Shoe Carnival Walks Away with Better Feedback

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Shoe Carnival, as the name implies, is a shoe retailer, with merchandise available through its website and its network of 377 stores across 22 states. It also operates a number of stores under the Shoe Station name following a recent acquisition.

“What makes us different is the atmosphere in the store,” says David Hudspeth, the company’s manager of customer service and fulfillment. “We’re not the only family-oriented footwear retailer, but we’re the only family-oriented footwear retailer where you’re going to walk in and find a basketball hoop, or people announcing specials on a microphone.”

The company, which is based in Evansville, Ind., also takes care of its employees, offering health insurance to part-time workers before the Affordable Care Act was enacted and ensuring employees have a good work-life balance, Hudspeth adds.

Shoe Carnival had a customer feedback solution in place, but it wasn’t able to review the details of interactions long after they were completed or to tie what the customer said had happened with a full review of the interaction.

To provide better customer service, Shoe Carnival wanted to be alerted in real time to any technical issues with its online sales, like a transaction not going through or other problems. It also wanted a solution that offered a replay feature so it could review exactly where and when technical or other glitches occurred. “That’s very impactful for our e-commerce group,” Hudspeth says.

The e-commerce team looked at several solutions before choosing Verint Digital Feedback and Verint Experience Management. Not only did Verint give Shoe Carnival the original customer comments, but the company could also tie them to the customer satisfaction score, according to Hudspeth.

Adding the Verint technology to its website was a simple task, requiring only a few additional lines of code and then developing the questions for the digital feedback. Shoe Carnival went live with the solution in the spring of 2021.

Digital Feedback natively integrates replays and customer feedback for instant clarity and a holistic picture of the customer experience. Connecting replays to important key performance indicators enables Shoe Carnival to analyze actual customer experiences to quickly uncover pain points that negatively impact digital experiences and conversion.

“It saves a lot of time for our e-commerce team and the developers,” Hudspeth says. “They don’t have to wait for multiple customers to have a problem to detect a pattern. They can actually see it in real time and react.”

With its previous solutions, it could have taken weeks before a pattern was detected. “[Verint] not only saves us time, it saves us from losing customers because we weren’t aware of something. We might have had a bounce rate above normal when [a problem] pops up,” Hudspeth relates.

The real-time capability also eliminated the need for customer segmentations to obtain that type of information.

Verint Experience Management is a fully connected platform enabling Shoe Carnival to listen to, analyze, and act on customer interactions across channels, including contact center conversations, interactive voice response systems, text messaging, and online surveys, as well as operational data from contact center, digital, and in-store interactions. It also enables Hudspeth to include data points from sources outside of Verint.

The time savings was a notable benefit, according to Hudspeth, who says with Verint the time needed to develop surveys was cut from six to eight hours down to just two hours or less. Additionally, Shoe Carnival is obtaining more comprehensive information than just the very basic customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores.

“It also gives us the ability to see everything in one place rather than needing to go to other solutions to pull other information and then put it all together,” Hudspeth says.

Shoe Carnival plans to further refine its use of the Verint solutions as the company becomes more familiar with them to derive more benefits. 

The Payoff

With Verint's Digital Feedback and Experience Management, Shoe Carnival has seen the following results:

  • the reaction time for customer issues with online sales was reduced from weeks to immediately;
  • the survey development time was cut from six to eight hours down to two hours or less; and
  • the need for focus groups to obtain comprehensive customer feedback was eliminated.

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