Customer Service Case Studies
Luxury Products Require World-Class Service
Known for elegant designs, high-quality products, and world-class workmanship, this California-based company has been selling distinctive mirrors in North America since the mid-1980s. The company’s products are featured in high-end hotels around the world, and available to consumers through catalog and on-line orders, as well as in retail and specialty stores.
With such a varied distribution network, maintaining excellent customer service has always been a hallmark for the company’s leadership. So much so, that all aspects of the business were handled in-house for years, “to make sure that everything was done to our standards,” the company president explained.
However, in December 2007, she conducted a Google Search to find out more about the fulfillment business. As a result of the findings, inquiries were sent to about 20 providers to learn about their specific service capabilities and to determine if any would be possible resources to support the company’s sales efforts. In spite of it being the busy holiday season, IFS President Keith Milburn quickly replied to the inquiry.
“Within minutes of beginning that initial conversation, I knew that Keith ‘got it’,” she said. “He clearly understood what concerns I would have and explained that IFS had the systems and processes in place to fill all our business needs.”
Not wanting to leave anything to chance, she decided to give IFS a try by sending them some of the company’s most challenging products as a trial. “I figured if they could handle orders for these SKUs, they could handle our other products just fine,” she explained. To her delight, IFS handled the orders, fulfillment and customer service issues beautifully.
The company started using IFS for all of its fulfillment services in 2008. Since then IFS has more than met expectations regarding customer service and accuracy in filling and shipping orders. “The transition to IFS was as seamless as I could have wanted,” she said. “Keith and his staff have maintained the same level of attention to detail and service that my staff had established. Outsourcing to IFS was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Designer Jewelry Company Requires Exceptional Customer Service and Order Accuracy
Founded in 2009, this designer jewelry website was created with a goal of catering to smart, savvy shoppers who care about style and product quality, as well as the integrity of the brand and the value they get for their money.
From the beginning, company founders were committed to offering exceptional customer service. In fact, they had invested in an inventory management software package so they could handle fulfillment in-house. But after working through a bigger than expected holiday season in 2010, they decided it was time to find a full-service fulfillment partner that could not only process their customers’ orders, but do so with the same commitment to exceptional customer service that they had established early-on.
After researching nearly 30 fulfillment providers across the country, Kansas City-based Innovative Fulfillment Solutions (IFS) topped their list of contenders for the following reasons:
- its central U.S. location made shipping to both coasts faster and more cost effective;
- its ‘high touch’ Call Center provided an elevated level of customer service; and
- its ability to provide secure credit card processing – something that was lacking with many other prospective firms.
A good partnership from day one
The company selected IFS as its fulfillment provider in March 2011. As they transitioned the inventory of nearly 2,000 SKUs, company principals worked closely with the IFS team to familiarize everyone with the characteristics of the individual products. “Many of the jewelry items are nearly identical, with the exception of, say, a particular charm,” explained IFS President Keith Milburn.
“From a quality customer service perspective, it was very important for our staff to be well-versed in product knowledge so we worked closely with company principals to learn everything we could about each of their products.” As a result, IFS streamlined its fulfillment process to ensure that each customer’s order would ship within 24 hours of receipt.
According to the client, the best part of working with IFS was their receptivity to various requests. “The IFS team was very interested in listening and learning about how we had refined our process,” she said. “They then took that process to the next level in terms of doing it even better.”
Gearing up for the holidays
IFS worked closely with the client to prepare for important shopping seasons. In the event that initial projections were low – IFS was able to quickly ramp up to handle increased product demand. This included responding to every phone call, every email, and every idea with timeliness and receptivity as to what the client thought needed to be done to accommodate its customers.
From the client’s perspective, being able to depend on IFS was a huge component of planning for successful holiday results. “We could place orders for inventory in much larger volumes, knowing IFS had the warehouse space to hold it and the team to check it in. If demand surpassed our projections, we knew that IFS had access to exceptional seasonal employees to handle the orders efficiently and accurately.”
After three years of a very successful relationship between the company and IFS, the owners of the jewelry business sold their operation to a larger entity. Looking back, the fulfillment partnership was valuable for both the client and IFS.
“We can’t say enough good things about IFS,” summarized the client. “It was so nice to have a partner that could grow with us. They were always very gracious about accommodating changes that we made to our process…then adapting their processes right along with us.”
Milburn concluded, “We always knew that the company would grow. We just didn’t know they would grow so quickly! But we were very happy to accommodate them and wish them continued success.”
Iconic Outdoor Apparel Company Finds Perfect Fit in Midwest Fulfillment Provider
When this Colorado-based apparel company began searching for a fulfillment provider in 2004, it was essential that any potential provider must possess the following:
- the ability to ship direct to consumers;
- a central U.S. location that would make shipping to both coasts faster and less costly;
- the ability to accommodate growth as the company grew and established brand awareness;
- the capability to turn customer orders within 24 hours;
- the ability to split wholesale packages to manage inventory levels for consumers; and
- a “high touch” Call Center to provide exceptional customer service.
After researching a number of fulfillment companies, the director of e-commerce was convinced that one company – Innovative Fulfillment Solutions (IFS) – stood out among the others in its ability to meet all of his selection criteria and more. “We operate at a very high velocity in the winter months, yet at a much, much calmer pace during the summer,” he explained. “We needed a fulfillment provider that could provide the flexibility to manage space and inventory levels in a way that allowed us to serve the needs of our customers at the highest level. After talking with IFS President Keith Milburn, I believed that IFS could fill that need.”
Service flexibility ensures excellent customer shopping experience year-round
As the company grew from 1,500 SKUs to more than 4,500, IFS grew its capacity to perform and continued to provide an order accuracy rate of 99.99 percent. One major accommodation IFS provided was to ramp up capacity during the holiday season each year when the number of product shipments would quadruple the typical volume of the warmer months. In spite of this increase, the IFS team always managed to adjust to those spikes in order activity and helped the client through the busy times without any major customer service issues.
As a growing business in the competitive apparel industry, outstanding customer service was essential. IFS consistently exceeded company expectations for both order accuracy and outstanding service. According to a company spokesman, “It was such a pleasure to work with the very capable IFS team. I would highly recommend IFS to other e-commerce companies that want to focus on growing their brands, and prefer to leave the logistics of fulfillment and quality customer service in the very capable hands of an expert.”
If your company would benefit from this level of commitment to excellent customer service and attention to detail, contact IFS for more information.