The 2018 CRM Service Elite Customers: TechStyle Fashion Group
TechStyle Fashion Group, based in El Segundo, Calif., is an online subscription-based fashion retailer that, according to its website, has nearly 5 million members and operates in 10 countries. Launched in 2010 as JustFab, TechStyle has brought on or kicked off several brands over the years, including ShoeDazzle, FabKids, and Fabletics, a fitness wear division it started with the actress Kate Hudson.
As a growing company with a far-flung staff, TechStyle faced the challenge of managing its expanding workforce. With some 650 customer-facing agents in such diverse locations as Los Angeles, Barcelona, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, and Serbia, the company needed a robust solution to help manage and optimize all of those disparate schedules.
“We had been stuck in an eight-hour-block phase for a couple years,” said Shannon Nowell, senior manager of workforce management systems and analytics at TechStyle, in CRM’s May 2017 issue. “Our tenured employees were used to that schedule, and it was going to be disruptive for them to get anything different, such as a program of four tens or a flex schedule.”
TechStyle sought a workforce management (WFM) system that could handle both employee schedule preferences and expanding business needs, and it also wanted a cloud-based platform that was flexible and adaptive. “We’re a technology company, and we want to stay innovative,” Nowell told CRM. “We want partners that are innovative as well.”
It found what it was looking for with NICE’s unified cloud WFM platform, which could integrate with the Customer Interaction Cloud solution that TechStyle had already deployed from inContact (which NICE acquired in mid-2016 for $940 million). TechStyle’s rollout of NICE took just six weeks and was completed in September 2016.
The integrated systems can track real-time data on agent and call activities and forecast and generate schedules for multiple locations, all of which is leading to smoother operations and a better caller experience. “When we improved the forecast, we scheduled people better, and they were more aligned with our call arrival patterns, which allows for a better member experience,” Nowell said.
It’s led to more satisfied workers as well. Agents now have more control of their scheduling via NICE’s Webstation, a single portal for managing personal-time-off requests, vacation requests, and shift bids. Though attrition rates among agents were already low, according to Nowell, they’ve gone lower still. “We definitely saw a decrease in attrition when we implemented NICE and began offering those agent empowerment tools,” she said. Agent productivity has seen a 25 percent increase.
The NICE platform’s modeling functionality, meanwhile, has allowed the team to run various scheduling scenarios to sharpen efficiency, eventually leading to a cut in operating costs of some $700,000, which TechStyle planned to reinvest in its workforce, Nowell said.
The implementation also yielded tangible results on the customer side. Before rolling out the NICE platform, TechStyle’s answer rates were 92 percent; after four months with the platform in place, the company’s answer rates had ticked up to 97 percent. The company’s speed of answer also improved, dropping from a minute and 15 seconds to 30 seconds, Nowell said. And call duration decreased by 38 percent. These improvements all add up to a better customer experience.
TechStyle is considering how to harness NICE’s technology to get even more efficient. The vendor’s robotic automation capabilities could take over repetitive processes, allowing employees to “be used in more strategic ways,” Nowell said. “It’s been a great relationship with NICE, and we hope to keep it strong and expand upon it.”
After deploying NICE's WFM solution with its inContact Customer Interaction Cloud, TechStyle Fashion Group saw the following results:
- a $700,000 reduction in operating costs;
- an increase in answer rates from 92 percent to 97 percent;
- a quicker speed of answer, from 1 minute 15 seconds to 30 seconds;
- a 38 percent reduction in call wrap-ups; and
- a 25 percent increase in agent productivity.
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