To adapt to our customers’ evolving requirements and behaviors, in 2019 we piloted our Customer Experience (CX) program across four pillars: Education and Mindset, Strategy and Design, Execution and Measurement and Audit (know more). The purpose of this was to keep our brands customer-focused and responsive to emerging trends like ecommerce. As this year progressed, it became apparent that initiating our CX program was a pragmatic decision.When the pandemic struck, it became necessary for us to deliver the Chalhoub experience entirely online and provide rapid order fulfilment, so that we could continue to delight our customers.
The Group-wide ecosystem delivered by the CX team enabled us to sustain our human-to-human connection with our customers despite the challenges of the crisis. To build robust human connections with our customers across all contact points, it has been essential to distance ourselves from traditional sales mindsets. Our CX team has played a leading role in achieving this. In 2020, a series of their training events and initiatives promoted the necessary talents and culture.
In 2019 we launched our CX Academy, to spread CX culture across the Group. This year we merged our CX and Retail Academies. 554 of our front liners across UAE (23%), KSA (66%) and Kuwait (11%) which represents 100% of FOH members participated in training programs that were designed to develop their CX talents and thinking. Moreover, our Academy appointed 18 CX Champions, who were tasked to permeate CX principles into their units and brands.
We also organized our CX Hackathon where our business units and brands mapped their journeys, shared their business styles, and brainstormed ideas to jump-start their customer experience journeys. The Hackathon also highlighted the value of breaking down silos to merge the talents of front and back of house teams, which results in more desirable customer experiences of our brands.
These initiatives helped to transform thinking across our Group from a traditional sales mindset to a customer-centric ethos which enhanced customer experience and increased loyalty by 57%.
The change of mindset generated by our CX programs now affords us protection against unpredictable market shifts. This is exemplified by two new digital platforms that are available across all customer touch points.
Through our digital concierge service and our Level Shoes hybrid platforms, that were launched this year, we were able to continue to serve our customers in the manner they are accustomed to despite the disruption inflicted by the pandemic. By embracing this technology, it became possible to provide services like fashion and beauty advice, and to showcase our product ranges, in the safety of their homes.
We anticipate that we will continue to benefit from these innovations as we emerge from the pandemic because our customers will be able to shop how they want, wherever they are 24/7. This will help to keep us ahead of the curve regarding any future shifts in shopping habits, or times of crisis.
Additional to responding to our customers’ needs, digital platforms reduce the environmental impacts associated with the energy consumption and emissions that result from running our stores, and our customers’ journeys to them.