Unilever Philippines went live with mySAP CRM (customer relationship management) on January 2 this year, following a three-month implementation period. It is the first Unilever office in Asia to implement the solution from SAP, said Efren Samonte, commercial director of Unilever Philippines.
The implementation, dubbed ‘Project Polaris’, automated the help desk processes of Unilever’s two call centers: customer service and consumer advisory. Samonte, who served as the project sponsor for the implementation, said the solution enabled faster response time to queries and needs raised by consumers, provided for effective maintenance of its customer database, and gave the company easy access to customer information for analysis and strategy development.
“Prior to the implementation, our customer and consumer care officers had to browse through thick books, brochures, various on-line databases and reports to answer customer inquiries. Now, they can click on any Unilever product on their computer screen and the data on a particular item will automatically pop up. This significantly enhances our agents’ ability to respond to customer inquiries fast, accurately, and completely,” he said.
The easy data access has resulted in substantial productivity gains.
“Previously, monthly calls peaked at 3,000,” he said. “The solution increased the company’s call center capability immediately to 5,000 calls per month.”
According to SAP Philippines professional services manager, Joseph Victor Gloria, Unilever Philippines needed a CRM solution that suited the company’s customer care requirements. To achieve this goal, Project Polaris was formed to study and analyze the company’s customer care system and come up with a design that would effectively link customer interaction processes with real-time customer and business data for service, sales and marketing.
Carol Burch, senior vice president, Global CRM, SAP AG, further explained that SAP conducted initial training sessions for Unilever operations managers and call center agents not only to acquaint them with the solution, but also to engage them in the design. “We configured mySAP CRM according to the design developed by Unilever’s customer service and consumer advisory officers using actual company data. The design was then reviewed and approved by a project steering committee before implementation.”
SAP Philippines managing director, Ian Black, added that the CRM solution will help Unilever Philippines lower costs by reducing agent training requirements.