HIRMER internationalization process key insights by Salesupply

August 31, 2022 by
Frank Calviño

By Salesupply - The traditional Munich retailer HIRMER is Germany's largest specialist for men's clothing. One of its retail formulas is Hirmer GROSSE GRÖSSEN (BIG & TALL), the expert in plus size men's wear. Since 2008 Hirmer BIG & TALL is also active with its e-commerce store in Germany and Austria. In the same year, the company started its online expansion into Poland and the Czech Republic with the "Hirmer BIG & TALL" brand. HIRMER has worked with Salesupply for its e-commerce customer service from the start.

In Germany, HIRMER is a well-established name when it comes to upmarket men's fashion. The situation is different in the foreign markets of Great Britain, Poland, and the Czech Republic: HIRMER was a kind of start-up there when it entered the online market. "It was clear to us that as a medium-sized German company you couldn't just go full throttle abroad," says Christian Stern, Head of E-Commerce at HIRMER. For that reason, the company decided that it should look for a suitable service provider for support in the respective national languages. "We asked various suppliers and noted that as a new entrant into the foreign markets, we were too small for some of them. For Salesupply that was not an issue. Salesupply offered to support our entry with shared customer service agents and then scale up the scope of the collaboration according to to need. That convinced us."

Salesupply offers practical insights into foreign markets

Since then, "Hirmer GROSSE GRÖSSEN" has grown dynamically in all three foreign markets and is now supported by customer service agents who work exclusively for Hirmer. "Salesupply has grown along with us," explains Stern. Without exception, the call center agents are native speakers, so the entire first-level support of "Hirmer BIG & TALL" in Great Britain, Poland, and the Czech Republic is provided by Salesupply.
"Salesupply has also supported our internationalization with its experience in cross-border e-commerce", the e-commerce manager reports. There are important specific details for each country, from the most commonly-used payment process to the distinguishing characteristics and needs of the customers. "Salesupply provided us with in-depth information and tips that were of great help in adapting to the respective market."

Efficient workflows enable high-quality advice

Just as in the home German market, the need for advice from the customers of "Hirmer BIG & TALL" is also high abroad. "We operate in a niche - and that is in the middle to the high-end sector. Experience has shown that this means that customers communicate with us a lot and frequently as part of their shopping experience," says Stern. That's why it was particularly important for HIRMER that the call center can guarantee a high quality of advice. In order to achieve this, HIRMER worked with them to develop an FAQ catalog as a knowledge base for the call center agents. This is continuously expanded, especially in exchange with the second-level support team from HIRMER in Germany. "We succeeded in establishing a regular exchange of information between our employees at home and the Salesupply teams in the foreign markets", reports Stern

HIRMER now also relies on Salesupply in Germany

As the e-commerce section manager explains, HIRMER is very happy with the quality of advice and the short wait times guaranteed by the call centers. "The positive thing is not only how well the scaling worked, but also that we got more of our own agents with increasing volumes and were, therefore, able to increase the quality of the advice again." The positive experiences with Salesupply have led to HIRMER also working together with the company in online customer service in Germany. Overflows in peak times but also customer inquiries during weekends or in the evening hours are now handled by German Salesupply employees. "We can see from the positive Trusted-Shops ratings and our online reputation service provider that the quality of the call center advice in Germany has reached a very high level," reports Stern.

The head of e-commerce finds Salesupply's good responsiveness particularly noteworthy when it comes to solving short-term problems. "In such cases, Salesupply offers pleasantly short lines. As a result, problems are reacted to very quickly and a solution is quickly implemented in the interests of the customer."

Recommendations for retailers in all sectors

"I would definitely recommend Salesupply to other retailers," explains Christian Stern. Salesupply offers itself as a competent customer support service provider not only for medium-sized companies but also for smaller dealers. "Fashion is a retail segment that requires a lot of advice and is therefore quite demanding when it comes to outsourcing customer service. The good experiences we have made suggest that Salesupply is also very suitable for dealers from all other industries. I would particularly recommend outsourcing customer support to Salesupply in case of internationalization, but also for processing overflows in peak seasons."

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