Launched in 2007, Los Angeles-based HauteLook sells clothing and accessories for women, men, and children, as well as home furnishings, beauty products, and high-end travel packages. A quickly growing company in the highly competitive flash retail market, HauteLook, acquired by Nordstrom in March 2011, partners with brands to create 48-hour sale events, offering as much as a 75 percent discount. The company also recently launched Sole Society, a monthly shoe membership site. But before RightNow, HauteLook’s Member Care organization was under intense pressure to not only respond to members quickly and efficiently, but to create an experience that would stand out from the crowd.
Prior to implementing RightNow, HauteLook was receiving an average of 10,000 phone and email inquiries each month from its members—and that number was growing exponentially every quarter. Customers often brought a sense of urgency and excitement when contacting HauteLook because they have a limited amount of time to make a purchase, and so expected to get quick answers to their questions. But with HauteLook’s in-house customer support tool, Member Care Associates had no standardized, centralized way to address incidents or log information for future reference. This created inefficiencies for agents when they needed to locate information to help members. Another top priority for HauteLook was to provide its members with a more unique, personalized experience that would drive ongoing brand advocacy and loyalty.
In early 2010, HauteLook turned to RightNow to revamp its contact center and provide members with exceptional customer experiences. With RightNow CX, HauteLook agents quickly and consistently respond to member questions and concerns through their channel of choice, be it via phone, email, or live chat. Now, approximately 40 agents at HauteLook use the RightNow contact center solution to manage more than 40,000 member interactions per month (already a 20 percent increase over late last year). RightNow is also integrated with HauteLook’s e-commerce system to provide associates with a 360-degree view of each member, including order and support history, making sure that customers get the most personalized experience possible. As a result, HauteLook can easily handle multi-channel member interactions from a single point of reference, and track, assign, and manage requests from initial contact through resolution.
“At HauteLook, referral business is critical to our success. If our members have a great customer experience, they will tell their friends about us. We want to be known as a fun place to shop that really understands the customer service needs of our members. The first step was to connect our member history with a common agent desktop so that the right answer is always there, wherever our members happen to be,” states Chris Purpura, HauteLook’s director of member care.
In late 2010, HauteLook introduced RightNow Chat to be able to offer expert advice when members need it. Member Care Associates, many with fashion institute experience, use chat to provide a more personalized, insightful shopping experience, as well as guide and reassure shoppers when they are purchasing big ticket items online. For example, more than 80 percent of members chat with an agent before booking a travel package. Overall, 13.5 percent of chat sessions are converted into sales, with the number of sessions steadily growing since chat was introduced. Another key benefit of chat is that agents can manage up to four chat sessions simultaneously (vs. only one phone call), which has significantly improved contact center efficiency.
“Our members are excited to be on our site every day shopping for bargains, and we want to capitalize on that excitement by providing them support without having to disengage from HauteLook,” states Purpura. “Live chat allows members to get a great customer experience whenever they need it from one of our fashion experts, whether they have questions about sizes and colors, or even if they just want another opinion from a real person.”
HauteLook also needed the ability to scale the use of their customer experience solution by agents up or down to accommodate peaks in site traffic. Another one of the many benefits of RightNow is that it is cloud-based, allowing the solution to expand or contract to meet HauteLook’s business requirements at any given time, rather than being sized to maximum volumes. As such, HauteLook is able to scale agent headcount and empower at-home agents to accommodate top sale events without increasing internal IT infrastructure costs. This is increasingly important to retailers like HauteLook, who get significantly higher member engagement whenever they offer popular brands at deeply discounted prices.
“At HauteLook, our busiest times are not just seasonal. We need our member experience solution to help us be nimble and quickly respond to changing business dynamics. RightNow gives us a flexible and efficient solution that can scale up or down to keep step with our most popular sale events, while providing a consistent experience for our members,” states Stuart Richman, CIO at HauteLook.
HauteLook is also utilizing RightNow’s feedback management solution to respond to its members and guide future business decisions. With RightNow, customer feedback can be captured in any channel, and then easily shared across the organization and with brand partners to shape and drive future sales opportunities. HauteLook has a 20 percent completion rate on all surveys, demonstrating how highly engaged its members are. This powerful, direct customer insight also gives a growing organization like HauteLook the opportunity to establish best practices, improve processes, and circumvent problems before they occur.
In the future, HauteLook plans to introduce new sub-brands to the market to keep pace with its customers’ needs and interests. With RightNow, the company can rest assured that it can streamline the delivery and maintenance of additional customer support sites from a single application to maintain a consistent customer experience. Other projects include deepening the level of support HauteLook provides over social media.
Together with RightNow, HauteLook provides excellent experiences that are available from any number of channels and also seamlessly connected. All of this helps reduce contact center calls, influence sales, and increase customer satisfaction—and keeps HauteLook members coming back for more.