Client Case Study Featuring Tommy Bahama
While a solid, cohesive customer service strategy is vitally important for businesses in any industry, some take his notion more seriously than others—like our client, retail and lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama. A brief conversation with the company’s director of learning and development, Anne Devney, shows how deeply the company’s leadership has invested in this aspect of their growth.
One customer service challenge Tommy Bahama has long faced is the discrepancy between its customer service team and target demographic. The lifestyle component of the company in particular aims to appeal to men and women around age 35 and older, with disposable income and excess leisure time. That typically contrasts with the life stage, age and income of sales associates, who tend to skew younger and live on a tighter budget.
The Discovery and Rollout Process
Throughout her decades of experience in the customer service industry, Devney has been exposed to the many training programs for businesses to choose from. When researching options, she appreciated that ServiceSkills never subjected her to excessive marketing, sales pitches or upselling to different levels of membership. ServiceSkills has always sidestepped that traditional model, which often alienates business owners, by setting one yearly subscription fee.
The customer service team at Tommy Bahama were also impressed with the content of the material covered in the ServiceSkills modules, which can easily be synced with nearly any company’s learning management system. They began by rolling out short modules to employees working in their call centers to strengthen both customer-facing relations and employee-to-employee interactions between departments. They also customized the modules to easily fold into employees’ day-to-day work, with quick, easy topics to review alongside retention tests.
Impact + Customer Feedback
Tommy Bahama has implemented a few different strategies to assess the efficacy of the customer service training program. Some of the most significant feedback they’ve received has come from their own employees, who feel that the topics covered are constructive, useful and helpful to fulfill their day-to-day responsibilities.
This verbal feedback is backed up by metrics reviewed by Tommy Bahama’s department heads and managers, which show that the training has a positive impact on employee performance. The company also saw a transformation in employees who diligently applied the curriculum to their work, and the short modular format helped quickly acclimate new hires to the unique demands of customer service work.
Tommy Bahama also uses the business management tool Net Promoter, which assigns companies a Net Promoter Score, or NPS, to assess customer satisfaction. This allows the company to pinpoint customer impressions through a series of questions about their experience, such as the level of customer service they received, if they’d return and shop again, and more.
Devney explains that for many companies, their goal is to receive an NPS score of 50/100 or above. Currently, Tommy Bahama has landed at 90/100.
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