Vee24 Helps DFS Turbocharge its CX Strategy
In recent years, many retail and distribution companies have been struggling with balancing the challenges of an increasingly digital world, with increasing customer expectations. Today’s customers, whether B2B or B2C, demand exceptional service across a multitude of channels, prioritising speed, personalisation, and convenience.
To stay ahead of the curve, companies need to make sure they’re investing in the right CX solutions to empower their teams, understanding their audience, and make meaningful changes. Fortunately, there are some excellent vendors out there ready to help.
DFS, one of the UK’s biggest furniture retailers, knew it needed a forward-thinking CX partner to help maintain the loyalty of its target audience. Vee24 stepped in to provide the company with everything they needed to track the customer journey, and optimise it according to client needs.
Here’s how Vee24 and DFS worked together.
Among the most popular furniture companies in the UK, DFS has made a name for itself delivering high-quality customer service, both online and offline. Using the Vee24 digital experience platform, the organisation has successfully replicated a number of in-store experiences in the digital world.
Through intelligent chatbots, text chat and video chat, DFS can serve customers quickly and efficiently. The Vee24 platform also became particularly valuable to DFS during the pandemic, when retail stores started to shut their doors. Staff working from home and thousands of customers concerned about outstanding orders placed new pressures on the brand.
According to DFS Online Multi-Channel General Manager, Jamie Ostle, the brand had plans to elevate the virtual buying experience before the pandemic, to reflect new changes in customer expectations. Covid simply accelerated this strategy, but it also created additional challenges. Not only did the company need to pivot faster, but it also had to facilitate home-based working, while ensuring customer service remained a priority.
When stores started to close, DFS needed to get its service agents up and running quickly. With the Vee24 browser-based platform, service agents were given immediate access to their consoles from home. Within hours, the organisation had seamlessly built a new online working strategy. What’s more, they were also supporting a four-fold increase in service calls.
The flexible nature of the Vee24 platform ensured agents could be added to the system and available to answer calls in a matter of hours. According to Ostle, the pandemic became the catalyst for the whole company’s shift towards hybrid working.
While DFS had considered hybrid working before to attract new staff from a wider area and provide greater flexibility, the store closures boosted the urgency of the change.
Without Vee24, the move to working remotely would have been time-consuming and problematic for agents, as well as a poor experience for thousands of customers, according to Jamie. With Vee24, the transition was much quicker and simpler. Hybrid work even lead to fewer sick days and lower attrition for DFS.
Aside from developing a new employment model for team members, DFS also used the technology offered by Vee24 to upgrade the customer shopping experience to a new level. After all, furniture is often a pricey purchase, and most customers will want to see the product up close, and ask questions before they’re willing to spend their money.
Before the pandemic, DFS started trialling a new “virtual viewing” service, which allowed consumers to find the product they liked online, then transfer their calls to a sales agent for a deeper consultation. The agent was able to show the product up close via video call, and even highlight complementary or alternative products on the showroom floor.
According to DFS, the feedback from customers during the pilot was positive enough to convince the team to roll the service out to a wider range of stores. The technology allowed customers online to connect directly with in-store sales agents to view products or schedule appointments.
The sales agents appreciated the service too. Using hand-held devices and integrated cameras, sales agents could continue to work in closed stores, supporting and selling furniture to online shoppers during the pandemic. As stores began to open up, the DFS in-store team were able to continue using the virtual experience.
Staff members in the store see a viewing request from the customer, and can immediately greet them with a face-to-face video, answering questions, and providing a more personalised, consultative experience. Customers have been so delighted with the new service, DFS has reported a significant improvement in CSAT scores and AOV.
Following the introduction of the video consultation service, the CSAT scores have increased to above 90%, while after text chat, CSAT scores are usually 85% on average, exceeding the results of a traditional phone service. Average order value is increasing too. After video support, users increase their purchases by 15% compared to text-based support.
With a comprehensive omnichannel strategy for both service and sales, DFS has ensured it can connect with its customers at any time, from any place or device. As the purchasing journey continues to evolve and digitize, DFS has used Vee24’s exceptional technology to ensure their team can always be there for customers in search of guidance and support.
According to DFS, a previous goal used to be to locate a store within 50 miles of everyone throughout the UK. Now, with immersive digital buying experiences, the team can provide a convenient store experience to everyone – directly within their home.
Building on the benefits of the virtual showroom appointments, DFS is also planning to extend the Vee24 video tools to an increasing number of stores, and to add to the range of items customers can view – another valuable step towards becoming a market leader for furniture purchasing experiences.