Customers embrace new online customer care solution
Implementation of the new system began earlier this year. Tens of thousands of subscription and continuity customers have already used the updated customer care site to pay bills and to take advantage of an expanded menu of self-service options.
"Enhancing our online customer service has been a long-term goal," DRG CEO David McKee said. "And there is more to come."
Along with the ability to change address and other personal information, with the new service customers can pay all balances due with a single transaction across all the DRG brand lines with which they do business. Continuity members can change shipment frequency, put shipments on hold and choose when to release that hold.
"Accepting payments across multiple DRG programs with a single click is a strong benefit of the project," Web Development Director Marylee Klinkhammer said. "Many customers who subscribed to multiple DRG programs were already utilizing the old customer service pages, but needed to log into individual accounts to make payments."
Another key benefit of the new service is that it enables continuity customers to set up automatic payments for future shipments. It has proved a popular option.
Magazine subscribers can also easily check the status of their subscriptions and are prompted if it is time to renew.
As this first phase of the customer service enhancement project moves into a maintenance mode, the next phase will begin in mid summer. It will provide customers log-in access to their complete catalog order history.
"This first stage was a large project spanning more than two years," Klinkhammer said. "During that time, a team from DRG's publishing division worked closely with our colleagues at SFG to create this robust new Web service."
David Wilson, technology director for DRG/SFG, said, "Some very complex and sophisticated Web services were created by SFG to drive the presentation and management of customer data.
"This joint project by the publishing and fulfillment teams has created a rich customer self-service experience that has taken SFG's Web service offerings to new heights. The continuing evolution and development of SFG's Web services will provide a foundation for future Web-enablement of SFG's internal front-end customer service/call center applications."
DRG (DRGnetwork.com) is part of the third-generation Muselman family business headquartered in Berne, Ind., near Fort Wayne. It is comprised of two divisions: Annie's and Strategic Fulfillment Group (SFG).
Annie's (Annies-Publishing.com) is well known to crafters and nostalgia buffs for its print and digital magazines, pattern books and other related products, sold primarily via mail, websites and catalogs.
SFG (StrategicFulfillment.com) provides state-of-the-art fulfillment and database marketing services out of a 140,000-square-foot facility in East Texas.
The Muselman business began in 1925 with the founding of Economy Printing Concern in Berne. EP Graphics, as it is known today, is still owned by the Muselman family. It specializes in high-quality, four-color web printing for catalogs and magazines.