CVW speaks to Kevin McPherson, Director BVPlus+, about the support Continental Tyres and the Bandvulc Call Centre provides for fleet operators.
Since the purchase of Bandvulc by Continental Tyres in 2016, the companies have been working together to integrate systems and processes to provide customers with even higher levels of service and on-the-road support.
One area which has been a high priority for the integration teams is the Devon-based Tyre Support Unit, which is the first point of contact for all incoming customer calls. With a response target of just 60 minutes from initial contact, the Tyre Support Unit can now handle up to 3,200 calls per day.
Kevin McPherson, Director BVPlus+, talks more about the Tyre Support Unit and what it means to the customer network in terms of response times, service levels and training.
Q: How big is the Tyre Support Unit and what specialist training do the operators receive?
Kevin McPherson (KM): The team consists of over 50 people, with everyone working at the Tyre Support Unit provided with comprehensive training in customer service, products and processes.
The team also benefits from factory tours and specialist tyre knowledge provided by inhouse experts, and is further backed by two full time trainers and an experienced fleet engineer, who is on hand to help with any immediate technical issues.
Q: How many calls does the centre handle?
KM: The Tyre Support Unit is open 24/7, 365 days a year and handles all calls on behalf of the Conti360° Fleet Services and BVPlus+ networks. This can be up to 3,200 calls per day at peak times.
Q: How are calls prioritised to maximise response times?
KM: Calls coming into the centre are prioritised according to specific criteria, including the type of roadside site, and the location – a European callout or a time critical delivery, for instance.
The call is logged onto the fleet system and then the most relevant service partner is deployed using bespoke mapping software that prioritises the selection based on criteria such as specialism or distance from the job. Instructions to the service partner are confirmed verbally and then backed up with full details using a unique Express Allocation email system. Roadside and time critical jobs are closely monitored via our live tracking software to ensure the fitter arrives on scene within the agreed time parameters.
We pride ourselves on our response times and typically expect to answer a call within seven seconds, allocate the job to a partner within eight minutes and have our teams attending at the roadside in just over 60 minutes.
Q: How do you monitor and improve upon response times?
KM: All of our response times are evaluated every month as a whole. Any individual jobs exceeding 60 minutes are audited and investigated to review what caused the delay. This is usually down to the location of the callout, be it congestion in major cities or other areas with adverse traffic conditions.
Q: What other support does the Tyre Support Unit offer fleets and workshops?
KM: The Tyre Support Unit has dedicated trainers who travel the country to attend tyre awareness days and give presentations. They also provide printed material such as posters and booklets giving advice on tyre safety, wheel security and tread checking. In addition, our account managers visit fleets to give specific advice and carry out site audits based on individual customer needs, which also helps us to monitor casing removal and suggest ways to extend tyre life.
Q: What is a typical customer?
KM: The Tyre Support Unit covers a huge range of businesses. At the moment our biggest customer areas are retail, distribution, waste management and home delivery, but we also cater for customers in more specialist areas.