Qurate Retail Group - E-Commerce Customer Service Award
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 & Call Center Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: e-Commerce Customer Service Award - All Other Industries
Nomination Title: Providing a Superior Customer Experience on Digital and Social
Tell the story about your e-commerce-based customer service initiatives 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:
Qurate Retail Group ranks #3 in e-commerce in North America and #3 in mobile commerce in the U.S. according to Internet Retailer. Leveraging our digital and social presence, we are able to create a large, growing base of loyal customers, with unparalleled retention and purchase rates. 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.
To support ongoing growth in social engagement with our customers, QVC, HSN and zulily each have social media specialists integrated into their customer service teams. These teams monitor and respond to customers via social media and in certain instances even support their respective brand’s Facebook Live events to ensure that someone is always available to address customer questions or concerns. During social media conversations, we empower our team members to follow the customer’s lead by responding and interacting authentically, rather than relying on template responses. Our social media teams also receive a special curriculum to learn how to properly utilize tools to moderate and support our social platforms.
Across all of our brands, our social platforms are instrumental tools in maintaining our relationship with our customers. Facebook Messenger is one of the main tools we use to meet our customer where she is. For QVC US, customer contacts across all touch points increased 20+% over the same period last year. Facebook Messenger conversations rose nearly 160% year over year, and live chats rose as well, as we increasingly engage customers via digital platforms. At zulily, initial Facebook messages are answered on average (for 2018) within five minutes. Our agile response times and personalized response messages allow us to further build upon the relationships with our customer.
Each day, our customer service team faces the challenge of providing a consistently superior customer experience. To give team members additional support tools to help meet that challenge, QVC, HSN and Cornerstone Brands have all invested in the same next-generation software used to support customer service. Additionally, to help empower our customers as well, QVC launched a new self-service tool on QVC.com in October 2018 providing customers access to a searchable repository of frequently asked questions that will allow them to get the answers they need about ordering, shipping, delivery, returns and more.
With more consumers using voice-activated technology in their daily lives, we recently launched our first skill on the Alexa platform that allows consumers to interact with the company by voice. The first iteration of the skill, which launched this fall, enables users to watch or listen to HSN live and obtain information about HSN’s broadcast and products. By early 2019, users will be able to order products from the live broadcast, search for and order other items from the full product assortment, and check on shipping updates, as well as other account details, all via voice. Voice-activated technology is a new way for Qurate Retail Group to build relationships with customers via real-time dialogue.
With a community of millions across the world and hundreds of thousands of online interactions, our customer service team continues to foster relationships with our growing customer base by making genuine connections. The dedication and positivity of our team coupled with the innovations we have created continue to raise the bar in the customer service industry. In 2019, Qurate Retail Group will continue to further push the boundaries on our social and digital platforms to create the best customer experience possible.