Zendesk Workspace supports Acne Studios to deliver a luxury client experience
Luxury brands need to provide a luxury experience where customers are responded to in a timely manner via their preferred communication channel. High-fashion brand Acne Studios describes how an upgrade to Zendesk Workspace allowed it to deliver high-end customer service effectively.
“It’s been an impactful project. Using Zendesk Workspace, we can now collate and best handle inquiries that come from clients globally. We attribute a complex tag structure to each ticket, having used Zendesk Explore to pull out in-depth customer insight that we’re able to distribute across the organisation.”
Global Client Services Manager at Acne Studios
“Being able to give an excellent experience starts from being able to answer in a timely manner. It sets the tone for the experience.”
Global Client Services Manager at Acne Studios
Reduction in first reply time
Swedish fashion house Acne Studios
A client experience as slick and luxurious as its product offering
Founded in the ‘90s, Swedish fashion house Acne Studios became a cult fashion brand when Founder and Creative Director Jonny Johannson created 100 pairs of denim jeans with iconic red stitching that he gave away to family and friends. Those jeans put Acne Studios on the map and are now collectors’ items.
The brand has since grown into a global fashion house with stores around the world, confidently competing in the luxury fashion landscape. “Acne Studios has grown quickly over the last two years,” explains Carlotta Buosi, Global Client Services Manager, Acne Studios. ”We have embraced being bolder and louder in our communication, despite maintaining our strong focus on design and quality and our Swedish heritage.”
Big-name collaborations with celebrities such as actress and model Devon Aoki, musician Rosalía, and media personality Kylie Jenner, have cemented the brand in the high-fashion circuit. Acne Studios has subsequently had to ensure its client experience is as slick and luxurious as its product offering.
Buosi manages 19 people as part of the global Client Services team working across Stockholm, NYC, Shanghai and Tokyo. “We offer 24/7 service across markets,” says Buosi. “Our goal is to deliver the same luxury experience clients would have if they were to visit one of our stores.”
Zendesk was introduced around five years ago to provide ticketing and customer communication functionalities to support the Client Services team and the growing digital commerce.
After joining the brand in December 2021, Buosi began to make changes to the structure of her team: “I wanted us to be responsive to inquiries, solve issues and answer questions, but also to proactively contribute to the business’ clienteling strategy by offering customers tailored advice and recommendations.”
Buosi’s team have now been using Zendesk Agent Workspace for a year, relying on the software’s ticketing customer support and using its reporting functions to share insights on customer behaviours.
“This upgrade has been an impactful project for us,” she says. “Using Zendesk Workspace, we can now collate and best handle inquiries that come from clients globally in one place. We attribute a complex tag structure to each ticket, and we use Zendesk Explore to gather in-depth customer insight that we’re able to distribute across the organisation.”
“We’re an extremely busy team, so it’s been helpful to increase our efficiency” she adds.
The business now benefits from insights such as how many orders generate tickets; website issues; as well as product-related feedback.
“Clients ask us a lot about products, and thanks to their questions we’ve been able to use this information to better display sizing and fit online, as well as training our client-facing teams online and in-store to answer questions relating to the sustainability of our materials.”
Another real improvement for the end client is related to shipping problems; “any carrier issues get tagged and we can act on it really quickly. Localised issues are especially difficult to identify unless you see it in a spike on a chart.”
“I’m so happy to use Zendesk,” says Buosi. “We’ve been really happy about the results.”
Tags within Workspace help the team communicate more effectively with customers, contributing to its clienteling strategy. “It gives us a chance to build relationships, we can note if a client is interested in an out-of-stock product and get in touch when it is available,” she explains.
“It doesn’t matter if a client is buying a pair of socks or key fashion pieces from a show collection – we aim to deliver the exact same experience,” she says. “We obviously want to take care of top-tier clients in an even more personalised way, learning from their interactions with the brand to go above and beyond whenever we get the opportunity.”
The way Acne Studios communicates with its clients is of the utmost importance and balancing its digital efforts is constantly in discussion. While the brand uses Zendesk for voice calls, email and chat messaging, it has so far avoided AI. “We’ve never used bots, we will eventually look into it when we’re comfortable with the technology, but we want our customers to really feel like they’re talking to a person and have omnichannel support – it’s our ambition to take care of them in a personalised way and to deliver a luxury experience.”
Instead, Acne Studios is focusing on localising its messaging channels depending on the market. Last year it integrated the Japanese messaging app Line into Zendesk. “It was excellent, the integration process was very smooth!”
Acne Studios plans to integrate further channels into Zendesk, including WhatsApp which is a project earmarked for later this year to improve the experience for European customers, as well as South Korean platform Kakao.
“We feel one of the driving factors for a great experience is for clients to talk to us on the channel that is relevant to them. For instance, we’re very active on WeChat – which is really popular in China.”
Setting the tone with a speedy response
Implementing Chat not only helps connect with customers on a personal level but also improves Acne Studio’s first response time. “Being able to deliver an excellent client experience starts from being able to answer in a timely manner,” points out Buosi. “It sets the tone for the experience.”
Over the last two years, the overall first response time has decreased by 89% from 48 hours to 5 hours on average, thanks to increased efficiency within the support team.
“I’m most proud of my team over the last year, we’ve structured it in a way that is super effective. We’re always busy, but this new version of the platform has helped us be more effective and allowed me to create new roles in the team that get people involved on different projects aligned with their strengths.”
Buosi gives her team ambitious goals, with first reply time for email set at 24 hours and live chat at 20-30 seconds. “Despite being a team of only 19, we meet these SLAs” and there is never a break in customer communication due to the global scale of the team.
“When we upgraded to Zendesk Workspace the team felt it completely shifted their efficiency; before every channel was a different tab, now everything is in one place,” she says.
“Over the last 18 months, we’ve really made some incredible improvements with the Client Services team. We’re now working cross-functionally and supporting clienteling, we’ve reduced our response time by over 80%, created more located teams, structured our customer insights reporting to benefit the organization, and become truly client-centric.”