The journey to create an effortless customer experience has no finish line. Just ask HLC, a leading bicycle distributor in North America. Servicing more than 5,500 bicycle retailers across the U.S. and Canada, HLC is constantly seeking ways to offer a smoother customer experience with its brand. HLC is a leading distributor of bicycles, parts, and accessories, with headquarters in Levis, Quebec and Lexington, South Carolina.
In 2018, HLC eyed an opportunity to provide a more customer-focused experience on its website. Recognizing a shift in communication trends — with customers seeking answers anytime and anywhere — HLC sought to open more doors for customers to communicate with their support team. HLC decided to invest in Acquire’s live chat solution. Their goal was to offer clients an additional channel to get help with products online.
The Challenge: Optimizing the digital
Brands sold online
$200 - $1,000
range per order
HLC is one of the top bicycle distributors in North America for good reason: its product line is vast. As a one-stop-shop, HLC is set up to make it easy for customers — local bike shops across North America — to purchase everything they need from one place, to avoid having to pay multiple shipping fees to multiple distributors.
“The killer in our industry is shipping,” David Goodman, Customer Experience Lead at HLC said. “Customers are much more willing to go somewhere where they can get everything they need, all in one shot.”
HLC’s extensive product line includes some of the most reputable biking brands.
HLC was providing support primarily via email and phone. But with 1,000 customers logged in daily, and their entire catalog available online, HLC wanted to provide customers a way to get instant answers to common questions.
HLC implemented Acquire Live Chat to achieve the following goals:
- Better categorize customer support requests
- Provide online support for an extensive, highly technical product line
- Add more customer communication channels beyond phone and email
- Solve technical issues and answer product/shipping questions in real time
The Solution: Implementing live chat to
improve digital CX
HLC’s customer communication channels included phone and email support. Live chat appealed to HLC as a way to help customers right when and where they’re stuck.
“Oftentimes our customers are going to be sitting in front of their computer trying to resolve a problem,” Goodman said. “This offers them a solution where they can just hit our chat window and link up with somebody directly.”
Acquire Live Chat is a web chat interface through which sales, marketing, and customer support teams communicate with prospects and customers instantly.
HLC implemented with a 10-seat Acquire Live Chat program in 2018 for its customer experience team. In May 2019, the company expanded to a 20-seat solution. HLC’s live chat widget is client-facing, meaning only customers set up with HLC accounts are able to access and use the live chat.
In addition to live chat, HLC also uses Acquire Cobrowsing to see and interact with a customer’s web screen securely. With cobrowsing, HLC’s support teams guide customers on their web screen using pointing, clicking, scrolling and highlighting features.
The Results: More responsive digital
Live chat response
Greater insight into product
and shipping issues
Since implementing Acquire, Goodman’s team has achieved a nearly 100-percent live chat response rate, onboarded new hires quickly, and gained greater operational visibility into business and product issues.
HLC proactively addresses issues through chat tagging
Chat tagging in Acquire is the ability for teams to tag live chat conversations. Some of HLC’s most popular categories include product, freight, and warranty. This feature has helped Goodman identify and categorize issues — and get proactive about solving them.
HLC logs the most common customer issues using Acquire’s live chat tagging feature.
“The measurable benefits for me are seeing what people are requesting of us — what our customers’ problems are,” Goodman said. “That gives us a ton to work with. When I see spikes in any of those categories, it’s easy to address where our pain points are.”
HLC uses live chat to ease new hires into the job
Goodman said the live chat solution is quick to learn and a great benefit to onboarding new team members, who might not immediately feel confident to talk through customer concerns on the phone. New hires who start on chat can get comfortable learning the ropes of the business and answering the most common requests.
“One thing that’s really nice about this is that it allows a new resource that we bring on board to learn how to resolve problems for customers without the pressure of a phone conversation,” Goodman said.
Putting customers first
HLC is focused on being a customer-first brand. Acquire enables HLC to fulfill this mission by creating additional communication channels for customers.
“The ultimate goal for me and my team is to offer a professional, cohesive, and effortless experience for our customers,” Goodman said. “We don’t want our customers to have to do much to get what they need. And Acquire is a cornerstone of that because it helps us achieve that goal. We provide our customers with a way that’s more convenient for them to communicate.”