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Customer Care in a Flash
While most retail businesses experience
“We are constantly seeking to provide the best customer experience for our members and we expect the platform we use to be cutting edge and afford us the opportunity to do that. That’s why we chose RightNow to be our customer relationship partner.” — Jason Faria, Senior Manager of Customer Service, ideeliCustomer Care in a Flash
While most retail businesses experience sales throughout the day, ideeli, a member-only online shopping community, sees the majority of its volume in a two-hour window. One huge challenge, then, is how to staff for heavy volume in this type of flash retail environment, and ideeli isn’t satisfied with providing just average customer care. The company, an independently owned entity, is striving to be #1 in what is already a billion-dollar-a-year industry as well as to be a leader in the entire online retail marketplace. To accomplish such lofty goals, the leaders at ideeli understand they need to provide members with exactly what they are looking for, at the best value, and be on the cutting edge of technology.
“Our rapid growth and inclusion in the Internet Retailer Hot 100 list is due to an unwavering commitment to offering personalized, online customer experiences. With RightNow, we have been able to deliver exceptional multi-channel experiences that have dramatically grown our business,” explains Jason Faria, ideeli’s senior manager of customer service. “We have seen an increase in levels of service without corresponding cost increases. These key differentiators will help us continue to offer members the most enhanced experience possible.”
Before implementing RightNow, ideeli had a homegrown ticketing system tied to email for customer service. The company’s dramatic growth soon made it clear that the system had met its limits. ideeli was attracted to RightNow for the agent desktop, citing ease of use and easy implementation as big factors. The RightNow agent desktop ensures ideeli agents can deliver personalized, consistent customer experiences across all channels from email to chat to phone.
What’s more, RightNow’s cloud model allows ideeli agents access to the same solution whether they working at home or from an ideeli contact center. Having the flexibility to hire agents from across the country also empowers ideeli to find the best people for the job, without being limited by contact center geography. Having home-based agents also reduces overhead and increases job satisfaction which leads to increased retention.
With RightNow web self-service, members can easily find the information they need on ideeli’s support site without agent help, while RightNow SmartAssistant suggests answers to member questions to deflect email inquiries. “SmartAssistant deflects several hundred inquiries every week,” Faria explains. “That essentially means it is an agent on its own.”
To create a seamless shopping and customer care experience, RightNow integrated with ideeli’s other backend systems. Finance, ERP, payment processing, ideeli’s proprietary customer database, and warehouse logistics systems, as well as their accounting system are all accessible through the agent desktop. This integration gives agents a holistic view within RightNow of each customer’s interactions and purchases, enabling the most informed customer engagements.
ideeli was quick to recognize that the most common reason for customers to contact them was to get additional information on a product, which meant a member was ready to make a purchase.
To provide members immediate customer service, ideeli has deployed RightNow Chat. With live chat, agents can now easily respond to customer’s online product inquires within seconds. In the first week after launching chat, ideeli saw a 35% utilization rate. Agents are consistently able to respond to initial inquiries within 15 to 20 seconds and response from members has been so overwhelmingly positive, the company is currently adding chat to the product pages and hopes to have it on every page eventually.
Since their most recent upgrade, ideeli saw a nice shift in volume from email to chat. While chat used to account for one in every four interactions, chat is now up to one in every two interactions with emails numbers dropping. As the company expands chat to other web pages and additional points of interaction with members, ideeli believes chat will become the primary communication tool for its members. With chat helping ideeli provide an almost instant response to members, ideeli has seen an increase in their Net Promoter Score. Moreover, agents are able to serve multiple members concurrently, driving better contact center efficiency.
ideeli has also implemented co-browse for an ultra-personal, assisted shopping experience. Co-browse enables ideeli agents to directly view member’s online shopping pages to assist them through purchases, find the right product window, or quickly rectify a simple purchase error message. Co-browse, as well as chat, also gives ideeli agents the opportunity to suggest matching items or accessories that drive sales through increased basket size and conversion. “Co-browse is a wonderful tool, especially to increase conversion. It’s been fantastic for us,” adds Faria.
ideeli recognizes that ideas for some of its best and most innovative features have come from its members. With RightNow Feedback, ideeli can take their voice of the customer initiatives further by capturing member feedback through surveys so the company’s loyalty team always understands what additional services and features members are seeking. “We offer an all-day shipping option that none of our competitors offer,” Faria explains. “That was an idea that came from a customer. The feedback is fantastic.”
The analytics solution provides the organization with an intimate look at how they are performing in customer care. “Customer service is very integrated into the ideeli brand,” Sgro explains. “Everyone is responsible for caring for our members.” To further this goal, metrics such as response rates, surveys results, Net Promoter Score are regularly reported to ideeli’s executive team to help shape company strategy.
ideeli is an invitation-only shopping community with daily online events to provide members with the ideal shopping experience. At ideeli, customers have privileged access to the most sought-after brands and products with offerings in apparel, accessories, home, shoes, kids, travel, and lifestyle. ideeli’s commitment to extending white glove online service to its members has resulted in phenomenal growth, with membership more than tripling between January 2010 and April 2011. The company now has over 4 million members across the United States.