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SSG Quickly Exceeds Expectations for Crate & Barrel


Crate & Barrel, with over 100 stores and franchise partners in 9 countries, was looking to build brand loyalty by providing excellent customer experience when it partnered with Support Services Group to carry out the brand’s vision of helping people love how they live in moments that matter.  

SSG’s leadership team was confident the partnership would thrive because both companies wanted the same thing – a customer care team that would deliver exceptional service on every interaction.  

Support Services Group CEO Bryan Gross entrusted the launch to President and COO Marcy Payne and Lori Merritt, SVP of Client Services. Payne offered executive sponsorship and guidance to Merritt, SSG’s retail expert, who had previously built Customer Experience teams for Michael Kors, Coach, and Stuart Weitzman, among others.  

Circumstance Faced 

Crate&Barrel wasn’t satisfied with the customer experience being delivered in 2022. An outsourced team wasn’t living up to brand quality standards and the domestic labor market was getting more challenging every month, making it difficult to staff its internal team.  

Crate & Barrel sought a partner with unsurpassed retail expertise that would delight customers by assembling a team of brand ambassadors who were well trained, well coached and proud to carry out the brand vision of helping people love how they live in moments that matter.  


SSG executed on a proven formula for retail success by listening intently to the client, then delivering exactly what they wanted.  


Launched simultaneously in Mexico (100 FTE) and Panama (50 FTE) in Q2 of 2022 

  • Strict screening and interview process aligned with C&B Brand Ambassador profile  
  • Training included product immersion, role playing and operational support from C&B 

Initial Result  

SSG was well on its way to meeting all KPIs in short order with one exception – the transfer rate was over 30%. Brands partner with BPOs to make customers happy, not transfer them back to the brand’s team. Merritt and her team developed an action plan that delivered results.   

Action Items 

  • Immediately enacted a policy to that required agents to consult internal SSG leadership prior to making a transfer 
  • Conducted a deep dive into the reasons behind transfers 
  • Worked with Crate & Barrel to build out new training modules  
  • Built out huddle topics to educate our front-line agents on how to handle these interactions without the need to transfer to the client.  

Results After 90 days 

  • Transfer rate of 13% on a goal of 15% (lower is better) 
  • Combined CSAT of 93% on a goal of 80% 
  • Combined Call pers Hour of 5.3 on a goal of 4.5 
  • Quality of 92% on a goal of 90% 

Go Forward   

  • The incumbent BPO was discontinued 
  • Expected growth to 600 FTE, plus seasonal support 

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