For the premium motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, the performance of their customer services is at least as important as the performance on the road of their aspirational machines.
As one of the world’s most iconic brands, Harley-Davidson guards its reputation closely and chooses its business partners with care.
Since mid-2006, Harley-Davidson’s recall programme across its European network has been handled by Eclipse Marketing. From that beginning, the relationship between the agency and the motorcycle maker has grown considerably, and now encompasses much wider customer care activities, such as database development, lead management and telemarketing.
Eclipse Senior Account Director Helen Simson explained further,
“When we were originally appointed, it was to handle recalls across the Harley-Davidson European network. Based on the high level of service they received from us, Harley-Davidson invited us to take part in a series of competitive tenders for other services, in which, I am happy to say, Eclipse was successful.”
Online lead management
These services include an innovative lead management service, which was launched in the UK in January and is due to roll out throughout Europe during 2008.
“The online service provides Harley-Davidson with end-to-end tracking, from first enquiry to sale,” said Helen. “This has the benefit of giving full visibility at each stage of the sales process, and management reporting at all levels of the business.”
Lead management activity is closely supported by Eclipse’s UK contact centre team, who continually liaise with dealers and prospects. This exceptional level of service prompted one Harley-Davidson dealer to describe the lead management system as ‘a quantum leap improvement.’
“Our web-based lead management tool is invaluable,” continued Helen. “With it, Harley-Davidson’s European dealers can manage their leads at a granular level, seeing where each one lies within the sales cycle.
The facility also enables Harley-Davidson to view its sales pipeline, tracking progression from prospects to customers, providing the information the company needs to carry out detailed sales analysis.”
Plans are currently being finalised to roll out a fully hosted European database service, including the online lead management system, to six of Harley-Davidson’s subsidiaries at management and dealer level.
As part of this process, Eclipse will provide advice for each subsidiary on best practice for database management, CRM strategies and data protection.
UK customer service centre
In September 2007, Eclipse won the contract to run Harley-Davidson’s UK customer service centre.
The project, which went live in January 2008, includes a range of services in support of Harley-Davidson’s CRM strategy, from database development and case management to database analysis. Eclipse’s telemarketing team also works closely with Harley-Davidson on campaigns to generate test rides.
“This part of the work involved a complete rebuild of the UK database and developing it to create the basis for Harley-Davidson’s European database,” Helen added.
“Final restructuring is now taking place, as we finalise European data sources and requirements. In addition, we are in the latter stages of implementing a data analysis tool, to provide further enhancements, including access to customer and prospect records to aid analysis, campaign planning and management.”
Inbound and outbound calls
The UK call centre handles inbound calls, providing marketing and customer care support. A bespoke contact centre application developed by Eclipse allows full view of all known customer attributes, enabling a high level of call handing and the ability to capture any missing information.
Information from preferred contact channels and bikes owned to models of interest and budget is stored. The contact centre is linked direct to the database, enabling real-time updates. Where this results in the creation of a new lead, all relevant updates are automatically notified to the appropriate dealer.
A sophisticated case management tool enables users to view complete case histories, including all correspondence and contact history, as well as tracked activities from all parties including dealers and Harley-Davidson personnel.
The call centre also undertakes outbound activity, in support of the lead management process, bike launches and events.
Since 2006 Eclipse has been responsible for Harley-Davidson’s European recall programme, at present across 18 countries, though this number is set to expand.
The programme includes online reporting, so Harley-Davidson can compare performances, country by country and dealer by dealer, as well as support of parts planning and monitoring usage against recall completion.
The association between Eclipse Marketing and Harley-Davidson continues to mature and develop, as the agency evolves its existing services to help the world's best-known motorcycle maker move its European marketing endeavours up another gear.
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