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Leading UK footwear retailer Schuh has always differentiated itself by offering a high level of personalized customer service. Schuh's business philosophy is "to provide individual high fashion footwear, sold in a unique and exciting retail environment”, and this philosophy extends to all areas of the business from physical stores through to its website.
The retailer is acutely aware that it needs to continually stay relevant to its customer base. E-commerce is changing at a rapid rate and Schuh operates in an environment where customers are always expecting something new in terms of efficiency, convenience and service.
In 2011, with an already strong web and mobile presence, Schuh set out to extend its personalized in-store customer experience to customers shopping online. The plan was to allow Schuh customers to engage with an agent live over the Schuh website and to add live video assistance and co-browsing to the mix. In October 2011, the multi-channel retailer implemented Vee24's next-generation live help solution to deliver this high touch service on its website. The original objectives were to improve customer experience, deflect calls, and experiment in a new medium for customer service support.
Schuh now offers live video assistance to both its UK and Irish customers, and has achieved impressive results in just over three years. In fact, the company recently announced it has seen customers convert up to 4x more in an assisted session compared to customers who do not enter a live engagement. Schuh has also realized an increase in average order value of 10% with assisted sessions.
Schuh conducts live help engagements from its central contact center. Customers can engage directly with Schuh representatives through Vee24’s VeeStudio platform via live voice, video, text, and co-browsing assistance. Schuh’s agents can navigate around the website with customers to help them find the right product, show them webpages or any type of rich media, and help them fill out forms to complete their order.
"Providing live help via video enables us to bring the face-to-face, in-store service experience to our online customers." - Karyn Stevely, Customer Service Manager, Schuh
Schuh quickly found that live help had a direct and positive influence on ecommerce performance. Video assistance is now a highly valued sales channel, essentially turning Schuh’s customer services team (historically a cost center) into a profit center.
"We’re achieving conversion rates that equate to those of our bricks and mortar locations" - Sean McKee, Head of Ecommerce and Customer Services, Schuh
Schuh uses a variety of methods to invite customers to speak with the Live Help Team. Website customers are ‘nudged’ during their browsing session, and offered live assistance. And social media too is providing a route to offer live help. For example the Schuh team will reply to customers’ tweets advising them to click into live help to resolve their questions Schuh also offers live help to customers by adding a direct link to live help in its email communications.
Since implementing VeeStudio, Schuh's key ecommerce metrics have been exceptional and live assistance is now Schuh’s largest customer contact channel, surpassing phone, email, and social contact.
“Two-thirds of our customers visit our website, whether to purchase products, do some research before visiting a store, or for help with an existing order," said Sean McKee, Schuh’s Head of Ecommerce and Customer Services. “Our live help service lets us deliver the same great service on the Schuh website that we provide in our stores. The result is that 47 percent of all customer interactions with our call center are now live help sessions.”
"Vee24’s live help is making a significant and growing contribution to our online sales. Customers love the personalized shopping experience and for Schuh it has become both a fundamental part of our differentiated cross-channel service offer and a genuinely exciting new sales channel." - Sean McKee, Head of Ecommerce and Customer Services, Schuh
McKee further noted that “live video help has resulted in an average NPS rating of around 85 percent, and we’re achieving conversion rates that equate with those of our bricks and mortar locations.”
Based on customer feedback and its record-breaking metrics, Schuh continues to expand its live video assistance channel. Karyn Stevely, Schuh's Customer Service Manager said "We have had an incredible two years evolving our live help solution with Vee24, offering both live video and text chat experiences to our customers. Schuh will continue to develop and grow its Vee24 online live help platform and we are excited to see what the future holds for this innovative service.”