7th Oct 2016
As one of the UK’s biggest fashion retailers, getting customer service right has become increasingly important for New Look. With 569 branches in the UK, and a further 200 internationally, the company has 20,000 employees globally, 18,000 of whom are directly customer facing in stores. As a result, when the brand heard about National Customer Service Week (NCSW), it was keen to take part.
The firm’s approach to the week was centred around its staff Twitter account – a ‘protected’ account that only employees can follow and interact with.
“We followed the broad themes set out by The Institute for each day, starting the conversation off with a couple of tweets at the beginning of the day and then sharing and retweeting replies,” Louise Moghaddam, Senior Group Customer Service Manager, explains. “We also made sure to share compliments received through our contact centres from customers about great service they’d received – putting an emphasis on positive mentions.”
The week provided an opportunity to encourage more staff to follow the staff Twitter account – and it worked, with numbers rising 15%.
But it wasn’t just a case of increasing followers. “NCSW turned out to be the biggest story of the year on the staff Twitter account, with more tweets and interactions than on any other story,” says Moghaddam.
The company created a hashtag for the week – #NewLookMakeMyDay – and incentivised staff to get involved by giving instant rewards for examples of great service – both by giving branches a small budget for treats for the week and by sending out 100 giant Millie’s Cookies across the five days. They made sure contact centre staff were involved and rewarded as well. There were long-term benefits too.
“The results were fantastic, better than we could have expected,” Moghaddam says. “Customer satisfaction as measured during the week through feedback forms rose by 2% to 82%. It was the catalyst for us breaking the 80% barrier. We even maintained it in December when satisfaction usually dips, as it does for every retailer simply because it’s so busy. In fact, it went up in December to 83%.
“Customer ratings across all our key criteria went up, as did the proportion of what we call WOWs – which is when customers single out individuals for praise. At the same time, the number of customer ‘rescues’ needed – when a customer has a complaint and asks for us to help them with it – fell.
“So we have concrete evidence that NCSW made a difference – and a lasting one too. The campaign has helped us prove the value of customer service because of the visible reaction from customers. We’ve shown that service is not just a soft thing – there’s real value in it.”