“Radius is 32 years old,” CEO Bill Holmes tells us, “we started in a little office above a hair-dressing salon not too far from where we are today [Radius HQ in Crewe, UK], and now we've got 2,200 people across five continents.
Beginning life predominantly as a fuel card provider, working with SMEs to companies with large fleets of vehicles, Radius had experienced decades of rapid growth and, with an ever-expanding customer base, needed to find more efficient ways to keep in touch with its increasingly mobile customers.
“Our target market is a mobile workforce,” explains Customer Experience & Practices Director Colin Peters, “from the vehicle, to the tracking, to the mobile device, to the office. Fuel is a big cost to businesses, so we started seeing how we could help our customers become more efficient in terms of tracking driver behaviour and optimising their route. In addition to that, in ten or fifteen years time, we probably won't see the diesel usage we see today, so we're diversifying into electric vehicle charging points as well.
“We branched out into vehicle telematics about seven years ago, which is obviously a complementary product to fuel and, in the last two years, we've moved into telecoms and insurance products. We've got about 1,500 people in the business and we’ve doubled in size in the last five years.”
“CM.com understood our issue, understood that we already had a CRM in place and that we needed a bolt-on, and were prepared to look at our bespoke requirements and work with us to deliver them. That was unique.” Colin Peters, Customer Experience & Practices Director, Radius Payment Solutions
“With over 250,000 businesses across the world,” Colin continues, “we decided we needed a solution that could take those different incoming and outgoing channels and deliver an integrated approach. That’s when we started talking to CM.com."
We met with Radius after some initial discussions to work out its requirements and to address how we could help to simplify its customer service experience.
Together, we decided to deploy a number of different channels, including email, two-way SMS, and WhatsApp to keep Radius’s customer service on the right track and to keep its mobile customer base informed whilst on the move.
James Matthews, CM.com Country Manager, UK & Ireland, takes up the story. “When the relationship started with Radius, we introduced Mobile Service Cloud and our Communications Platform. One of the unique things about our WhatsApp deployment for Radius, is we've rolled it out across 10 different regions, for multiple Radius brands.”
CM.com’s Head of Business Development, James Welton explains, “We have WhatsApp across Radius’s global estate and that’s integrated with our live agent and a chatbot at the front-end. Ultimately, it means that Radius’s customers no longer have to wait for information and can have these conversations quickly and effectively.”
“When Radius first approached CM.com, their values aligned with ours; they had ambitious growth plans and they were keen to invest in technology to better serve customers.” James Matthews, Country Manager, UK & Ireland, CM.com
“Things have moved on dramatically in the last couple of years” continues Welton, “and customers expect answers to their questions more rapidly than ever. Providing omni-channel touchpoints, such as WhatsApp, allows customers to ask questions and receive answers in less time than they’d have been queuing for their call to be answered in the past.
“We’ve also implemented scripted and conversational AI chatbots, which can ask questions and these questions can direct them into ordering more services. Or they can be used to handle questions at the front-end and take pressure away from the agents who receive enquiries. Radius customers are using WhatsApp if they've got billing queries, if they want to order additional fuel cards, and if they want to acquire any other products or services. Often, drivers want to know where their nearest fuel station is and, through the scripted chatbot, they can find the three nearest petrol stations simply and effectively.”
While the WhatsApp deployment has been a hit with customers and internal staff alike, Radius has also seen the benefit of other conversational channels. Using SMS to send reminders to customers with returned Direct Debits has seen 48% of customers clicking on the link and a 16% success rate. The result is a saving equivalent to two full-time members of staff in the credit control team.
More recently, Live Chat has been deployed as another way to open up communication between customers and the Radius team.
“Working with CM.com we've developed our Live Chat function, which sits within our Radius Compare brand,” says Marketing Manager Natalie Lightfoot, “this is an umbrella brand that houses all of our products and services. So within this Live Chat function, we can talk to a customer with different products, different services, different needs, but all in one place. We have a team of trained product experts who can answer any in-depth question we receive.”
“CM.com technology, platforms, and solutions have been great. It only takes us around an hour to train people before putting them live on the system. It’s got good UX, good UI, and it's intuitive; it just makes sense.” Colin Peters, Customer Experience & Practices Director, Radius Payment Solutions
Talking of training, introducing new technology into a business is always a concern in terms of how much time and effort it’ll take to bring existing staff up-to-speed. Thankfully that wasn’t a major issue for Radius.
Colin explains, “We have over 90 internal users in approximately 10 countries and that means language barriers and cultural differences. it's taken us literally one hour to train people before they’re live on the system. It's intuitive and it just makes sense. Equally, the CM.com guys have been great, helping me look after those countries and look after that multi-cultural business.”
With multiple conversational channels open for business and customers experiencing the benefit of omnichannel messaging, Radius has big plans for the future.
James Matthews explains, “Moving forward, one of the key projects that we're working with Radius on is a customer acquisition chatbot. This will enable Radius to upsell and cross-sell their other services to their existing customers, and introduce a new channel for Radius and Radius customers.”
“This is new technology, this is innovation,” continues Colin, “and CM.com and Radius are on that journey together, trying to educate and acquire new customers. It’s not intrusive; the customer can interact when they want to interact. We're using technology to create stickiness and the longer we have the customer, the more profitable we are, which is a win-win for us and CM.com.”
SMS for Direct Debits has given Radius Payment Solutions a 16% success rate and saved two full-time employees.
Radius has one platform to handle incoming enquiries via any channel, whether it's email, SMS, and WhatsApp.
Radius are deploying a number of AI chatbots. One of particular interest, is the acquisition chatbot.
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