Wickes: Appointment Control

When you deliver over half a million big and bulky products a year you need to keep your customers in the loop.


Working hard at the sharp end of a complex logistics chain, across 200 stores, Wickes trust ContactEngine’s appointment control service to make sure that deliveries are seamless for both Wickes and its customers.

The Problem

Wickes found that their call center staff were being inundated by customers inquiring on the whereabouts of their delivery. In addition, Wickes were keen to alleviate front line store staff from the inefficient manual task of trying to contact customers when their primary role was to “pick and pack” deliveries. Wickes were seeking an intelligent, light-touch and interactive automated customer communications system: so they turned to ContactEngine for the answer.  


ContactEngine spent time with several teams at Wickes - to truly understand what it means if a delivery fails: especially if it’s a big and bulky order. At every stage the central consideration for ContactEngine was: how do we improve the delivery experience for both Wickes and their customer without ever becoming a nuisance? The solution was to implement an automated appointment setting system that makes a final check with the customer the evening before delivery ensuring they remain happy with the delivery date and timeslot. We also make sure that an appropriate signatory will be available.Because ContactEngine is an intelligent multichannel communication service, this means that we were able to use telephone calls and SMS to hold a real-time conversation with the customer about their delivery. The automated contact is timely, polite (never made during anti-social hours) and,even on the rare occasions we don’t hear from a customer, we still send a revised message on the day of delivery—allowing the customer a final chance to respond and checking if the appointment going ahead, as planned, is still the best way forward.  


Wickes saw a 50% reduction in calls from customers about their deliveries’ whereabouts at their Northampton call center. Using ContactEngine’s automated appointment solutions, Wickes are now achieving contact rates north of 85% and Wickes colleagues are able to access and track these automated conversations via a dashboard in real time. In addition, ContactEngine has proved that just under 10% of customers have some sort of issue with their delivery, allowing Wickes to take a proactive approach and reschedule immediately before the delivery leaves the store—saving a fortune in wasted trucks. The rich management information provided by ContactEngine’s appointment solution helps Wickes to refine their service to better meet the changing needs of their customers. Wickes have found that, not only does the service save money by increasing efficiencies, but it also leads to happier customers, a good old-fashioned (but modern) win-win.       

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