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Swarovski is crystal-clear on the value of managing customer service online

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Swarovski is crystal-clear on the value of managing customer service online

Jewelry is one of the most precious gifts you can give, but the pandemic has taught Swarovski that having the ability to manage the customer experience online is priceless.

Headquartered in Wattens, Austria and family run since its founding in the late 1800s, Swarovski has become known as a premier brand for necklaces, watches and many other accessories that are often made out of crystal.

That means having to shut down stores following the outbreak of COVID-19 could have been devastating, given the company’s tradition in physical retail, according to Isabella Kosch, Swarovski’s head of GBS Service management.

“Crystal is a material that people would like to touch, to feel in a shop, especially as you’re selling jewelry and watches,” Kosch said during a session this week at ServiceNow’s virtual summit, Knowledge 2021.

Even so, customers proved more than willing to pivot to online orders in order to continue to buy accessories and gifts, Kosch said. The downside was that customers had questions and concerns that needed to be addressed, which created backlog in the company’s case management tool.

“It was not only the retailers who were affected but the deliverers,” she said. “Due to the online boost they couldn’t cope with huge amount of packages that had to go to end consumers.”

Prolonged delivery times meant there were many more customers asking for delivery status, which of course was less than an ideal experience.

Swarovski was able to quickly get on top of the customer service issues by making use of a capability within ServiceNow to bundle related cases together, Kosch explained.

“We did not have five cases and five agents working on them in parellel., we had one place for everything,” she siad. “Most of the cases are dated. Items had been delivered, so we were bale to close cases that were outdated. We couldn’t have done it with the former tool.”

In fact, Kosch suggested that the pandemic has significantly reinforced the value Swarovski has seen since moving to ServiceNow’s Case Management System (CSM). She showed a chart which estimated ServiceNow’s tool has reduced it overall caseload by 55 per cent compared with what it would have likely had with its former product. 

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Swarovski also made some changes to enhance other aspects of the customer journey online, Kosch said. This included a video call feature where associates could advice on purchases and even try jewelry own to show what it might look like.

The company also introduced the ability to book appointments once stores reopened, which reduced congestion and offered more of a personal, ViP-style shopping experience, she said.

Kosch recommended those upgrading their case management software to consider the full customer journey at the outset, and to recognize that there will likely be considerable changes and improvements that can be made following an initial deployment.

“Yes, you have the go-live, but that’s not when your project ends, it’s when it really starts,” she said.

At Knowledge 2021, ServiceNow announced it is expanding into manufacturing, healthcare and life sciences industries with operational management tools, focusing on improving efficiencies and enhancing employee experiences.

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