N Brown: The online fashion and homeware retailer uses digital communication to evolve in the ecommerce era

N Brown wanted to find the sweet spot, to ensure its service agents were able to talk in all the ways their customers wanted to reach them. Zendesk has helped to create a digital customer service presence, with the inclusion of chat, a help centre, SMS and social channels on a single platform.

N Brown

“In the space of a year, we’ve seen the number of e-mails it takes to resolve a customer query go down by 17 percent, making it quicker to resolve the issue for the customer. More importantly, we have improved customer satisfaction for email by over 15 percent. For chat, our customer satisfaction is at over 90 percent. The data we have access to has really helped us.”

Rob Brindley

Head of Resource Planning at N Brown

Products used

Brands

5

Industry

Retail

Customer since

2018

185%

Increase of Help Centre views

> 90%

Chat CSAT

15%

Email CSAT increase

As a company steeped in history but with a razor-sharp vision for its digital future, N Brown is an online fashion and homeware retail group with a broad audience. With five distinct brands; Simply Be, JD Williams, Ambrose Wilson, Jacamo and Home Essentials, N Brown serves its customers through its digital channels. Serving such a diverse customer base has its challenges but it also presents an opportunity to understand its wide-ranging users and serve them in a way that makes each and every one happy. Zendesk has helped N Brown to better understand its customers, speak to them in a way they feel comfortable with and plan for a future where digital is king.

Increased efficiency through real-time channels

N Brown wanted to find the sweet spot, to ensure its service agents were able to talk in all the ways their customers wanted to reach them. However, a full range of communication channels weren’t available for N Brown agents to use to their full – and flexible – advantage.
Zendesk has helped to create a digital customer service presence, with the inclusion of chat, a help centre, SMS and social channels on a single platform. Customers are now better served in real-time and agents are more efficient, able to answer more queries than ever before.

Zendesk has also helped N Brown to create a Help Centre that is regularly updated with relevant information, taking the pressure off agents who can now spend less time answering frequently recurring questions. In the space of a few months, the company went from 35,000 to over 100,000 views on its Help Centre, as the content evolved and became more useful for customers.

Be that as it may, it’s still a priority that all communication channels continue to be available – even those favoured by less digitally literate customers. “We’re really conscious that we need to be there for all of our customers,” said Rob Brindley, Head of Resource Planning at N Brown. “One customer might see our telephone or email address and get in touch that way.. While another might really like going directly to our Help Centre articles to find what they’re looking for. We don’t limit the channels that customers have to reach us – that’s up to them.”

More ways to gauge customer satisfaction – and improve it

N Brown knew it wanted to make further improvements to its customer communications but because it didn’t have a full suite of analytics, it was difficult to see how much – and where – it needed to improve. As a result, it was difficult to roll out new solutions based on an incomplete set of customer insights.

N Brown now has access to more comprehensive analytics. The company can see how long customers are waiting, as well as how much longer they are expected to wait. By giving customers this information, it can, in turn, improve customer satisfaction. The company can now also see how people are interacting with the self-serve information located in the Help Centre, which helps it to refine the content. By removing the silos and seeing clearly how customers are moving through the customer journey in real time, it can also remove friction between channels and bring down response times.

“Even though we’re generally getting a lower volume of email contact now, when we do use email, we’re solving queries faster,” explained Rob. “In the space of a year we’ve seen the number of e-mails it takes to resolve a customer query go down by 17 percent, making it quicker to resolve the issue for the customer. More importantly, we have improved customer satisfaction for email by over 15 percent. For chat, our customer satisfaction is at over 90 percent. The data we have access to has really helped us.”

Liberated to innovate

N Brown was attracted to the fact that Zendesk operates using cloud technology, enabling N Brown to be fleet of foot and roll out new solutions quickly that it wasn’t able to take advantage of before. In fact, the initial Zendesk platform took just two months to get up and running. Whereas N Brown felt limited by on-premise solutions, it now enjoys far more freedom to think about the future. Worries about storage limits are a thing of the past and the company can now look at a whole host of new possibilities to improve its service even further for agents and customers.

Looking to the future

“I really hope we get to the stage where we can offer messaging channels in the place of emails, once our customers are ready.”Rob Brindley, Head of Resource Planning at N Brown The future of customer service for N Brown lies in deeper integration into the communication channels increasingly being used by customers, such as mobile apps. The next step of the journey involves using Zendesk to get closer to mobile shoppers and interact with them in a seamless way.

“I really hope we get to the stage where we can offer messaging channels in the place of emails, once our customers are ready,” said Rob. “We’re also looking at how we can keep our Help Centre articles fresh and Zendesk’s Guide Enterprise solution is helping with that. We also plan to get the most out of content cues, which use machine learning to spot knowledge gaps. We want to understand more about what they’re telling us and how we can use those insights to make the articles on our Help Centre better. There’s a lot for us to look forward to.”

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