these, the customer service provides support in more complex activities, such as the analysis of non-conformities with laboratory tests or assistance in the use of machines. In the latter case, the customer contacts the customer service as he needs to recreate a color produced by the competition that is not present in the San Marco catalog; the customer service then explains to the customer how to program the tintometers to mix the colors available in the catalog to recreate the desired shade.
Despite an 80-year history, it is a company that is not afraid to question itself and explore new solutions.
Nosco for San Marco Group: the beginning of a journey
The San Marco Group team participated in an event in Unox at the end of 2019, where it was able to learn about the work we have done and the results obtained in optimizing customer service.
We were then contacted by Laura (business developer) and Matteo (customer service manager) . They involved us in the business process improvement project: specifically, they needed a digital tool for their customer service.
The most important challenge was not choosing to digitize customer service. The biggest challenge was choosing the right tool. We opted for the coupled Amazon Connect and Nosco because we found it a winner, in terms of efficiency, power and, last but not least, ease of use.
The request surprised us: it was difficult for us to imagine that a company active in the construction market needed such a level of complexity in customer service, nor that there was such meticulous attention also to the requests coming from from private individuals.
Once the needs of the company were defined, we proposed the implementation of Nosco as a multi-channel tool , which would allow the customer service to manage every interaction with customers in the most efficient way.
We have set up the platform to be point of convergence of every email and phone call : every exchange of information with the customer is recorded, transcribed and cataloged in a platform designed to distribute information in dynamic and customized.
As a result of this, the customer experience has also become much smoother and more satisfying: without Nosco, it could happen that the lines were all busy, while now callers are at least certain of receiving an answer .
Ours were traditional tools: a telephone line and email. However, these tools did not allow my team of experts to express themselves at their best. [...] Thanks to cloud systems, we first of all have the flexibility to be able to manage both the normal flow of requests and peaks. Furthermore, the Amazon systems interfaced with Nosco allow us to collect a series of information that was previously unthinkable and that really allow us to make complete action plans to always improve the service and customer experience.
We have also introduced Telegram (instant messaging system similar to WhatsApp) for communications with local dealers and agents. For a company that deals with colors, one was in fact needed fast mode to send photos and videos : Telegram is in fact used by technicians and agents during customer interactions and site inspections, for example to show color density.
Taking advantage of an IoT integration , we have also activated a system to obtain information directly from the tintometers management software, Leonardo also developed within the San Marco group, detecting any malfunctions and incorrect use of the machines.
This was the point of arrival, but in March 2020 the lockdown began.
San Marco Group, like many others, has foreseen a reduction in workflow, especially for the department of customer service. The team had been placed on layoffs, in the belief that, with construction sites closed, requests for assistance would have collapsed.
It wasn't like that : forced within the walls of their homes, many people have decided to take advantage of restore their homes and repaint the walls. Although the construction sites were at a standstill, the orders and requests from private individuals continued.
Looking at the data collected by Nosco on multi-channeling, the customer service team noticed the situation: after a significant drop in the first days of the lockdown, calls have started to rise again, right because paint and ironmongers continued to sell San Marco Group products and used tintometers for respond to requests from individuals.
Once it understood that the requests kept coming, the company decided to get a part back into operation of the team. To minimize the risks deriving from the pandemic, it was also decided to activate Smart Working policies . At this stage, the team was able to rely on Nosco to organize and coordinate work remotely. The use of the platform has effectively eliminated the need for software ERP : operators were able to work from home, being able to access all the tools through the Nosco web interface.
When it comes to Digital Transformation, it is very easy to come across the belief that only the companies of some sectors may really benefit from the use of digital tools.
The case of San Marco proves that this is not the case.
It shows that, with a tool like Nosco and with the right approach, a company that offers a product completely analogue, and with a traditional distribution network, it can achieve excellent results: not only that in the efficiency of customer service, but also in the ability to adapt and react to crisis situations, such as the one caused by the lockdown.
To understand the extent of the results achieved, we can focus on the response rate by channel telephone.
Starting date (December 2019):
- Private Calls Assistance: 35%
- Colorimetry Technical Service: 65%
Current figure (September 2020):
- Private Calls Assistance: ~ 80%
- Colorimetry Technical Service: ~ 80%
And what we see is not the final goal.
Thanks to the data acquired by Nosco in 2020, we will be able to further optimize the flows of calls : with greater integration between management data, software licenses for tintometers and tintometers themselves, in 2021 San Marco Group aims for a response rate of 92%. All this by unifying a Group Customer Service that operates on the three certified brands and in three different production sites and of course also using Smart Working.
There is nothing worse than having an urgency and not being able to call...