Delivering a positive customer experience is more critical now than ever before—especially in the retail industry. In orderto stay relevant, this global Retailer sought to transform into a more customer-centric organization by gaining a deeper understanding of its customers’ experiences. This digital transformation is a significant shift in company thinking; in thepast, the focus was on its warehouse stores where it could control every aspect of the customer journey—this focus has now expanded to all points of sale (warehouse, smaller stores, website). While it was collecting some surveys, sales information, ratings, and customer reviews, it had no system in place to aggregate the data for analysis and action.
The company was experiencing these challenges:
- Siloed and globally disparate data and lack of a unified infrastructure made it practically impossible to gain an understanding of real-time customer experience levels across the business. Data collection was fragmented across countries and was not always representative of the end-to- end customer journey.
- From a digital transformation perspective, the company required strategic direction on how to bring about cultural change and become more customer-centric by leveraging technology.
The Retailer sought a highly flexible, scalable and always-on cloud solution to collect, consolidate and analyze multiple sources of data to gain actionable insights. Key requirements of the solution were to:
- Provide a standardized way for all stores to intercept end-to-end data points of the customer journey in order to understand and act on customer experience, 24/7. At the same time, the infrastructure had to be flexible enough to work within the corporate organization and work for some franchisees that may have technical, legal or policylimitations.
- Deliver transparent, analyzed and consolidated customer feedback, anytime, anywhere.
- Establish one common infrastructure to cater to all customer insight needs across the business.
The company recognized Cloudreach’s ability to translate business requirements into a technology solution and engaged us to create an innovation platform for customer insight—pivotal tooling that enables this massive shift in thinking. It comprises a Microsoft Azure cloud native infrastructure and data pipelines to enable data aggregation across globally-dispersed retail stores. During the project, the “Everything as Code” principle was enforced to prevent manual modifications to any production environments. Cloudreach provided the following:
- Developed end-to-end data processing pipelines (Airflow, Docker containers) to enable all customer and store data aggregation.
- Developed the Azure Kubernetes Service infrastructure using Terraform and deployed CI/CD pipelines that provide output in the form of a data set that links customer sentiment with service elements. Cloudreach’s proven data engineering approach was used for data visualization, data mart, and data analysis.
- The complete tech stack consists of Microsoft Azure Data Lake. Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure DevOps, Airflow, Terraform, Natural Language Processing Tooling, PostgreSQL, Python, and Qlik Sense.
Cloudreach brought more than technical expertise to this customer—we also demonstrated how digital transformation helps to drive cultural change and support its goal of becoming a more customer-centric organization. Following our consultative approach to help prioritize requirements, our lean and agile team closely collaborated with the company’s business group and provided invaluable architecture support to deliver on its vision.
The customer insights platform is now live in 46 languages across more than half of the dozens of countries in which the retailer operates. Repeatable code developed by Cloudreach will make it possible to quickly roll out the solution across additional locations. The company has gained valuable capabilities and realized several benefits:
- Improved security, agility, and scalability with increased automation and a low-ops IT environment.
- A single, consolidated approach that enables fast, data-driven, customer-centric business decisions has replaced scattered and inconsistent ways of collecting customer feedback and data hidden in functional silos. For instance, aggregated ratings and sentiment are used to identify “happy customer score”. In one region, soon after the solution was deployed, the company was able to identify a poorly performing delivery partner and take action to review the service provider’s contract.
- Employees at all levels of the organization have gained an understanding of key factors and how their performance impacts the customer through access to valuable customer journey insights such as true experience drivers and root causes. During the coronavirus pandemic, one country used data to ensure delivery drivers were adhering to social distancing rules and rolled out retraining where needed.
- The data platform is a key catalyst and driver for the company’s digital transformation and is a model for future data initiatives in a cost-efficient way.
This progressive cloud platform enables the global Retailer to integrate new feedback sources and act on rich customer experience data. Cloudreach’s methodology and technical expertise is being held up as a model for how to approach future data initiatives across the organization. Continuous further development will deliver additional functionality and business insights to help the company remain relevant in the marketplace.
The customer insights platform is now live in 46 languages across more than half of the dozens of countries in which the retailer operates.
This Cloudreach customer is a 60+ year old global retailer that started as a small catalogue-based business and has grown to hundreds of retail stores, becoming one of the most well-known brands in the world. Their focus for much of the company's history was on its warehouse stores. The retailer has now expanded its scope to all points of sale including website, warehouse, and smaller stores, with websites in 46 languages across more than half of the dozens of countries in which the retailer operates.