On was founded in 2010 in Switzerland and today is one of the fastest growing sports companies in the world, revolutionizing the world of running with its innovative shoes and apparel. In addition to their own webshop, On’s products can be bought at over 7,000 retail stores in over 50 countries. In November 2012 they launched their own webshop successfully. On has 11 offices with over 800 employees worldwide. Its customer service team consists of over 120 Happiness Deliverers, located in 8 offices globally.
On has been on a steep growing curve over the last ten years as they made their way from a Swiss niche running shoe company to a global sport market including lifestyle customers. Their customer base is steadily evolving – and so are their expectations.
2020 was a year of new opportunities paired with new challenges for On. And it became their year of automation. On made a big jump as a business and gained more awareness as a brand when partnering up with tennis champion Roger Federer as a co-entrepreneur at the end of 2019. When they launched their first lifestyle sneaker in May 2020, they opened up their products to a broader fashion market and gained customers beyond running.
On’s strategic decision to go more direct to consumers and this new visibility led to a change in their customer profile which affected the types of inquiries their service department had to handle. Product advice and support had to be tailored to non-runners with more and different kinds of requests compared to their usual dedicated fans. Their service department had to compensate for this shift. But a static solution like their FAQ page was not sufficient enough and their service agents felt the effects of this.
On top of this trend towards a bigger and more diverse customer base, On had to master another peak of service requests in April as well: With the ongoing lockdown due to the pandemic, On’s local retail stores had to close down and the customers’ shopping behavior shifted to their own webshop. In numbers, they experienced a doubling of sales and a tripling of their customer service requests.
With a new type of customer came also a changed behavior On had to live up to: Today’s online shoppers who are spoiled by Amazon’s instant service are far more impatient, demanding and have high expectations of customer service. On felt the pressing need to offer fast answers paired with personalized support. Live chat was no longer an option to offer instant support as the waiting times became longer and longer with the rush of requests.
On decided to step up their customer service game with automation to support their customers on two continents.
On had been thinking about implementing a chatbot solution for a while, but with the sudden increase of sales and customer inquiries as well as the changed customer profile there was no time to waste in order to manage the volume. Suddenly they needed instant support themselves. Together with their internal CX team which takes care of all their customer service tools, On’s service department chose Dixa’s chatbot to automate their peak of incoming requests so they could cut their team some slack while still providing a great service experience to their customers.
They were keen on starting as soon as possible after their onboarding in September to get ahead of upcoming peak times such as Black Friday and Christmas. Soon after, their English bot went live in October, followed by its digital German colleague in December.
To set their chatbot up for success, they have implemented Functions for the customers to check their delivery and return status through an integration with Narvar. These functions are extremely important and helpful for both On and their customers as these types of inquiries make up 40% of their total incoming requests. This is a game changer for them. Currently, they’re working on making these types of updates even more detailed.
Building a customer service funnel with smooth handovers
On goes for a powerful self-service strategy as they guide the customers through their bot first, helping them to help themselves first before offering a personal handover via live chat or phone. They build a strong customer service funnel which helps them to manage their service requests in an efficient and effective manner.
In case an agent is needed, On has defined different escalation strategies and offers a variety of handover options to their customers. Handovers are possible via live chat through an API integration to LiveChat, via form through an API integration with their CRM Salesforce and via phone. For the phone handovers, different phone numbers are proposed based on the customer’s location (US, UK, Germany or other countries in the EU).
Handovers are an important part of On’s service offer as their bots are trained to give product advice and boost sales besides helping out with customer service requests. The chatbots serve as concierges, gathering relevant information and routing the customer to the right expert to complete the consultation and finalize the purchase. To track the impact of the bots on the transaction rate, they are integrated with Google Analytics in early 2021 and are excited to see good results in the near future.
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