Optimal customer service for auto.nl with Watermelon

Customer service is a top priority for auto.nl. Every car purchase should be a celebration, which can be achieved with the right service. Sander Holleman, chief of customer satisfaction at auto.nl tells us about his experiences with Watermelon and how they offer optimal customer service to their clients.

auto.nl is part of the Louwman Group and the webshop if you’re looking to buy or sell cars. Buying a car online should be as pleasant an experience as buying something like new sneakers. Buying a car is a celebration and at auto.nl you can buy or lease a new or used car online, transparently, clearly, and simply. How simple is it? Well, it becomes apparent when you look at the numbers: seventy percent of our customers buy a car without even having to speak to customer service. Our core values and beliefs aren’t only evident in how we sell cars, but also in our internal culture and our customer service.

Good service is essential

Seeing as transparency, clarity and ease are our core values, good service is essential according to Sander: ‘auto.nl has grown enormously in a short amount of time, around 600 percent per year. But more clients and more brand awareness also translates into a higher number of customer inquiries. Clients can reach us via the chat function on our website, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and of course by email and telephone. All of our clients can be helped well with this mix of channels.’

Nowadays there are a number of different chat providers. The decision to make the switch to Watermelon was a very conscious one. ‘It’s important to us to be able to have personal contact with our provider, we want to be listened to and to have the feeling that something is being done with our feedback. We clicked with Watermelon immediately. We also realised quite quickly that Watermelon could also take it a step further, because their platform also allows you to build your own chatbot.’


The basics in live chat

After a demo with the sales department, Sander started working with Watermelon. ‘Before we purchased Watermelon, we received an in-depth demo, after which we received more information from our personal Customer Success Manager Guido. Even though Watermelon is very easy to use, it’s still really nice to get extra training with tips and tricks.’

Auto.nl chose to go live with the live chat and then to build the chatbot using the questions posed to employees. ‘We are available between 9 am to 9pm to answer questions, it’s still a bit easier to help the client as well as possible through a ‘human’ conversation. We now have the basics down- we’re now working on filling in the chatbot’s brain. I’m already happy that the WhatsApp conversations are coming in via a centralised point. Until recently these chats were sent to my phone, which made it more complicated to pass on to my colleagues. It also meant that I’d get messages when I was on holiday sitting on a ski lift. Thanks to Watermelon, this has all been solved beautifully.’

It’s important to us to be able to have personal contact with our provider, we want to be listened to and to have the feeling that something is being done with our feedback. We clicked with Watermelon immediately.”

Sander Hollemam – Chief customer satisfaction at auto.nl


Another step further with Watermelon

Within Watermelon’s platform, you can fully customise CXhub, the chat window on the website. However, it may be the case that you’d like to take it a step further. Thanks to Watermelon’s open API there are many options that you can apply yourself. auto.nl made use of this: ‘we wanted to offer visitors to our website a larger range of contact options. When somebody clicks the support icon on the website, you get the option to chat, to call, to send a WhatsApp message, or to email us as well as seeing the FAQ immediately. Watermelon was a big help here: our Development team found it easy to integrate Watermelon into our own support window. Questions posed in chats and WhatsApp messages are sent directly to our Watermelon dashboard.’


Building a chatbot isn’t rocket science!

The chatbot is being built by Sander and Paul van Lent, Product Owner at auto.nl. Sander says that others within the auto.nl team will also be working on it: ‘Building a chatbot with Watermelon isn’t rocket science, anyone can do it. When the chatbot is off the ground, other service colleagues will also have a say and fill the chatbot with necessary information.

Building a chatbot with Watermelon isn’t rocket science, anyone can do it.”

Sander Hollemam – Chief customer satisfaction at auto.nl


No contact moment lost

A chatbot should complement good service. This is the most important goal for our future digital colleague: ‘The chatbot is really going to increase our reach. My colleagues can’t be reached after 9pm, after which the chatbot will take over. When the chatbot doesn’t know the answer, the customer will be asked for their details so that we can call them back. This means that no contact moment is wasted and we can always offer the best possible service.’

The chatbot fits perfectly with auto.nl’s goals: ensuring that there are as few as possible (human) contact moments per sale. ‘It’s not that we don’t want to speak with our customers, we are just completely confident that we are serving our customers optimally when they don’t have to contact us. If they do need to contact us, we are obviously ready to help in any way we can. A chatbot supports this perfectly.’


A personal collaboration

Companies that work with Watermelon get a personal Customer Success Manager assigned to them. This person will help set up the live chat and chatbot and will always be thinking together with the company in order to create guaranteed success. Guido Postma helped auto.nl set up Watermelon and works together with auto.nl to continually optimise Watermelon. ‘Our contact with Guido is very pleasant. We are on a short leash, he gives us good advice and he’s there when we need him. It really feels like a collaboration wherein we think about how we can improve Watermelon even more. Using Canny, the tool where we can submit feature requests, we can also see requests made by other clients. This is responded to quickly and it’s great to see how the platform keeps on developing.’

‘I’m looking forward to our chatbot going live, meaning that our customers can reach us in the evening and during the night. We are working together towards an optimal platform- that’s what this collaboration is all about and I’m sure I’ll see these developments in the future!’

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