Case Study: Customer Loyalty
Deepening Brand Loyalty for the World’s Leading Coffeehouse Chain
HGS brand champions ensure customer satisfaction as a Fortune 500 retail client negotiates the post-pandemic marketplace
Providing much more than just coffee, this £28B ($35B) retail company also offers hot and cold beverages, snacks and pastries, and home brewing supplies, while also serving as a community hub. With its mobile app, loyalty program, and thousands of stores, this distinguished brand is studied in business schools and considered “best in class.” Analyst website Statista recently found that, in the UK, 96% of 2000 survey respondents recognised the brand, and 30% use the client’s products.
Ensuring customers have the same memorable CX across channels, stores, and geographies is always a challenge, particularly during a market shift. In the past few years, the company restructured and pivoted because of Brexit, new executive leadership, and changes in customers’ purchasing habits. Store foot traffic decreased with more people working from home, while website and app usage simultaneously increased. As the company explores its options behind the scenes, it must continue providing an on-brand, high-quality CX while actively refining its positioning as a luxury brand.
HGS knows that brands are built over time, but they’re made in moments. For this blue-chip client, HGS pulls out all the stops to ensure an on-brand experience every time.
Walk into any of the client’s cafés, and you are highly likely to have a delightful exchange with staff. Conveying the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism through a contact centre interaction takes high-quality talent.
The client wisely offered HGS the opportunity to absorb some of its in-house staff to ensure continuity in brand ambassadorship. HGS seamlessly adhered to UK TUPE obligations (i.e., Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations) during the staff transfer and is proud to say that all six employees are still with the company several years later, largely working from home. These employees have gone on to train other, long-tenured agents; the team is currently 16 people strong.
HGS team members receive weekly updates from the client on the latest promotions, campaigns, and in-store offerings. And, with offices located just down the street, leaders are in regular contact. The client-vendor relationship is collaborative and informal, with leaders on both sides exchanging WhatsApp messages and emails throughout the day. This level of collaboration was particularly important during the inhouse-to-outsource transition.
When the client decided to communicate with its customers via digital channels only (email, social chat), we empowered agents with additional tips, techniques, and templates to ensure responses were delivered eloquently and efficiently. Through careful planning, switching off the voice channel had negligible impact on quality or CSAT, even during seasonal volume peaks.
Team HGS has fully embraced the client’s ServiceNow tool – including providing a data analyst resource – to deliver rich data on customers and agent performance. Further, using Power BI, we built a dashboard that enables both HGS and client staff to understand what customers are saying and where CX challenges exist. Data appear visually in graphs and word clouds, and users can drill down to the transactional level to hone in on specific products, locations, and even team members.
To help the client protect its reputation and provide critical data to the marketing team, we implemented the Locobuzz tool for social listening. While we hold no responsibility for responding to public social media inquiries (this is handled inhouse), we do keep the pulse on the broader CX and provide reports every Monday to paint a more fulsome picture of UK CSAT. The distilled analytics we provide help the client investigate potential issues, run interference, create campaigns, and monitor customer sentiment.
HGS agents handle some tough chats and emails for the client, including serious health and safety incidents. Agents not only respond to product, store, service, staff, website, and app complaints and concerns, but they document, neutralise, and analyse these sensitive issues for the client. The team makes the customer feel “heard,” and helps the client to close the loop and avoid repeat issues (e.g. coaching for store staff). Within the client’s guidelines, HGS apologises where necessary and offers vouchers, coupons, merchandise, etc., as compensation for loyal customers.
In 2022, the client authorised a three-year contract renewal with HGS. In that same year, a Statista survey found that 24% of respondents considered themselves loyal customers. That’s an estimated one in four people in the UK! HGS is proud to be a preferred partner and to play a role in sustaining that level of loyalty.
93% CX/CSAT rating
(over a target of 80%)
96% Attainment of quality benchmark
(over a target of 95%)
100%Resolution of “serious incidents” within a tight target timeframe
0%Change in CSAT/quality scores when voice channel eliminated