Indigo Capitalizes on Data-Driven Customer Delivery Experiences
Indigo (official name !ndigo) is a Canadian retail company founded in 1996 by book lovers, for book lovers that is now a highly recognized brand with a fiercely loyal customer base.
Automated CX (ACX)
A customer-first mindset
Indigo is a cultural department store that aims to consistently provide inspiring, richly stocked, and inviting retail environments. At nearly 200 store locations and on its popular website, Indigo serves as a meeting place inspired by and filled with books, music, art, ideas, and beautifully designed lifestyle products.
Throughout its evolution, Indigo has put the customer first, focusing decisions from product selection to customer service on whether they will add joy to the customer experience.
Thanks to its size and broad product offering, Indigo already managed a complex web of information for order fulfillment – and in mid-2019, that complexity jumped exponentially as the company diversified its delivery network from a single nationwide carrier to an array of both national and regional options.
The rapid expansion from one to eight carriers meant that delivery data would now arrive from eight different sources, requiring monumental resources to track. Simultaneously, Indigo sought to improve the customer experience surrounding order delivery. More than two-thirds of shoppers won't return to a retailer after a bad delivery experience, according to project44 research, so the ability to recognize and proactively address potential shipping issues is important for any retailer.
When they used only a single delivery carrier, Indigo received ‘after the fact’ reporting letting them know a package was delivered, but no indication when a package was stalled or delayed along the way, and therefore no way to intervene to ensure customers got their delivery when promised.
As Indigo expanded its network of parcel delivery carriers, it became increasingly challenging to get a timely, centralized, view of delivery performance and issues across the country at any time, and difficult to establish procedures to proactively address them before a customer called to report an issue.
Adding a wider array of customer service touchpoints, including an automated chatbot to handle common "where is my order" (aka WISMO) customer service inquiries was part of the solution -- but Indigo also needed a single source of truth that customers and internal fulfillment teams alike could rely on. Regardless of how many carriers Indigo used, or which touchpoint customers used to connect with the brand, the company needed a seamless, consistent, branded online delivery experience based on accurate data.
After implementing Ada and integrating with project44, Indigo can now provide ongoing notifications to customers as packages reach key points in their delivery journey. Customers can track their packages in real-time regardless of carrier – giving them up-to-the-minute visibility and reassurance, and reducing the number of costly WISMO inquiries to live customer service representatives.
Indigo has created a customer interface that is fully branded and displayed within their eCommerce site environment – establishing ownership of the delivery experience and ensuring that customers are able to connect with Indigo representatives if they have questions.
To create a "single source of truth," Indigo has also integrated data into its CRM system, so that customer service agents have access to shipment status and can answer questions confidently. And thanks to an integration between project44 and Ada, Indigo's chatbot solution can conduct simple order lookups and provide status updates, giving customers information in seconds—all without needing to build a further integration into Indigo's back-end systems. Indigo’s containment rate—the ability to resolve interactions without call center intervention—increased, and when person-to-person contact was necessary, those calls were shorter than prior to the implementation.
This cohesive, unified approach proved crucial when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted temporary store closures, a dramatic increase in online orders, and a host of supply chain challenges. Throughout, Indigo never lost its commitment to providing an exceptional customer experience amid these unforeseeable challenges.
With the confidence gained from having a complete, centralized view of the company's delivery network and every package moving through it, the Indigo team was able to make operational changes organization-wide. Indigo introduced more rigor into its processes for onboarding new delivery carriers and established minimum standards and clear data-sharing requirements up-front.
- 14% decline in orders requiring customer service intervention, translating into better customer experiences, and tens of thousands of dollars in Customer Service cost savings every month.
- In a six-month period, over 30,000 customers used Indigo’s “Instant Help” chatbot with Ada and project44’s lookup API to check their tracking status – resulting in more than $150,000 in customer service staffing costs.