Gucci wants to rethink the traditional shop assistant for the smartphone age consumers
Gucci 9 wants to offer an interesting narrative experience.
Gucci opens 6 call centers to interact with its customers. But since the company is in luxury business, so it’s not a low-end call center. It is a luxury accompaniment. The idea is to have the same quality of interaction as in the shop. If you push the door of a luxury shop, we are supposed to be friendly with the customer, it must be the same on the phone. Specifically, telemarketers are encouraged to maintain a personal relationship with the customer, and no question to shorten the conversation. Because we have to make a figure. So there is no time limit in a conversation.
Gucci 9, why?
The idea is to have the same quality of interaction as in the shop
It’s interesting, because it’s the opposite of the codes of the profession. The call center is often an outsourced activity, relocated to the other side of the world. With a quality of service not always fantastic. This is an opportunity to change the image of a sector. Businesses who make a point of putting their customers at the heart of their priorities may seek to improve call centers. It means reintegrating the telemarketer services internally, with jobs in France, not at the other end of the world. In short, finish with this spiral of always cheaper.
Gucci 9, where?
The Gucci 9 international network will include six customer services in Florence, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore, strategically located in these areas to ensure customer proximity and a fully integrated local experience. The link with the global network is guaranteed by state-of-the-art technologies, allowing the creation of a complete framework for each customer. By 2020, the six centers will employ more than 500 client advisors.
Gucci 9, how?
Gucci 9 ecosystem reproduces the sensory aesthetics of the physical stores projected by the creative director Alessandro Michele. A selection of seasonal and iconic products Gucci offers benchmarks to customer advisors in order to facilitate immediate visual feedback for the customer, but also to give inspiration to all those who work in the structure.
A new way to sell, a new path to interact, a new opportunity to seduce.
Back in Florence, where Gucci operates one of its new call centers — they are reportedly called Gucci 9 — employees work in an office with 2,300 square meters of space (nearly 25,000 square feet), where “rows of smartly dressed young people sit at desks chatting on phones or tapping at emails,” according to the FT report. “Call center staff are encouraged to strike up personal relationships online with high-spending callers, just as the traditional shop assistant would.”
Some 150 employees were answering calls on the Friday morning the newspaper visited, handling inquiries from 26 countries, from callers “who want to buy, return or chat about Gucci — invariably from their smartphones,” the report said.
Many of the millennial consumers that Gucci hopes to reach via its new call centers are located in China (hence plans for the Shanghai center, scheduled to open in 2020, along with similar operations in New York City, Seoul and Tokyo). That’s because sales of luxury goods in China are skyrocketing — up around 20 percent from 2016 — in its sharpest growth since 2011, as Chinese millennials seek products like handbags and cosmetics.
Within China, sales of brands from Gucci to Chanel, which had been sluggish for years, rose at the fastest pace in five years in 2016 and are positioned to consolidate those gains in 2018. Sales of luxury goods in China reached 142 billion yuan ($22.07 billion) in 2016, a 20 percent increase from the prior year.
In fact, the popularity of luxury brands with Chinese consumers has also impacted the payment industry in the U.S., with Alipay, the digital payment arm of Alibaba, announcing last year that it had entered into a partnership with French apparel brand Lacoste that will enable Alipay acceptance in select U.S. stores.
Call center commerce is being reinvented for the digital age, and assuming the new Gucci effort pays significant dividends, you can thank millennials and their mobile-focused shopping habits for at least part of that.