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Qurate Retail Group - Customer Service Department of the Year


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Company: Qurate Retail Group, West Chester, PA
Company Description: Qurate Retail Group comprises seven leading retail brands — QVC, HSN, zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill and Grandin Road — all dedicated to providing a ‘third way to shop,’ beyond transactional ecommerce or traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year - Retail

Nomination Title: Qurate Retail Group

Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since the beginning of July 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Globally, Qurate Retail Group is #1 in video commerce, reaching approximately 370 million homes worldwide via 16 television networks and multiple e-commerce sites, social pages, mobile apps, print catalogs, and in-store destinations. Qurate Retail Group comprises seven leading retail brands — QVC, HSN, zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill and Grandin Road — all dedicated to providing a ‘third way to shop,’ beyond transactional e-commerce or traditional brick-and-mortar stores. As our family of brands continues to grow, we have been able to implement synergies and best practices across our customer service departments.

At each Qurate Retail Group brand, team member empowerment through the right tools and training is paramount to fostering a culture of customer service excellence. Our team members participate in various training programs throughout the year that reinforce how to live our values through every customer interaction. For example, QVC implemented a new program of self-based modules for “in the moment” training to help resolve more customer challenges efficiently during the first point of contact. QVC’s multiple contact interactions have decreased year over year by 5.3% (2017 to 2018). zulily has also seen progress with first contact resolution improving by 7% year over year (November 2017 vs. 2018). HSN is seeing marked improvement as well by enhancing team members’ access to include new actions they can take on the customers’ behalf, allowing them to resolve issues faster and during the first contact.

For many years HSN has been offering the Work at Home (W@H) program which successfully utilizes the convenience of home-based employment. Leveraging this best practice, Qurate Retail Group continues to grow our work-at-home workforce across all brands. We now have approximately 1600 W@H team members in total. Adopting a best practice from HSN and Cornerstone Brands, QVC began piloting its first virtual training class in October, ensuring that our virtual team members receive the same standard of training and resources.

Recently zulily created a mentor coaching program in which the quality specialist team conducts weekly 1: 1 coaching focused on discussing an individual’s performance and exploring new ways to enhance the customer service experience. Qurate Retail Group is also embracing opportunities to improve knowledge management where possible. For example, across the business, we are adopting the same customer communication and chat solutions for our brands. In early 2019, Qurate Retail Group will introduce a knowledge management tool to help empower customers by providing access to a searchable repository of FAQs. Internally, our customer service teams will all join the same knowledge management system in to ensure customer inquiries are handled with accuracy and consistency. Additionally, coming in Q1 2019, Cornerstone Brands will test a new feature that allows team members to share screens with customers to more effectively provide assistance.

We are always searching for new ways to proactively connect with the customer. The QVC team significantly increased usage of automated phone notifications to proactively inform the customer of any order related information. We are now sending 50,000 automated calls per week at QVC, reducing the customer’s effort in seeking information. This has resulted in a welcomed decline in customer service contacts from customers calling to check on their order. Our most successful notification has been advising the customer that we have received a return, which has significantly reduced our incoming volume.

Over the past 12 months, new customer counts for QVC US rose 4%, with 83% of new customers coming through digital platforms. QVC US also saw a meaningful shift among new customers to customers who are 18-44 years old. Overall, the QVC US customer base is up 2% year-to-date, with strong and stable customer retention.

Our customer-centric mindset is at the forefront of everything we do. The dedication and commitment of our customer service team members enables us to provide an exceptional customer experience from order to delivery at every brand.