Reducing post-purchase friction is important for any retailer, but the stakes are even higher for subscription-based companies that need to keep abandonment rates at a minimum. Dia&Co, a plus-size apparel subscription retailer, has risen to the challenge by offering best-in-class customer service that ensures the brand understands and meets the specific needs of every customer.
Dia&Co works with UJET, a voice and chat customer service solution provider, to offer a seamless customer service experience over the phone as well as through its web and mobile sites. The program has helped the retailer maintain customer satisfaction scores in the 90s, at a cost 28% lower than its previous system.
The retailer prioritizes making it easy for shoppers to contact customer support “where and how she wants,” to help the company field feedback and take any necessary actions, according to Lauren Collins, Senior Manager of Customer Experience at Dia&Co. This includes a focus on live customer service, which creates a connection between the company and its customers that automated systems can’t match.
"We’ve always felt strongly that speaking to our customers live is really important,” said Collins in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We do chat as well, which is also great, but I think specifically for the type of service we're trying to offer it's really hard to understand someone's tone and their intention over an email or chat — but you really can connect with someone on the phone.”
However, calling Dia&Co doesn’t restrict shoppers to over-the-phone assistance. The UJET platform lets the customer and the representative share SMS messages during the call, to handle tasks such as providing links to requested forms or sending pictures of damaged orders. This capability lets phone calls combine the convenience of technology with the personalized assistance of a live operator.
The result is lower wait times. While a phone representative can only handle one person at a time, they are able to handle most issues within a few minutes. In contrast, a customer may have to wait more than an hour for an email query to work its way through the queue.
Data Directs Customers To Agents With The Right Expertise
The new system benefits Dia&Co employees as well. Shoppers can now use a menu to select the general reason for their call, which helps representatives prepare and lets the retailer direct calls to the most qualified agent available.
Dia&Co also is starting to dabble in capabilities that harness data to further customize the experience, but without alerting the shopper. One path being explored is using customer behavior data to sort shoppers into categories like VIP, loyal or high risk, then sending them to agents who specialize in dealing with their specific needs — whether by keeping a faltering shopper with the brand or ensuring that a regular customer feels rewarded for their continued loyalty.
"If I'm a customer and I'm calling to cancel, and I go through the queue that says I'm calling about managing my account and my box, the agent is prepped that this could be a call about a cancellation,” said Collins. “Then we put the people who are just really excellent at that in that queue. So when someone answers the phone, they are the best person to be talking to the customer about whether we can do anything to keep them on. They can really just make sure that either the customer ends up canceling but they leave happy — or, that we're able to kind of turn things around and try again with them. It's going to be a better outcome for the customer, and hopefully for us as well.”