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Shop Direct unveils new customer closeness centre

May '19
Pic: Shop Direct
Pic: Shop Direct
Shop Direct, the UK’s largest integrated pureplay digital retailer and financial services provider, has unveiled a new customer closeness centre to create an ideal environment for customer service innovation. The centre is equipped with an open plan agile zone including collaborative meeting spaces, and a customer zone with a contact centre.

The centre at the Liverpool head office comprises a team of 20 frontline advisors who have been handed over the power to deliver customer service innovation.

Members of the new customer closeness team work in four week cycles, using agile principles and methodology to deliver rapid change. The first two weeks are spent dealing directly with customer queries via the phone and web chat to identify improvement opportunities. The insight and data gathered are used to re-write processes and test new technology in the second two weeks.

The head office location underlines the business’ aim to increase the importance of customer service and bring colleagues even closer to the customer, including opportunities for all departments to listen to calls and influence how innovation is prioritised. Monthly external open days, attended by major retailers and other consumer brands, open the centre up as an example of best practice in advancing customer service.

Innovation is at the core of the team’s approach, supporting Shop Direct’s plans to continue enhancing its digital customer service capability. In 2018, almost 30 per cent of customer contact came via digital channels, including the AI-powered Very Assistant chatbot, webchat and social media.

New technology shaped by the team includes an online tool to help specific issues be resolved within a single call by following a ‘decision tree’ and allow instant news alerts to be shared with all 1,500 customer service colleagues. The team has also completely redesigned the process behind some key customer experiences such as offline sales and lost goods.

Phil Hackney, group operations director at Shop Direct, said: “This new head office team and facility underlines our mission to create a frictionless and increasingly digital customer service experience to complement the seamless online journey customers already have when shopping on Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com. Who better to identify opportunities for customer service improvement than our existing frontline advisors?”

Mark Billingham, customer service director at Shop Direct, added: “We want to lead the way for customer service innovation and create the empowered frontline colleagues of the future, equipped with complex problem-solving ability, digital skills and the latest technology. The customer closeness team and centre will help us reach this ambition.” (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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