How Gucci brought beauty to the contact centre

Luxury retailer talks about its contact centre overhaul and how it's driving engagement

Gucci is a name synonymous with fashion and luxury, epitomised not just through its products, but through its in-store environments and service experience.

But in a changing world, store environments are not the only form of customer contact. So when it came to lifting the capability of its contact centres, Gucci turned to its design teams to create an environment for is staff that captured the essence of the brand.

Speaking at Salesforce’s recent Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, Gucci vice-president of global client services and product care, Vasilis Dimitropoulos, described how in 2017 the company wanted to turn the tables on traditional client contacts.

“Think about the contact centre, and what it brings to mind,” Dimitropoulos said. “It is a space hidden in the belly of the company - externalised, viewed as a cost centre - never shown to a client. We wanted to change the paradigm.”

One of the company's first steps was to engage its own styling office to totally redesign its customer contact hubs, to turn them into spacious, opulent environments that brought to life the aesthetics of a creative director.

“This was a very conscious investment that we made, because we believe that if you are surrounded by beauty, you will react by consequence,” Dimitropoulos said.

The first of these hubs was unveiled at Building 9 at Gucci's historic Florence campus, with the initiative becoming known as Gucci 9. The company then connected all its contact centres, in locations including New York, Florence, Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo, as well as more than 300 stores.

“All the remote connectivity lands to these hubs, to the fingertips of each one of the talented advisors,” Dimitropoulos said. “It is what we call a human touch, powered by technology. The Gucci human touch, powered by Salesforce.”

Direct accountability

Using Salesforce Service Cloud and Tableau, Gucci 9 advisors can track all sales, no matter where or how they take place, with the company also revamping its incentive scheme accordingly.

“There is an attribution model that brings the sales back to the advisor, no matter where it happens," Dimitropoulos said. “It's not only phone sales and chat sales, we are also talking everywhere in our ecosystem. We reward our advisors no matter where the sales are happening, whether it be on the phone, or if it is in the digital retail, or physical retail within the stores.”

The company also created a tailor-made dashboard powered by Tableau that ensures all advisors have all their business and contacts at their fingertips.

“We want them to think as entrepreneurs, as business owners,” Dimitropoulos said.

As for the results, he described them as 'stupendous'. “We are running this year at plus-150 per cent in our omni-channel sales, and we have more than doubled the share of sales of top clients over the total,” he said, adding this was only the beginning of what was possible.

“We are working with Salesforce research and development in order to create an artificial intelligence that can infuse every conversation with a very Gucci-fied tone of voice,” Dimitropoulos said. “Because we are not only interested in the info on what we sell, we are over and above interested in the 'how' - the attitude.

“Because after all, it is the attitude that makes Gucci Gucci.”

  • Brad Howarth travelled to Dreamforce as a guest of Salesforce.

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