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Estée Lauder Strengthens Customer Experience Across Brands

In February 2015 the UK arm of global luxury cosmetics giant, Estée Lauder, began work on strengthening the customer experience across its brands. Partnering with Smith+Co, leading brands such as Clinique and MAC set out to enhance what was an already strong retail experience and enviable reputation with customers.

Very early on in the project, Estée Lauder’s leadership team realized how important their contact centre was in the wider customer experience because the centre provided sales and customer support across all of its brands. They took the decision to include the contact centre in the new CX program and not view it simply as a remote platform that handled queries and problems.

The first step for Smith+Co was to assess where the contact centre sat on the spectrum from efficient cost centre to purposeful experience centre. The aim of the initiative was to bring the Estée Lauder ‘High Touch’ customer experience alive for customers by aligning the behaviour of all employees. Six bespoke training modules were designed for the contact centre, with input from the employees themselves. In addition to ensuring high quality learning materials for agents, employees began to take ownership of the customer experience. Six members of the contact centre team subsequently volunteered to be trained as facilitators to deliver these modules. The modules were largely designed to bring the customer experience alive for employees so that, they in turn, could bring it alive for customers.

The way in which the program was delivered was designed to make employees feel special because that is the way you start to make the customers feel special. The new learning program didn’t just cover skills and behaviours (such as listening, mirroring, and so on) but also ensured that employees understood why Estée Lauder is focusing on customer experience, what the customer’s journey actually is and how their loyalty is affected by the experience they have. This approach helps teams see why there’s a need to do something differently or better across the contact centre. When ‘humanness’ is encouraged and nurtured within a brand (especially its contact centre), more often than not there is a tangible sense of staff empowerment (enough to go the extra mile) as Estee Lauder found. The main

Contact Centre Manager Feedback: “The response was amazing as people weren’t getting in touch with us in the first place because their experience had gone well – but because they’d had a problem!”

reason for their customers to get in touch was because they needed help, information or had experienced a problem of some kind with their purchase. In this situation the customer experience is below expectation from the start because the customer is making a call that they would probably prefer not to make. However, by the agents really understanding the brand promise and desired experience, and then being empowered to deliver it they were able to turn the contact centre touchpoint from a transaction to a ‘hallmark’  for the brand.As a result they found that the response from customers was much better than they expected. One manager said.“The response was amazing given people weren’t getting in touch with us in the first place because their experience had gone well – but because they’d had a problem!

The results of the CX investment:

  • It extended the experience that the consumer gets in store to create a seamless experience of the contact centre.
  • Consumer NPS grew by 32 points
  • Agent NPS increased by 30 points
  • Complaints fell by 50%
  • Unsolicited compliments increased by over 300%
| 2018-01-12T17:28:51+00:00 Apr 28 2017|Blog|

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