UGG®/Deckers Brands + Zendesk: Transforming customer service literally overnight
Deckers Brands uses Zendesk Support to manage their "Click and Collect" and "Click and Reserve" programmes in EMEA, as well as for their customer service globally. Learn how they built the framework literally overnight using native functionality.
“From an IT, user adoption, store space, and customer service point of view, Zendesk Support is one of our success stories.”
“The reason why I like Zendesk Support is because it’s flexible. It’s in the cloud, it’s on mobile, and there’s no reliance on old school IT or fixed point systems.”
# of Deckers brands
The UGG® brand’s brick and mortar outpost at London’s Covent Garden is something of a haven: warm wood, exposed brick, and cloudy puffs of sheepskin.
The iconic UGG® Classic boot has become synonymous with comfort—cosy enough for a weekend at a mountain lodge or a casual trip to the supermarket. Countless brands have tried to create their own version of the UGG® Classic boot, but none are coveted as much as the original.
Superior Click and Collect service
At the counter, Naomi checks out with a store associate who updates her “Click and Collect” order on an iPod Touch. Naomi purchased her boots online a few days earlier, and had them shipped to the store to pick up on her lunch break. On the spot, she receives an SMS notification on her mobile and completes the customer service survey, sharing, “UGG ‘click and collect’ service is one of the best I’ve ever used.”
Similar feedback filters back to the UGG® brand’s parent company, Deckers Brands. “I love the ‘click and collect’ option. So easy to collect. The store’s staff was lovely. A really good service!” wrote Hannah.
For any retailer, the path between a customer’s online, mobile, and in-store visits is not easily traceable. It’s a bit more like following a line drawn in sand, washed away with each incoming wave. “Click and Collect” and “Click and Reserve” services are one way retailers attempt to bridge this gap. But in order to be successful, the customer experience must be seamless, and for Deckers, the solution had to be user-friendly, scalable, easy to deploy, and equally easy for store associates to learn.
E-commerce challenges for a multifaceted brand
Deckers is a family of six brands that include UGG®, Teva®, Sanuk®, Hoka One One®, Ahnu® and Koolaburra®. Together, they don’t identify themselves as a company, per se. Rather they’re a collection of people: surfers, musicians, dreamers, raconteurs, extroverts, introverts, poets, lovers, fighters, go-getters—to borrow a few phrases from their website. They’re also innovators. Not only of great active wear and footwear, but of solutions.
Traditionally, Deckers EMEA might have built a custom interface for the middleware software that joins their e-commerce platform and fulfilment software, but this would have taken a team in the United States hundreds of hours of development time, and they were keen to go live within a matter of months.
Down to the wire, an e-commerce project and operations manager who’d used Zendesk Support for customer service (as does Deckers at large, on a separate global multi-brand instance), had an idea that Zendesk Support’s native functionality might work for the “Click and Collect” use case. She started a free trial online and worked with the teams to build out the core framework using a single API, triggers, automations, email notifications, and HTML formatting.
A few days later she did a demo of the workflow, beginning from the point the order left the warehouse through when it became a “click and collect” order owned by an individual store for completion. She’d managed to create a simple customer experience literally overnight.
Zendesk Support converts challenges into wins
The powers that be were sold and Support was implemented a month later, in July of 2014. David Williams, Director of Online, EMEA, owns the programme’s success. “Customers like the service and find it easy and quick to use,” he said. “It’s been really positive.”
Equally important, the stores like it. The programme was piloted at a single store before rolling out across stores in the United Kingdom and France. Each store logs in as a Zendesk user and updates what is essentially a ticket for each order assigned to their store. “It’s extremely user-friendly,” Williams said.
Since roll-out, they’ve seen incremental rises in conversions—5% of all e-commerce sales in EMEA are “Click and Collect” orders—and believe the service has contributed to an increase in their Net Promoter Scores℠. In the United States, where the programme is also now available, “Click and Collect” is responsible for $600k in sales. The programme’s success has led naturally to expanding Support’s use for the Deckers EMEA “Click and Reserve” programme, which allows customers to reserve stock in-store without first purchasing online.
“We rolled it out easily to our stores, and they actually really enjoy using it,” Williams said. “It’s very mobile, and an easy way to check store stock. We’re getting them engaged with tools that allow them to contact customers without having to go into a backroom office, or to try telephoning. It’s immediate, here and now.”
Among the benefits of the programme is the ability to collect customer questions through the reservation process. These interactions help illuminate gaps in demand and availability across locations. Additionally, the programme brings traffic into stores and, during the pilot, they saw roughly 30 percent of reservations convert in-store.
“From my point of view,” Williams said, “the more experiences you can offer on digital devices, the better chance you have of keeping the customer happy. Digital is the glue for it all. The reason why I like Zendesk Support is because it’s flexible. It’s in the cloud, it’s on mobile, and there’s no reliance on old school IT or fixed point systems. There’s a lot to be utilised, and there’ll be more ideas flooding out of this. More innovations to come to keep customers happy.”