European Car Company Support Costs

Part
01
of two
Part
01

European Car Company Support Costs

After thorough research, we found that all market research reports for European corporate car leasing companies for both recent and previous years are locked behind hfty paywalls. We were able to identify the top five vendors in the European vehicle leasing market, however. Below we will elaborate on our research methodology and provide links to findings that may yet be beneficial.

Methodology

We attempted to locate relevant data by focusing in on subsections of the European vehicle leasing market. For example, our first inquiries were specific to recent spending on customer service for Europe as a whole, and then for regions within Europe. At this stage, however, we encountered paywalls when attempting to access the data. On subsequent searches, we attempted to broaden the scope to older data and finally to global data. Each research report required payment to be viewed. Free sources, on the other hand, were not credible and could not be used for triangulation.

The next step was to look at recent annual reports from specific European vendors. There were no insights from these reports specifically addressing spending on customer support. Rather, it was addressed as an operational expense, though there was no percentage value indicating what portion of those expenses customer support comprised. For instance, ALD Automotive disclosed their annual operational expenses for 2017 to include IT and digital innovations, professional fees, staff expenses, and general and maintenance costs. It is difficult to know where customer support falls in this breakdown, but the best we can hypothesize is inside of the 'other' category, which is 19%. In total, they reported to have spent 598 million EUR total, of which something under 19% is customer support spend, this means under 113.92 million EUR was spent in this area. ALD's total sales revenue was 1332.8 million EUR, attributing then around 8.5% maximum spend on customer support.

Finally, we looked to industry journals and consulting industry reports to find a figure or data that would allow us to triangulate a figure, but again, this information did not exist in the public domain.

Therefore, we concluded that this information is not publicly available likely to due to the fact that it is not widely reported, so any pre-compiled information either does not exist or is only behind significant paywalls. While we did find that large corporate car leasing companies like ALD spend a maximum 8.5% of their revenue on 'other' administrative expenses, we cannot speculate further what percentage of this is exactly customer service.

Therefore, while potentially a triangulation could be made using the above figures, we were equally unable to pinpoint a total market size for the European corporate car leasing market, and also considered the 8.5% figure to be too tentative to draw reasonable conclusions.

Potentially helpful findings

In our research we identified the top five vendors in the European vehicle leasing market to be ALD Automotive, Arval, Deutsche Leasing, LeasePlan and Natixis Lease. It may help to make inquiries into these specific companies for information regarding annual expenses in this market. Moreover, within this group ALD Automotive and Arval have their annual reports available for free, but as mentioned before they lack any direct reference to customer spending.

As a measure of last resort, the following three paid-reports contain industry data on the European vehicle leasing market. These possibly contain information detailing to spending on customer support.



Conclusion

Due to the prevalence of paywalls, we were unable to find pre-compiled data or triangulate data on customer support spending within the European vehicle leasing market. Moreover, the lack of free, credible sources further impeded our analysis. Thus, the only reliable sources come in the form of available annual reports and paid, industry research.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

European Corporate Car Leasing Self Service Savings

Overall, it was not possible to estimate the possible cost savings for European corporate car leasing companies if they offer self-service support features. As previous research concluded that data was not available to calculate the total cost to these companies, therefore it was not possible to calculate potential savings in dollar value. In addition, there is limited data available on the topic of savings specific to these companies, I believe that this is because the data is yet to be collected. However, I was able to find that in general self-service can reduce support costs by up to 25% and that in comparison to a call center, chatbots can reduce costs by 56%.

METHODOLOGY

Due to the fact that this research relies on data from the previous research into what European corporate car leasing companies spend on customer support, which concluded that data was unavailable, there are no totals to work on to the possible cost savings for these companies if they offer self-service support features. Therefore, it is not possible for me to calculate specific possible savings in dollar value, as we do not know what they are spending, to begin with.

Because of this, I have researched what sort of percentage self-service support features may offer to European corporate car companies. I looked for case studies and data specific to companies such as Alphabet, Lease Plan, Arval and others, but unfortunately, nothing was available. Next, I searched through reports on the European corporate car lease industry, through online articles and news stories and statistics databases for the necessary information. However, again I found that data specific to European car corporate car leasing companies was not available. I believe that this is because the area is very specific, and the data is yet to be collected.

So, next, I expanded my search in order to find some useful information. I looked for both global information relating to corporate car leasing companies, and for information relating to European companies in general. Again, data on this specific question was fairly scarce, I believe that data on the savings of implementing self-service support features to these exact companies in this particular region has yet to be collected. Therefore, I finally looked for global data on how much self-service support features can save companies in general.

USEFUL FINDINGS

In general, the average cost of a live service interaction (phone, e-mail, or webchat) is more than $7 for a B2C company, for a B2B company it's as much as $13. A study by Forrester Research and Oracle confirms these figures, stating that the average cost overall is around $11 per phone call. Self-service is one way of dramatically cutting these costs.

According to the experts at Gartner, setting up self-service can reduce support costs by up to 25%. Another research study found that in comparison to the cost of running a call center, a digital chat can reduce costs by 56%. In addition, findings from Juniper Research have shown that the self-service option of chatbots is expected to cut business costs by over $8 billion per year by 2022.

As well as finding data on how self-service can cut costs, I have also found information on what consumers' opinions are of self-service options. Recent research shows that the majority of customers prefer self-service methods, with 67% of consumers claiming to prefer self-service to phone calls. In addition, 70% of customers now expect a company’s website to include a self-service application.

POSSIBLE CONTINUED RESEARCH

In understanding what types of information are and are not publicly available on this topic, I’ve suggested a few other routes you may be interested in researching. For example, you may wish to follow up on the data that I found regarding consumers' opinions and expectations regarding self-service support features.

CONCLUSION

To sum up, I have found that there is no data available to estimate the possible cost savings for these companies if they offer self-service support features. This is because the previous research was unable to calculate total support costs and because data on this specific area is very limited. I was however able to find that self-service can reduce support costs by up to 25%, and that in comparison to a call center, chat bots can reduce costs by 56%.
Sources
Sources