T E S T I M O N I A L   |  P E T E R   H A H N

Perfect service

for top quality fashion

Fashion mail order company Peter Hahn relies on
Sematell’s ReplyOne solution for its customer service.

Peter Hahn stands for the highest quality and exclusive brands – a recipe for success that has worked for more than 50 years for the multi-channel company that offers high-end fashion via catalog, online shop and retail stores in ten European countries.  Headquartered in Winterbach near Stuttgart, the company meanwhile has a workforce of around 1,000 employees.


The company’s customer service is a reflection of the premium and highly individual fashion it offers. Around 150 Peter Hahn employees are currently involved in managing orders and service inquiries. A large part of the inquiries come in by telephone, and the volume has remained consistently high for years. By contrast, the proportion of written inquiries, above all via e-mail, has increased significantly in recent years.


Sharp increase in e-mail volumes

To cover this increase the company has opted for a specialized software solution for its customer service since 2007: ReplyOne from Sematell. “Back in 2007, when we started to use the solution we got around 3,000 e-mails a month. Processing these emails manually with a regular e-mail program was not a problem. The volume then started to rise steadily, and we now receive around 20,000 e-mails a month,” says Bettina Gnad, head of the Customer Service Department at Peter Hahn. “Most of them are genuine service processes. However, sometimes it’s an e-mail with a simple thank you as a response to shipping confirmation, for instance.”  


Back in 2007 the response management software was still called MailMinder. According to Bettina Gnad, however, at the time it was considered the “best in class” of the service software products in the market, which perfectly suited the company’s quality aspiration. “We took a look at the various flagship installations and naturally screened the competition and, after an initial workshop, we opted for ReplyOne. We found the solution. absolutely compelling, also in comparison with other software platforms,” she comments.

“We took a look at the various flagship

installations and naturally screened the

competition and, after an initial workshop,

we opted for ReplyOne.”

Automated routing, transparent reporting and high user compatibility

Above all, automated routing and the extensive reporting options were key arguments for the service expert in selecting the solution. Furthermore, in terms of internal quality assurance, having quality-checked response templates available and being able to access the history of all transactions at any time was and still is extremely important. Following the initial workshop, ReplyOne was installed at Peter Hahn within a few weeks. Bettina Gnad particularly appreciates the solution’s user friendliness. 


“The induction process couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Even service employees who have been with us for years and who had no experience of such solutions quickly found their way around the solution. Naturally, quick induction into the system was also a help when we needed to add to the service team.”

 “The induction process couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Even service

employees who have been with us for years and who had no experience of such solutions

quickly found their way around the solution.” 

High integration capabilities  

Bettina Gnad sees another advantage in the good integration capabilities of ReplyOne. “For instance, we needed to find a solution to handling hand-written letters,” the department head said. “We still have quite a few customers today who send letters by surface mail that we naturally want to answer and then archive in the system using ReplyOne.” The solution was quickly found:  Hand-written letters and faxes are scanned, sent to ReplyOne and appear as an image on the screen of the customer adviser. The remaining postal correspondence is also scanned, but then processed by an integrated text recognition software, and automatically sent to the customer adviser as text for further processing. “Today, the scanning of post using text recognition is almost a matter of course. At the time, we were certainly among the pioneers who also integrated analog inquiries by letter and fax into the digital customer service process,” Bettina Gnad explains. Subsequently, the online shop system with formula fields for making contact was, for example, also linked to ReplyOne. In addition, there are plans for handling article ratings this way as well.

More communication channels, more languages

“Just under ten years ago we started with e-mail as the only communication channel exclusively with German content.  New communication channels, such as letters and faxes, were gradually added. We have been working with ReplyOne in three languages, specifically German, French and Dutch, for almost two years,” Bettina Gnad explains. The other Peter Hahn departments that do not belong to customer service have also been linked up. The solution has always grown with us – with new functionalities and new possibilities. In addition, the Sematell team has always responded quickly to individual requirements. 


The next step the service expert says will be to work with other countries and languages. With ReplyOne, there is nothing that stands in the way of expanding into other countries. The omni-channel software can process customer service inquiries in more than 40 languages.


Bettina Gnad has already set her sights on the next add-ons. “Our customers are engaging all the channels – from the telephone, the hand-written letter and email right through to social media. It’s not something that can even be attributed to a certain age group. We have a 90 year old regular customer who always orders online, for instance. We also receive an increasing number of inquiries from customers via social networks. We are clear about the need to offer perfect service that also encompasses other communication channels, and we also know that ReplyOne offers this functionality.   

“We have become much more efficient

and have a very good overview of the time,

number and type of inquiries based on statistics

in the context of the reporting functionality.”

Greater efficiency and more transparency


In any case, Bettina Gnad’s conclusion from first-hand experience of using ReplyOne in Peter Hahn’s customer service is positive: “We have become much more efficient and have a very good overview of the time, number and type of inquiries based on statistics in the context of the reporting functionality. This is indispensable for precise management and control! We will certainly be able to implement our plans to expand our customer service with ReplyOne. Two things at Sematell are perfect: the tool as well as the team. This is why our company would choose ReplyOne again today.”