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How High-end Retailer SSENSE Strategically Solves CX Volume During Peak Seasons and Holidays

Alice Wong
September 9, 2022
To supplement their existing team and clear the ticket backlog during sales and the holiday season, SSENSE needed a flexible, on demand solution. 

Founded in 2003, SSENSE is a leading e-commerce retailer based in Canada specializing in designer fashion such as Versace and high-end streetwear like Balenciaga. They deliver to customers in 114 countries around the world and receive millions of customer inquiries annually via email, chat, social media and phone.

SSENSE’s CX Challenge

However, even with hundreds of in-house agents on their support team and offshore agents through their Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) vendor, they were still struggling to support their customers during their peak volumes such as sales and the holiday season.

Like many other retailers, SSENSE sees 25%+ of their annual sales from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas. And naturally, that also means spikes in their customer inquiries too. 

The most popular types of inquiries they received were around:

Why their traditional BPO and chatbot weren’t enough to clear the backlog

Despite having a large agent team and using best in class tools, SSENSE was still facing thousands of tickets in their backlog, and the company needed additional support. 

The issue came down to a common pain point many CX leaders face -  training was taking too long. In SSENSE’s case, it took up to 3 months for a traditional BPO to train a new agent. 

During the off season, this may not have been as much of an issue. But during peak season, when SSENSE had a sudden huge spike in tickets come in, they didn’t have enough trained agents ready to support their customers. And on top of that - they didn’t have time to continue training the new agents either. 

Using automation also didn’t help as much as they’d hoped - the chatbot was only handling very basic and transactional scenarios where the answer is very clear. In addition, the chatbot was incorrect 44% of the time on the tickets that it attempted. In 26% of tickets, the chatbot completely failed to understand the customer’s request. 

Here is an example of that.

SSENSE Chabot Automation is incorrect 44% of the time

Turning to On-demand CX Support for the Holidays

To supplement their existing team and clear the ticket backlog during sales and the holiday season, SSENSE needed a flexible, on demand solution. 

SSENSE turned to Chatdesk to quickly get set up, while also being careful to ensure that they continued to deliver high customer satisfaction. 

Finding the right agents:
From Chatdesk’s established community of thousands of CX experts, we were able to identify 9 agents who were already happy customers of SSENSE and experts in luxury fashion

Prioritizing ticket types:
The SSENSE leadership team decided Chatdesk would work on the ticket types that the chatbot failed to address properly, which included: 

Smart Ramp up and QA:
To make sure responses were delivered exactly the way SSENSE wanted, Chatdesk Experts worked on 5-10 tickets for the first few days. Then, our Client Success Managers (CSM) and the SSENSE team checked in for a quality review. 

Now Chatdesk experts solve hundreds of tickets per day for SSENSE to keep the company’s ticket backlog cleared year-round - even during the holidays.

To learn more about Chatdesk and how it works, simply schedule a demo

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