drugstore.com Customizes Online Shopping Experience with Beauty Chat

Published on February 18, 2009 in Computer Software, Technology

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Trained Beauty Advisors Consult with Customers via Live Chat, Converting 25 Percent of Chat Sessions into Sales

Bozeman, Mont (February 18, 2009) – drugstore.com, the leading online retailer of health, beauty, vision and pharmacy products, is using RightNow Technologies (NASDAQ: RNOW) on demand customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to deliver exceptional customer experiences, while reducing costs in the call center.

Faced with a tightening retail environment, drugstore.com has differentiated its customer care by using the RightNow solution to help its contact center agents provide timely and relevant information to customers, as well as web self-service so customers can help themselves. Now Beauty.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of drugstore.com, is using RightNow Chat to provide customers with live, expert advice and recommendations when shopping.
Live Chat “Attracts” New Sales for Beauty.com

Through live, online chat sessions, Beauty.com is replicating the beauty experience consumers have at the make-up counter in their local department store. Trained beauty advisors, with esthetician or beauty counter experience, can now engage in chat sessions with online shoppers to share immediate advice on the best products for their needs from the convenience and privacy of their homes or office. For example, beauty advisors provide makeup tips and trends, hair care suggestions, and skin care consultations. Beauty.com is converting approximately 25 percent of chat sessions into product orders, with certain promotional weeks converting at as high as 40 percent. This demonstrates how live chat is a great way to help drive revenue in the contact center through cross-selling, up-selling, and providing guidance for online purchases.
RightNow On Demand CRM Solution Helps drugstore.com in Harsh Retail Environment

The retail market in particular is facing a harsh economic climate, as consumers experience rising unemployment and ever-tightening credit. As a pure-play online retailer, drugstore.com’s challenges include educating customers on the value of shopping online versus the convenience of the traditional, neighborhood brick-and-mortar drugstore. One way drugstore.com does this is by offering an extensive product selection, more than 40,000 SKUs vs. a typical drugstore’s 8,000 SKUs; however, this can result in a high number of complex service and support inquiries. Using RightNow’s agent desktop, web chat, email management and web self-service, drugstore.com has been able to:

* Respond quickly and efficiently to 80,000-100,000 contacts per month by providing customer service agents with a knowledge foundation that delivers highly relevant, contextual, and timely information.
* Offer smart, intuitive web self-service, enabling customers to find their own answers at their convenience and alleviating rising email and call volumes in the contact center.
* Reduce phone handle time by 15 percent and email volumes by 30 percent — translating into significant time and labor savings.
* Alleviate administrative and IT burden through RightNow’s hosted CRM on demand model.

Comments on Customer Experience in the Retail Market

“The challenge that companies face in the retail market is that customer expectations are going up, up, up. We don’t have the same branding opportunities as a brick-and-mortar store, so for us, every customer service touch point is vital. Our brand IS our customer experience, and RightNow ensures that we don’t miss a step.” Ron Kelly, vice president, customer care & logistics, drugstore.com

“A consistent theme from our customers is the increased emphasis on revenue generation in the service organization. The highest form of service is when we sell something to someone based on a real need that he or she has. And who better to understand the needs of a customer than the individual who has been supporting them. drugstore.com is a stellar example of a company that is transforming customer service from a cost center to revenue center by up-leveling customer care from focusing not only on problems, but on the overall customer experience as well.” Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder, RightNow
Learn more about drugstore.com and RightNow

RightNow and drugstore.com will be together at eTail
o February 23-26 at the JW Marriott Dessert Ridge, Phoenix Ariz.
o Booth 79, near the Technology Pavillion and cyber café

drugstore.com Finds The Cure For The Common Call Center
o Live webcast with Ron Kelly on March 17

Source: RightNow

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