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Shop Direct opens customer service hub at Liverpool HQ

Shop Direct has created a special customer service team that will undertake a four-week review and redesign of the retailer’s customer service capabilities to increase customer loyalty.

The retail group behind and said the team of 20 frontline advisors will be based in a new customer closeness centre within its Liverpool headquarters.

The process will be divided into two phases, with the first two weeks dedicated to deal directly with customer queries via the phone and web chat to identify improvement opportunities. The last two weeks will be used to re-write processes and test new technology based on these insights.

The goal is leverage agile principles to deliver rapid change and drive customer service innovation, the company said. And the centre’s head office location will help drive cross-departmental collaboration, allowing other teams to listen to calls and influence how innovation is prioritised.

New technology being shaped by the initiative 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.

“This new head office team and facility underlines our mission to create a frictionless and increasingly digital customer service experience,” said Phil Hackney, group operations director.

Mark Billingham, customer service director, 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.”

Shop Direct is placing a greater emphasis on big data and customer service technologies to continue to grow sales. In 2016 it launched a WhatsApp-style conversational platform called Very Assistant, which currently accounts for almost 30% of all customer service interactions alongside webchat and social media.

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