How Catch Group’s dedicated CX approach revitalised a multi-million dollar marketplace

Catch Group’s new omni-channel customer experience strategy is paying dividends. We find out how

If we needed further examples that CX is the key to business success in a hyper-competitive marketplace, Catch Group’s new omni-channel CX approach is it, paying off with huge gains in both customer satisfaction and revenue.

Over the last 12 months, the Catch Group has been on a customer-centric mission to service customers to keep them coming back. To this end, the online marketplace overhauled and optimised all touchpoints to open the lines of communication with customers. The group integrated Zendesk's customer support platform, built dedicated customer service centres and teams, reached out via new channels, and importantly, gave its customer service agents autonomy in decision-making.  

And the strategy, led by head of customer experience at Catch group, Ivan Trajkovski, has paid off. Revenue conversion from Facebook alone has skyrocketed from $6000 a month to $80,000, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) results that were in the low to mid 50s in 2016 have increased to an average of 69, close to Apple’s 72, which is considered a world benchmark.

Catch Group, which is planning to launch in New Zealand later this year, also reports a 45 per cent increase in live chat interactions, is gaining over 1000 new Facebook followers and attracting more than 2000 new customers to the store each month since revamping its customer experience strategy.

Trajkovski said it was clear when he joined the business 18 months ago, that customer service was not where it should be, particularly given Catch Group’s recent switch from a daily deals site to an online marketplace.

“I identified we were a little backward in all our service elements. It was typically hard to find a phone number, and the help centre not as helpful as it could be,” Trajkovski said.

“We grew into a marketplace that sells more than 50,000 new items on our website, so of course there was influx of customer inquiry, and our service levels weren’t where they needed to be to support that kind of growth. That’s where the Zendesk partnership came into place, which led to us building five dedicated help centres.”

While implementing the right tech has been a boon for Catch Group, Trajkovski said by far the biggest impact on CX has been empowering customer service agents to make decisions.

“Do what’s right is our unofficial motto, and we implement this in our training, mentoring, and coaching. Yes it’s about serving the customer to come back, but it’s also about empowering every agent to make a decision. If that means giving a refund because it’s the right thing to do, or offer a credit to say sorry, our agents can just do it,” Trajkovski said.

“This has also led to lowered staff absenteeism and low attrition within the business.”

Given Catch Group process over 50,000 customer enquiries a month, approximately 14,000 phone calls, and just under 20,000 chat enquiries, revamping CX was a no-brainer.

The omni-channel strategy was implemented in partnership with Zendesk, where Zendesk’s Talk and Live Chat was integrated with the existing multi-branded Zendesk Help Centre and Support function, all to provide a seamless CX across all channels. The group now has help centres, dedicated support teams, a ticketing system, a feedback function, an integrated chat channel, text, email and social media teams, plus a 9am-9pm call centre, all of which are integrated, giving a single view of every customer and their history no matter which channel or touchpoint they come through.

“We did some research that showed chat is the number one way people like to connect with companies, so we implemented a chat platform. We also created dedicated channels, and teams that only do chat, a team that only do phone, a dedicated social team, and a dedicated returns team,” Trajkovski said.

“When a customer contacts us we want to be timely in our resolutions. Tickets can take up to 24 hours to be answered in normal terms, we’re now at about one hour. We also found a lot of customers contact us pre-purchase, and we want to help them in that journey with us. It’s both commercially viable and customer centric to do this well.”

Prior to establishing a dedicated returns team, some returns were taking up to 12 days to be actioned. Now it actions all returns within 24 hours.

The group now employs a full-time dedicated social media customer care agent, as 90 per cent of social engagement comes via Facebook, and Facebook accounts for more than $100,000 in revenue every month.

“We built a dedicated social media team, which is not only about posting deals, it’s about engagement with our customers. We have a one hour average response rate on social, we have dedicated agents for that, and we’re going with what our customers want,” Trajkovski said.

“What we’ve implemented is not revolutionary, it’s just making sure our CX works well, that we resource it correctly, and implement the correct technology.

“And all signs are that this new approach is working well. Our NPS this week is 68 positive, which is really high. Benchmark in retail is only 32.

“Technology with Zendesk has been key. We’ve switched to soft phone technology from hard phone, which uses the cloud, so from a commercial perspective it’s a no brainer.”  

And with many businesses using omni-channel as a way to deflect customers and focus on self-service options and cost savings, this dedicated CX approach could be a case study for all online marketplaces.

“So many businesses spend millions on acquiring new customers. What about the customers you already have? Look after them. Keep them,” Trajkovski said.

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