FCP Euro Customer Experience Q&A
Simplr is pleased to partner with FCP Euro, a Gold Winner in Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year (Stevie Awards). FCP Euro is an online retailer of OE, OEM, aftermarket, and genuine parts for European vehicles, specializing in BMW, Volvo, Audi, VW, Mercedes, and Porsche. Their hand-curated catalog, kitted projects, and do-it-yourself instructions are tailored for customers of all experience levels. With a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee, hassle-free returns, and free shipping on orders over $49, FCP Euro has continuously challenged the boundaries and advanced the standards of quality, service, and technology in the automotive industry.
We sat down with their CX team for a quick Q&A on how the brand is delivering exceptional customer experiences.
- What are some of the misconceptions about customer service in the automotive industry? How is FCP Euro changing that image for the better?
A common stereotype we enjoy challenging is that European vehicles are expensive to own and difficult to maintain. At FCP Euro, we strive to be more than a transactional business and more a business that builds relationships and connects our customers with their cars. Our ultimate goal is to help European car owners have a more enjoyable and enduring ownership experience, and we’ve ensured that a high caliber of customer service has defined our interactions over the years. We are our own customer, often touting the adage, “If we wouldn’t put it on our cars, we won’t sell it to you.”
Our teams are committed to providing technical support, beyond traditional product-level knowledge, and come from all backgrounds and experience levels. Whether professionally trained at automotive shops and dealerships or self-taught by natural curiosity and aptitude, there’s a significant amount of talent within our walls with the unique ability to meet our customers wherever they are in their ownership journey. That level of empathy and automotive passion is a core part of our success, and one our customers are proud to highlight as a key differentiator.
“The team at FCP Euro is absolutely fantastic! A great company run by true enthusiasts. Everyone I have dealt with has been the utmost help and a book of knowledge.” – Nathan S., Customer
“Everyone and every system makes mistakes from time to time and that’s okay. It’s how those situations are handled that make all the difference and FCP Euro handled this one like rock stars!” – Sean W., Customer
“They are knowledgeable car enthusiasts and that makes them a valuable resource of information. It’s almost a bonus that they sell quality parts…” – AJ C., Customer
- What’s one thing that makes the customer experience at FCP Euro unique?
A customer-driven mindset is at the core of our business and front of mind with our employees. We’re passionate about European vehicles—as our parking lot will show—and work on them ourselves. We can easily empathize with our customers and put ourselves in their shoes, whether it’s the products we chose to list, the DIY content we produce, how we design our site, or how our teams support and participate in local events. We’re driven by passionate and enthusiastic individuals every step of the way who are actively engaged in our communities and take ideas and feedback from our customers seriously. Our CEO embodies that same commitment, soliciting and responding personally to customer feedback and ensuring that our annual efforts and planning revolve around our customers’ voice. As our organization grows, we continue to keep our customers’ needs at the forefront of our decision-making.
- What are your top three measures of customer service success?
Trust. With every statement we make, we strive to meet and exceed expectations. There’s a consistent effort from all our internal teams to actively refine and iterate to improve upon the customer experience. Feedback from our customers is one of our most valuable insights, and those are held at the core of every decision we make. The trust our customers place in us is by far the most rewarding indicator of success.
Loyalty. 50% of our customers are repeat customers, driving 80% of orders. The average eCommerce repeat customer rate is around 30%. Our customers are our greatest advocates and our most helpful critics. As we continue to expand and evolve as an organization, we may not always get it right, but we will always make it right. We’re committed to our customers and appreciate the support they continue to provide. We’re proud to be an active participant in keeping vehicles and passion projects on the road, and our repeat customers are another important indicator of having built such strong relationships.
Advocacy. Nearly 25% of our new customers are referred by a friend. Our vision is to be the world’s most trusted resource for European vehicle ownership, maintenance, and repair, and we enjoy empowering customers through not only access to parts but also access to knowledge (DIYs, install videos, 3D diagrams, and more). These resources help drive that level of advocacy, along with our exceptional level of customer service and support. Word of mouth is a powerful tool in raising awareness, and we’re incredibly appreciative of our customers’ advocacy. We wouldn’t be here without them.
- Any team or person on the front line you’d like to shout out?
Over the past 10 years, our organization has grown from 25 employees to 250 employees. We have team members on-site and remote, but regardless of their department or location, there’s a tremendous diversity of talent within our walls. Their collective expertise and knowledge allow customers to make more informed decisions about the quality of their parts, their repairs and troubleshooting, or simply building confidence in taking that first step. Everyone on our team has played a critical role and shares in that recognition.
Our Customer Service and Pickup Center teams are an extension of our brand; they’re the face and representation of the hard work our organization puts in every day. We’ve made active efforts to connect the successes of our customers to the successes of our teams, and are incredibly proud of how we’ve been able to navigate our continued growth and the evolving environment over the last several years. The Stevie Award for Customer Service Team of the Year is shared by all, and we’re honored to receive that acknowledgment in 2023.
- What’s one **new** thing (idea, technology, trend) you’re keeping your eye on for 2023?
2023, like all years, presents significant opportunities for our teams and our business. Part of the discipline in maintaining responsible growth is knowing what challenges to tackle and when. While not necessarily a new idea, one of our core initiatives this year is continuing to better understand our customers, who they are, what they value, and further unifying a shared vision of our customer journey across all our teams. We’re looking to weave more customer-focused threads throughout our organization, ensuring every area of the business understands their impact and value to our customers. As we launch new facilities, expand our catalog offering, and grow our partnerships, we’re ensuring our work at all levels supports a singular focus: our customer.
- Is there a customer service story of lore at FCP Euro? We’d love to hear it!
About 10 years ago, an idea was pitched to allow customers to pick up their orders in person. Within 48 hours, that process had started, and FCP Euro’s first iteration of a Pickup Center was launched. It was a small desk with a single individual surrounded by manual processes, but our customers asked, we listened, and we’ve been evolving ever since. Our Pickup Center today has grown from $70K annually to over $7MM annually, and it has evolved from a single supply closet to a dedicated 10,000 square-foot Customer Experience Center, housing not only self-service lockers and customer orders, but also our marketing and creative services, our motorsports garage, and full production studio for YouTube video shoots. We’re able to showcase our projects and builds, providing people a tangible, interactive experience and even the opportunity to catch a tour of the facility. It’s become a place for our customers to connect with our brand and for us to connect with them.
With the world of eCommerce often an impersonal experience, we aim to balance the personal touch of putting a face with a name with newer technologies and efficiencies to ensure a more enduring and longer-lasting ownership experience. We’ve seen tremendous growth over the years, and we’d like to thank our customers for continuing to make the future exciting. Thank you!