Marks & Spencer (M&S) has transformed service and grown revenue by integrating every customer touchpoint
Premium customer experience (CX) has always been at the heart of the 130-year history of Marks & Spencer.
Today, that means ensuring that customers don’t need to re-tell their story each time they make contact. It means if they want to swap channels—turning a web shopping session into a phone call, for example—the experience must be swift and seamless. And it means all agents have to be able to answer customers’ queries such as, “When will my delivery arrive?” the first time, every time.
But at Marks & Spencer, interaction channels didn’t talk to each other and an omnichannel model serving both digital channels as well as the company’s 1,253 retail outlets was needed.
Founded on tighter IT integration, a re-engineered website, an overhaul of order management and ecommerce systems, and a brand-new contact centre, the company embarked on the largest retail transformation in Europe.
It completely replaced its legacy contact centres with a Genesys
platform, using the entire Genesys product suite across all channels and media. It meant the company linked everything together for a single, 360-degree customer view.
Delivery deadlines were incredibly tight as it had to be a mid-flight operation with no downtime allowed, because the new contact centre had to be fully operational before the Christmas sales peak. Contact centre specialist Anana was chosen to manage the crucial task of integrating hardware, software, interconnects, and interfaces.
Ian Mahoney, head of delivery services, M&S
, said: “Traditionally a project of this size, with over 1,000 complex requirements, would take years to accomplish. By choosing the best combination of technology platform and integration partner, we achieved it in record time.”
So, a project that would normally take two years had to be finished in just seven months, and Anana
worked tirelessly with M&S to achieve that minor miracle, delivering the full omnichannel solution as well as ongoing hosting, management, and support.
M&S has unified and virtualised its in-house and outsourced contact centres. The result is an integrated, omnichannel operation that enfolds all areas of the company’s business. All channels are connected—parcels and mail, voice, email, social media, SMS, web chat, and web engagement.
Customisation by Anana means it’s possible, for example, to track deliveries and respond to letters on the Genesys platform. Non-contact centre interactions are now visible to all agents so they can handle all enquiries quickly and focus on excellent service.
“We no longer worry about how people contact us,” added Mahoney. “We only worry about responding effectively—with passion and energy—to every chance to support our customers.”
For example, an order placed through the M&S website now appears instantly in the customer’s unified interaction history. If the customer then phones to make sure the order has been received, an agent will see it even before answering the call.
Real-time turnaround has directly benefited sales. M&S has raised overall sales by 4% and online sales by 8.2%. In addition, web chat has generated significant revenue from relatively few orders, simply by helping customers with forgotten passwords or incorrect promo codes.
The service paid for itself in the first four months Having already processed tens of thousands of live interactions, it’s being expanded into a full online sales support tool.
Workload management and reporting have made the contact centre more efficient, and M&S is now looking at speech and data analytics to help further enhance their CX.
The final results mean customer service agents have a 360 degree view to address customer needs more effectively while there has also been a 4% increase in overall sales and 8.2% increase in online sales