Online shoppers can browse and buy conveniently from the comfort of their homes. But when consumers have questions or concerns during their online journeys, they must rely on social media, online chats and other resources to receive help. That is why it is imperative that multichannel and online-only retailers ensure quality customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Gilt Groupe, a luxury flash sale eTailer, has implemented Zendesk, a customer service software provider, to create a high-end, always-on customer experience. Since implementing the solution, Gilt Groupe has increased inquiry response times across channels, leading to a six-point boost in customer satisfaction scores, according to Crystal Caligiuri, VP of Customer Experience. Currently, Gilt Group has an 84% customer satisfaction rate, versus 78% in October 2012.
“Our customers have come to expect exceptional service from Gilt Groupe,” Caligiuri said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “As an e-Commerce business, customer service is the only ‘live’ interaction we have with our shoppers, so we need to be able to provide a helpful, quick experience. In fact, customer service is such a reflection on our brand that every single Gilt employee goes through extensive customer service training.”
Speeding Customer Service Response Times
With the flash sale business model, consumers only have a limited window of time to browse items and complete their purchases. If they experience an issue during their shopping visit, consumers expect service agents to identify, respond to and resolve problems quickly and efficiently. This need for fast action, coupled with the eTailer’s rapid growth, encouraged Gilt Groupe to invest in more robust customer service solutions.
In fact, customer care is an area Gilt Groupe “constantly invests in,” Caligiuri said. Since adopting Zendesk, the eTailer’s improved customer service processes and faster inquiry response times has led to a boost in shopper engagement and sentiment.
Today, 85% of all customer questions and concerns are addressed during the first contact, Caligiuri reported, versus 78% in October 2012. In addition, the average ticket resolution time now is less than 24 hours.
“The number one driver of customer satisfaction is speed of response,” Caligiuri said. “Zendesk allows us to look at individual ticket response times and really see where improvements have, and need to be, made.”
A Holistic View Of Customer Inquiries
Leveraging Zendesk, the Gilt Groupe team keeps a constant pulse on customer questions and comments across communication touch points — from email to social media. Caligiuri noted that the ability to capture and track all customer interactions has helped “make the shopping experience as seamless as possible for customers.”
Twitter and Facebook integrations available on the Zendesk platform enable representatives to turn tweets, wall posts and private messages into customer service tickets. Inquiries then are aggregated into a central platform with other questions and requests, so team members can respond in a more time efficient manner.
Another key benefit of the Zendesk platform, noted Caligiuri, is the ability to organize service inquiries by “support cases,” rather than by series of disparate emails. For example, Zendesk “allows us to keep conversations in a single place, empowering agents to comment on related tickets.” This allows representatives to have “full background on an inquiry when they are responding, which helps ensure they’re giving customers the answers they need.
Gilt Groupe also empowers consumers to find answers to their questions via a “frequently asked questions” tab on the web site. With this option, consumers have instant access to common questions, and can even type their own questions to find answers.
Customer feedback is solicited and generated through satisfaction surveys and industry benchmark data tools available through Zendesk. This allows team members to get a complete view of shopper perceptions and opinions. Data generated from the surveys also empower the service team to see how Gilt Groupe measures up against competitors, as well as tackle any issues quickly and seamlessly.