Empowering a 175-strong customer-facing team


Hit Promotional Products’ business model involves working directly with distributors, who then work with their clients, the end-users. In total, five different groups of employees are customer-facing, including marketing, sales, credit and accounting, overseas group sales and service, and customer operations, which play the more traditional customer service and post-fulfilment customer support role.


“In total we have about 175 to 200 people who interact with customers in some way,” explains Sylva. “The vast majority of our communications are email-based, so we sought a way of identifying and addressing areas of improvement in our customer-facing operations that could enhance our customer experience and help us grow and retain our customer base.”

"CX is a growth driver, not just in our industry but in every industry. Some of our organic growth is directly attributable to when we launched timetoreply, how our teams adopted it, and how we use it to improve our CX. It’s not the only CX tool we use, but it is one of the most visible ways we are driving improvements within our customer-facing teams."

Shannon Sylva
Chief Experience Officer

Data the key to better CX

Hit Promotional Products chose timetoreply to help bring increased visibility to customer emails and provide helpful insights into various elements of its customer-facing operations.

“The data we receive from timetoreply is key to our efforts at customer experience excellence,” says Sylva. “We could previously see our teams’ responses to customers, but with timetoreply we can also see trends around how customers interact with us. In one example, we could see a specific customer would reach out to our teams at odd hours, which led to a slower response from our side. The data we draw from timetoreply allows us to close the loop and enables us to work on the business, not just in it. And we’re only beginning to utilise the tool to its full extent.”

The reality of the type of business model that Hit Promotional Products operates is that the customer-facing teams consist of many moving parts, with one point of entry who then communicate to other parts of the business to ensure customer requests are met. “The ability of one part of our business to quickly and effectively respond to a customer-related inqueries from another part of the business is essential to us resolving customer inqueries quickly and efficiently,” explains Sylva. “timetoreply helps us pinpoint where we are experiencing challenges and what tweaks we need to make to drive higher-quality customer experiences.”

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Expanding adoption throughout the business


Sylva initially took a crawl-walk-run approach to adoption of timetoreply by only selecting specific individuals to take part in a beta test before rolling it out to more team members. A vital part of the adoption of timetoreply within Hit Promotional Products’ customer-facing teams was its role in driving an improved customer experience. 


“We made sure our teams understand the correlation between our ability to respond to customers’ quickly, and those customers’ feelings toward our business,” says Sylva. “High-quality customer experiences feed directly into our growth targets. So, we ensured our teams saw timetoreply as a tool to help us improve the experience we provide to our customers.”


Sylva has expanded the initial core group of users and is now taking timetoreply internally to some of Hit Promotional Products’ manufacturing and shipping lines to improve response times. “We’re still not using timetoreply to its full extent, but one thing is clear: the more we use it, the better our customer experience will become.”

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