SSG inherited this marquee client through acquisition and the program was not running optimally. The existing team had issues with quality, client satisfaction, and first call resolution. The prevailing sentiment was that we had to be bold and decisive, or the client would look elsewhere soon.
Phase 1 – Stabilization
Staffing for this world-renowned luxury fashion brand was based out of two locations. The US center was more stable and while some opportunities existed, the larger issue was with our Near Shore center, so it made the most sense to focus our immediate attention on the Dominican Republic, then regroup and focus on refining other processes.
After closely evaluating the staff and location in Santiago, Dominican Republic, we retained 16 of the 40 agents, then relocated the program to leased space at a new call center. We then immersed the team in the SSG way and revamped just about every process with the goal of maintaining quality, driving CSAT and delivering solid KPI’s across-the-board.
In the span of just a few weeks, our team successfully moved to a new location, relocated tenured agents, completely revamped our processes, set forth new standards for performance management and hired 14 more agents to ensure proper staffing.
From that point forward, we held our team to the same high standards set during the transition. We hired to a much higher agent profile and demanded consistent performance at all levels. Only top employees made the cut. If you did not know fashion and understand how to satisfy highly discerning customers, you were not suitable for the client’s program.
- Culture was transformed by setting high expectations and treating employees like family
- Agent Satisfaction increased
- Sales conversions increased 62%
- First Call Resolution increased from 85 to 91%
- Customer Satisfaction climbed from 3.75 to 4.4 on a 5-point scale
- The culture overhaul helped SSG win 3 new clients
- With momentum rolling and confidence high, SSG built out a new call center with 200 workstations
- Our presence in the DR has grown to include a corporate Quality Department, WFM, Finance and IT support team
Phase 2 – Continual Process Improvement
SSG Agents are Style Consultants for the client, and as such, must be a seamless extension of the brand’s retail experience. Agents must be able convey brand culture, exude confidence, and drive high customer satisfaction. Interactions should come across as effortless, not scripted and shortcomings are revealed in negative Customer Feedback Surveys.
To help Style Consultants reach brand standards, SSG placed high urgency on improving the customer feedback loop though our Quality Assurance process. We set out to turn a negative feedback survey into a learning experience for our agents. When a customer reports a negative experience, the agent must learn from it while the interaction is still fresh. With that in mind, SSG developed reporting that immediately alerts our QA team when a customer leaves negative feedback. Auto fails on the question of “Desire to Help” are also immediately reviewed and coached. Our leadership team then reaches back out to the customer to drive proper resolution and confirm they are satisfied with the outcome.
The process improvement has reaped benefits on many fronts.
- Individual agent opportunities are resolved faster.
- System issues that drive customer dissatisfaction bubble up quicker.
- Gaps in knowledge base or training are closed more efficiently.
- SSG developed a recognition program for strong survey results.
- Survey results have been integrated into SSG’s incentive plan.
Phase 3 – IVR Technology Infusion
A well-scripted IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system offers intelligent call routing, so customers always get the best available agent. The world-renowned luxury fashion brand client believes that every stop along the Customer Experience Journey, even the IVR, must be e an extension of the brand’s image, voice, and persona. That belief was the impetus for the thoughtful design of the IVR call flow. SSG and the client wanted to get the caller to the right person in the shortest possible time, while using their time in the IVR as an opportunity to enrich the brand experience. Great lengths were taken to choose the perfect talent to be the voice of the IVR. Even the background music is from the same playlist that streams in retail locations. The IVR needed to embody client’s brand energy from beginning to end. We would accept nothing less.
As with many brick-and-mortar retailers, client’s call center sees a surge in sales volume during promotional periods. This is a great opportunity to build rapport with customers and introduce additional products that may compliment the original purchase. However, unlike storefronts, SSG saw a spike in unproductive WISMO (Where Is My Order?) call volume long after promotions had ended. Some 40% of calls were delivery status updates, and while our highly-skilled Style Consultants were happy to help, they were essentially repeating information that was already dispensed in order confirmation emails.
The solution was to leverage the existing IVR capabilities and allow callers with WISMO inquiries to self-serve without speaking to a Style Consultant. SSG and the client collaborated on a solution that allows the caller to speak their order number, and after a short verification, the IVR reads back the order status. Callers are also be able to get the tracking numbers for up to 3 items. Any orders with more than 3 items would be directed to a Style Consultant for White Glove support. To ensure a consistent brand experience, we selected an automated attendant whose voice sounded like our carefully curated IVR voice talent.
Two months after launching our WISMO IVR service, the results were less than spectacular. Some 11% of callers opted to navigate the WISMO IVR application. And only about 33% of those callers got the information they needed and terminated the call in the IVR. The remaining 67% still opted to speak with a Style Consultant. Our original intention of allowing customers to self-serve via IVR and reduce calls to live agents was not entirely successful.
A post-launch audit uncovered opportunities for improvement. With a few tweaks, we were confident we would be able to increase the success rate of terminating in the IVR and reduce the amount of calls being transferred to a Style Consultant. Some of the changes we implemented included:
- Refined voice recognition to easily differentiate between the caller accents.
- Increased the number of items trackable within the IVR from 3 to 5, avoiding unwanted transfers.
- Provided callers with the option of using the touch pad of a mobile phone to enter an order number.
After making these modifications, we saw significant improvement:
- Self-help resolution increased from 33% to 55%.
- Callers requesting a live agent dropped from 67% to 45%.
- The WISMO application freed up Style Consultants for more high-touch interactions.