StellaService Acquires ICC/Decision Services: How Retailers Stand to Profit

When retail industry professionals like you (and partners like us) shop with a brand, we have the same expectations all customers do:

  • A great customer experience, both in-store and online;
  • Excellent customer service before and after the sale; and
  • A smooth, seamless customer journey.

Even before the age of omnichannel, it was tough for brands to deliver consistently on all three. And now? The challenge has grown exponentially.

This was the impetus behind StellaService’s recent acquisition of ICC/Decision Services. Both companies have long been in the business of collecting and using data to help brands improve service performance and increase revenue and market share. Same core values, yet different (but complementary) areas of focus.

Now, with our combined expertise, we’re ideally positioned to tackle the biggest obstacle our retail clients face.

Are Omnichannel Silos Diminishing Your Brand?

Customers don’t think in silos. They don’t say, “I’m going to a store now, so I expect this level of experience,” or “I’m interacting with a customer service representative by phone, so I’m expecting this sort of experience.”

In their minds, a brand is a brand. All touchpoints should be in sync and deliver seamlessly. Now that omnichannel is the new norm, the lines between channels have effectively vanished.

But on the brand side, barriers still exist.

In 2015, we released The Omni-Returns Experience Report, our study of 25 leading retailers’ buy online, return in-store practices. Our brand interactions revealed costly gaps in the omnichannel experience. Among our findings:

  • Retailers missed the opportunity to save the sale or upsell 87% of the time.
  • Among retailers that offer buy online, return in-store, 40% did not consistently make the option clear to shoppers in packaging.
  • During 22% of in-store experiences, associates did not pass our quality evaluations.

These results reflect disparities and gaps in technology, operations and training. And, more fundamentally, a lack of communication between customer care and operations leaders, who often aren’t sharing best practices and data.

The truth is, relatively few retailers today make omnichannel a dedicated responsibility at the corporate level. Customers not only feel the disconnect, but must overcome it themselves.

It’s Time to Measure All Facets of the Retail Experience

To bridge the omnichannel gap, you need data—a continuous flow of relevant data (both in-store and online) that’s freely shared, expertly assessed, and applied in the field.

For years, StellaService has worked closely with customer care executives, collecting thousands of objective data points through interactions with contact centers and fulfillment operations. We’ve tracked areas such as “time to live agent,” length of time for shipments to arrive, the returns process, and speed of refunds.

We’ve gathered this data not only for our clients’ brands, but for the StellaService Ecommerce Index, a list of 30 different service leaders across industry verticals. It’s the only retail industry index of its kind. Our clients use it to benchmark their performance by comparing it with the industry average and the industry’s best.

While this ecommerce data is extremely powerful, it only tells half the story.

Enter ICC/Decision Services, whose in-store customer experience management capabilities were (and still are) unsurpassed in the industry. For more than three decades, ICC/Decision Services partnered with store operations, marketing, and other brand executives to measure in-store conditions and engagement, gauge customer sentiment, increase operational efficiencies, and improve associate training. Acquiring ICC/Decision Services allowed us to marry in-store and ecommerce data—to give retailers a clear, complete picture of their customers’ omnichannel experience.

Now, our clients can not only identify weaknesses across all channels, but also grow their in-store and ecommerce revenues in new ways.

Given where we are as an industry, and where the market’s headed, delivering a consistent experience across channels is a commitment retailers can’t afford not to make. Thanks to our recent acquisition, we’ve never been better prepared to help.

To learn more about our new, omnichannel product suite, request a demo today.  

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