CASE STUDY

Prestige’s dramatic reduction in customer response times

4 MINUTE READ

Learn how Prestige was able to reduce response times on customer issues and complaints by 90%, increase feedback from the market on product releases by 500%, and reduce coordination time by 60% in their 400 person sales team by using Unifize.

Prestige is a publicly traded consumer goods company with approximately 1,000 employees and a large, global distribution network for both B2B and B2B2C channels.  Apart from operating its own retail stores, it also sells to distributors and directly to large brands like Walmart, Aldi and Costco.

In 2019, the company did approximately $250m in revenue across 30 different kitchenware product categories, including non-stick cookware, stoves, appliances, cleaning solution and grinders.  It is also the largest manufacturer of pressure cookers in the world.

To maintain their market position as a leading consumer brand, the company invested substantially product development, sales & marketing and customer service.  Specifically, the company released over 80 new products a year via its network of 400 direct sales employees, who were then managed by a 70 seat after-sales service team.

In spite of the efforts and considerable expenditure deployed to these areas, Prestige faced a number of problems:
 
  • Although 90% of orders were fulfilled within the 2 day target period, the remaining 10% resulted in delays due to a variety of issues, including the management of credit limits and unavailability of stock.
  • Unresolved dealer/distributor issues such as marketing scheme settlements, credit/debit notes, quality problems and short supplies were the subject of over 40% of the dealer/distributor interactions with the Prestige sales team.
  • The sales team then spent a further 2-3 hours a day coordinating and following up with their commercial team, billing, warehouse/despatch, and the customer service team to resolve these problems.
  • The product development team never received as much feedback and inputs as it needed from the sales team about competitive activities and the success or failures of new product releases.

Apart from the employee frustration, wasted time and missed product opportunities, Prestige’s relationship with its channel partners was beginning to suffer, making it more difficult for them to sign more profitable, exclusive dealerships.  Finally, it was impossible for management to get visibility into the extent and causes of the underlying problems.

 

What made Prestige choose Unifize?

The Prestige team managed its sales team in branches.  Each branch had a certain set of monthly sales targets, which was further divided into quotas for each sales rep.  These sales reps would receive orders from their customers over the phone, by email and in face to face meetings.  The customer’s requirements would then be sent by email or on paper to the commercial team, and thereafter the billing team and warehouse.

Any post-sale problems with the product would be reported to the customer service team, either by the sales rep or by the dealer directly.  Commercial and billing issues would be handled directly by the sales team with the relevant departments.

Ultimately, all these activities were being managed in multiple systems, including SAP, Excel, email, phone calls, unofficial chat tools and meetings, making it virtually impossible to keep track of things.  Furthermore, these systems were completely unable to handle any variation or change, which would naturally cascade into more offline conversations, emails and phone calls.

To solve these problems, Prestige needed was a unified source of truth that made it easy for users to collaborate on orders, resolve issues and give feedback.  

The Prestige CEO, Chandru Kalro, was introduced to Unifize in 2018 and was quickly able to understand that Unifize could meet these requirements and solve their collaboration problems.  In particular:

  • Unifize’s real-time, conversational approach to processes made it dramatically faster to get the right people in the right place at the right time to solve issues, as well as give, manage and understand feedback. 
  • The simple, easy-to-use interface meant that his team was able to pick up how it worked almost instantly. 
  • Unifize was able to map to his processes rather than forcing him to change his system to fit a new software.
  • Unifize was able to deliver insights and data about processes (eg issue resolution and feedback) that were previously opaque because they were spread across multiple systems.
  • The ability for anyone to start a conversation about an issue, order, or feedback from their mobile or desktop reduced the friction for his team to initiate or participate in feedback and give context to issues.
  • By connecting conversations to specific issues, orders and feedback, Unifize maintained traceability on all conversations, which was particularly useful for solving problems and managing employee turnover.

What were the results?

Prestige adopted Unifize in a phased manner in early 2019, starting with a sales team of just 30 out of their 400 employees.  Over the course of a few months this scope was expanded to cover the remaining areas of the team.  They were able to achieve the following results:

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Reduce response times on customer issues and complaints by 90%

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Achieve single point accountability across 5 collaborating teams

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Increase market feedback from and insights by 500%

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Reduced time spent by employees in the office from 2-3 hours to <1 hour

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Increase visibility into 5 core sales processes by bringing everything into 1 place

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Enabled 100% traceability on sales processes

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