Success Story

Central reception across channels and quick processing of customer inquiries: Marc O’Polo introduces Microsoft Dynamics 365

Products Microsoft: Dynamics 365 Service
Sectors: Non sector-specific
Processes: Service & Support
References: Marc O‘Polo SE

Premier customer service based on cross-channel central reception and fast digital processing of inquiries that give B2C customers a positive experience are an important success factor for Marc O’Polo. The fashion label has set forth an important building block for that with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer service cloud solution and Azure Cognitive Services.

In 1967, three friends in Stockholm founded the fashion and lifestyle label Marc O’Polo, whose main headquarters has been in Stephanskirchen near Rosenheim since 1997. The “O” in the label’s name, whose fashion is categorized as modern casual wear, represents its originality.

Marc O’Polo SE

Head office: Stephanskirchen
Products: Clothing, shoes, accessories, and household textiles
Stores and retail partners: More than 2,200 (2022/23 business year)
Employees: Approx. 2,000 (2022/23 business year)
Sales: More than 600 million euros (2022/23 business year)

Multiple columns underpin business success

Marc O’Polo’s product line ranges from clothing, shoes and accessories to household textiles for kitchen, bedroom, living room, and bathroom and even tableware and glasses. The main goal of the fashion label – which sells its products via more than 2,000 retail partners, stores, and franchises as well as online in 41 countries and has achieved sales of over 600 million euros in the 2022/23 business year – is long-term, profitable growth. Furthermore, the issue of sustainability is firmly enshrined in the company’s philosophy.

Premium Customer Experience – a success factor

One important factor for success is also high customer satisfaction with service. Customers nowadays expect quick and satisfying answers to their inquiries, whether it is the status of their order, for payment, for the label’s member program, or for a return and/or complaint.

As a result, continuously improving the customer experience in service inquiries is of high strategic importance for Marc O’Polo as part of its “Premium Customer Service Initiative” across all contact channels.

One important prerequisite is to centrally receive customer inquiries across all input channels as part of a digital omni-channel customer service and to consistently process them,” says Peter Hainzl, Senior Technical Project Manager of Digital Intelligence at Marc O’Polo.

A 360-degree perspective of B2C customers in service

Expanding the existing Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud platform with the customer service solution together with Azure Cognitive Services for voice and text analysis is a crucial step in this direction. Incoming B2C customer inquiries are now centrally received and uniformly processed in this service solution – whether by email, contact form, telephone, chat, or e-mail – thereby creating a 360-degree customer perspective.

At the same time, the Contact Center’s customer advisor, who is commissioned with processing the customer inquiries, is able to not only timely answer inquiries but above all respond with high quality and close service cases faster thanks to the standardization of the service processes. This is also made possible by Azure Cognitive Services, which now correctly allocates roughly 70 percent of inquiries. It functions as follows. If a customer contacts the Service department, then – depending on the channel – the inquiry must first be converted into readable text. Afterwards, a sentiment analysis is used to determine the mood (“negative”, “neutral”, “positive”) and the inquiry is afterwards assigned to one of roughly 15 predefined service categories and its priority is automatically assigned.

Source Photo: © Marc O‘Polo SE

Marc O'Polo store in Pasing

An e-mail template also helps for fast inquiry responses. It has been specially developed for this purpose and is integrated into the service platform. Service agents only need to enter their response into this template – they have pre-defined text templates available for that – and press the send button. All of the subsequent process steps afterwards take place in the background, from using an API to transfer the message to the third-party e-mail application that Marc O’Polo uses to sending it to the customer.

Measurable and valid KPIs in the Service department

An additional key goal that Marc O’Polo correlated with the introduction of the cloud-based service solution was to efficiently manage the external service provider. Therefore, the introduction took place as part of a new tendering and awarding of service inquiry processing. New: Tracking in inquiry processing as well as valid and comprehensible figures provide unprecedented transparency. The tracking can precisely determine the processing time for inquiries. Since service-related data is centrally and uniformly managed in the Azure Cloud, it now produces measurable and reliable KPIs using Microsoft Power BI: For the initial and second-solution quotation, for the frequency of inquiries related to service categories, or for the processing time of inquiries based on the question (order, returns, payment) and/or the category. All in all, tracking and the KPIs give managers important clues and insights to specifically optimize service quality and efficiently manage the external service providers, as well as to continuously develop the products and cost efficiency.

Implementation in timetable and in budget

The decision to introduce Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service was made once an in-depth review of all the relevant aspects was made. Last but not least, a crucial aspect is the fact that Marc O’Polo’s Sales department already works with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and stores all B2C customer data in this solution.

The fashion label entrusted ORBIS SE with the implementation of the service solution. The Saarbrücken-based IT service provider impressed with its broadly diversified know-how related to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the service processes as well as through its own competency. That, along with the trustworthy collaboration of all participants and the use of agile methods, was crucial for ensuring that the commissioning took place while adhering to the timetable and the stipulated budget.

During the process, the implementation posed many different challenges. Apart from implementing the tracking and developing the email template, they mainly included integrating the telephony system via Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). This was achieved thanks to a technical solution that the in-house team, the ORBIS consultants, and the telecommunications provider developed together.

Expansion into an omnichannel platform

Microsoft’s customer service solution is used in all countries in which Marc O’Polo sells its products via the online shop, it is continuously developed, and expanded into an omnichannel platform. For instance, as of recent, there has been a chat function for communicating with the customers, which allows for inquiries to be answered immediately. Furthermore, there are plans to continue to expand the chat functionality and provide it to B2C customers for additional services, in order to assist them even better on their “customer journey”.

“With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service, we are able to centrally receive customer inquiries across all input channels as part of a digital omni-channel customer service and thoroughly process them.”

Peter Hainzl, Senior Technical Project Manager Digital Intelligence, Marc O‘Polo SE

Peter Hainzl, Marc O‘Polo SE
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