Kustomer to Showcase its Customer Service Platform for Modern Retailers at NRF 2020

The retail world is coming to New York next week for the National Retail Federation’s ‘Big Show’ and we’ll be there at Booth #962. Over 38,000 attendees and more than 800 companies will be descending on the Javits Center from January 12th-14th to share perspectives, experience new technologies, and chart a vision for 2020 and beyond.

The 2010s forever changed customer expectations. And by the end of the ‘20s, we believe that the top retailers will have built lasting customer relationships by creating differentiated, frictionless customer experiences that focus as much on how they serve customers post-sale as they do on the rest of the customer journey. Retailers that unify customer data and empower their agents will better understand customers and deliver personalized experiences, however they happen to engage.

The good news is we can help. If you’re going to be at NRF 2020 Vision, our team of service and technology experts are available to discuss forward-looking customer experience strategies. In addition, we will demonstrate how the Kustomer platform can help you blow away the competition in the years ahead by providing real-time, actionable customer views, continuous omnichannel conversations, and intelligence that automates customer and agent experiences.

While you’re at our booth (#962) you can also pick up a Kustomer beanie to keep warm during the walk from the convention center to your hotel and other activities around New York. You’ll also be able to enter our twice daily drawings at 1PM and 4PM to win gift cards from leading customer service retailers we’re proud to call our clients, such as UNTUCKit, Glossier, and Away.

And of course stop by the Kustomer Stage (Hall E, Level 1) for insights on the future of retail from leaders at brands like L’Oreal, The Vitamin Shoppe, Lush Cosmetics, Williams-Sonoma, Zappos, Patagonia, and more.

If you can’t make it by the booth (#962), but still want to chat about how Kustomer can help you reimagine customer service, please contact us, anytime.

 

Kustomer’s 2019 Year in Review

The final days of 2019 are drawing to a close, and that means it’s time for Kustomer’s year-end wrap up. It has been an exciting year, with much growth and development not only for Kustomer, but for the customer service space as a whole. Here are some of the most memorable highlights:

Top Customer Service Trends of 2019

The throughline of all developments in customer service this past year have stemmed from one fact: customer expectations are growing and brands are struggling to keep up. Consumers demand instantaneous communications on every channel, while simultaneously expecting personalized connections with the brands they do business with. Here is how customer service has changed as a result.

Omnichannel Not Multichannel

Just as companies finally began to feel comfortable achieving multichannel support, customers began to demand more: they now expect TRUE omnichannel support. Unfortunately, the two terms have almost become interchangeable, with many companies and technology providers conflating them. Multichannel support simply means offering customers more than one method for contacting customer service.

Omnichannel support, by comparison, shifts perspective from ticket resolution to customer relationship building. Customers have the freedom to move between channels throughout their engagement, and are guaranteed consistency, so each conversation starts where the last ended. Achieving true omnichannel support was a focus of many organizations in 2019.

The Rise of AI and ML

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have always been trendy buzzwords in the customer service space, but now they are actually impacting customer service. It’s predicted that the use of AI in customer service will increase by 143% by late 2020, so many organizations have spent this year implementing initial automation and preparing their organizations for change.

AI, ML and automation can enable customer service teams to work more efficiently and focus on the customers who need the most help. In 2020 and beyond, AI will largely take over the tedious tasks, while agents can help solve the harder problems, nurture customer relationships and engage in proactive outreach.

The Changing Face of the Support Agent

As a result of this increased adoption of AI and automation, the role of the support agent has also begun to shift. Customer service agents now spend more time building brand equity and customer relationships. The agent’s job is to reflect the company’s mission and values, and act as a trusted partner for customers. The changing expectations of consumers means that customers want to do business with companies they believe in, feeling as though they are a part of the brand. Customer service agents can help do just that, through both proactive and reactive support.

Customer service will continue to become more of an “escalation channel”, with agents spending less time responding to inquiries and answering simple questions, and more time tackling complex or difficult problems.

Kustomer 2019 Developments

Not only was this a huge year for the customer service space, it was also a momentous year for Kustomer as an organization. In 2019 we:

  • Raised series C, D & E funding, totaling $135M
  • Achieved company growth of 350%
  • Opened a brand new office in Durham, North Carolina

We’ve also witnessed tremendous product developments in the past year, including the official announcement of KustomerIQ, which embeds artificial intelligence and machine learning across the platform to enable companies to provide smarter, automated, and more personalized customer experiences. We launched our first EU data center in Dublin to better serve our growing international client base, and achieved SOC 2 Type I and HIPAA compliance to address our client’s regulatory requirements.

Spotlight on Events

In 2019 we held our first annual user conference, Kustomer Today, which gathered a group of leading experts in customer service for thought provoking and informative discussions. The free, all day event for Kustomer clients explored the Kustomer platform, showcased new product releases, and facilitated networking with innovators shaping the future of customer service. Kustomer’s Bosses Unite event gathered an intimate group of leading women in customer experience (CX), in a Gatsby-like atmosphere, to eat, drink, and share the successes and challenges that come with being a woman in the CX industry.

Kustomer attended industry-leading events such as the TaskUs Summit in San Francisco, where executives from the world’s most innovative and disruptive brands debated the future of customer experience, and explored the changing CX landscape. Kustomer also broke into the European market at the Call and Contact Center Expo UK, where we showcased the innovations of the Kustomer platform and met industry professionals looking to excel in the customer engagement space.

Kustomer Top Content

In case you missed it, check out some of Kustomer’s top content from the past year, where we explore consumer expectations and showcase the brands that are delivering superior customer service:

REPORT: The State of Retail Customer Service
E-BOOK: Brands Doing Customer Service Right
GUIDE: 3 Ways to Deliver Personalized Support
BLOG: Why the Kustomer Experience Matters to Abercrombie & Fitch Co
CASE STUDY: How Glovo Delivers Customer Service to Millions

 

5 Must-See Sessions on Customer Experience at Shoptalk

Shoptalk is coming this Sunday, but considering the event spans six tracks and four days, you probably haven’t figured out exactly which sessions you’re going to sit-in on. Allow us to give you a hand! Out of the many excellent options, we’ve picked five that promise to offer a unique perspective on the customer experience, featuring exciting new brands that are shaking up the space.

Monday, March 19th 9:00 to 9:40 AM – The Next Generation of Direct-to-Consumer Startups: Part 1

Shoptalk’s first full day starts with a bang. Featuring four emerging direct-to-consumer startups, each will highlight the unique aspects of their products, model, and approach. Kustomer client Cuyana is going to focus on their “fewer, better” approach to the direct-to-consumer experience. Their bags, apparel, and accessories are designed from the ground up to be of the highest quality and totally sustainable. By incentivizing their customers to donate their older clothes and replace them with longer-lasting premium items, they’ve created a virtuous cycle of conscious shopping and socially responsible donations.

Zak Normandin, Co-Founder & CEO, Dirty Lemon Beverages

Zahir Dossa, Founder & CEO, Function of Beauty

Karla Gallardo, Founder & CEO, Cuyana

Pradeep Elankumaran, Co-Founder & CEO, Farmstead

Krystina Gustafson, Content Director, Shoptalk (Moderator)

 

Monday, March 19th 4:30 – 5:10 Rise of the Niche Brands

The advent of digital channels makes it easier than ever for customer to find the highly specific products that meet their needs. It’s also made it easier for those specific products to find their way to customers. The panel features three of these non-traditional retail startups, but we’re most-excited to hear from Allbirds, the eco-friendly wool sneakers and shoes that are often sported around the Kustomer office. The fact that this New Zealand-based startup only works with wool providers who meet strict sustainability and animal welfare standards is a huge part of their experience, and one we’d like to see more often.

Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Allbirds

Paul Berberian, CEO, Sphero

Alexandre Douzet, Co-Founder & CEO, Ollie (Ollie Pets Inc)

Eric Liaw, General Partner, IVP (Moderator)

 

Tuesday, March 20th – 10:30 AM Keynote with Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO, Glossier

Our client Glossier’s success story is one of the most exciting developments in beauty and DTC retail over the last decade. Their continued success with new products and partnerships is the envy of pretty much every retailer out there. Plus their customer experience and service is an industry best. Like everyone else, we’re hoping that listening to this keynote will let us in on their secret.

 

Tuesday, March 20th 5:15 – 5:55 Track Keynote: Cutting-Edge Logistics and Delivery Innovation

Robots, drones, and new on-demand technologies are bringing a rising number of packages to our doorsteps each day. This session promises to share how innovative brands are leveraging cutting-edge logistics models and delivery methods improve the customer experience.

Foremost among them is our client August Home, a leading smart lock maker whose products allow consumers to control keyless entry into their homes. Working with last-mile logistics provider Deliv, the pair is pioneering in-home delivery with Walmart. This will enable drivers to place orders directly in the homes of shoppers. It’s a huge next step for CX for delivery, and one we’ll likely be seeing more of soon.

Jason Johnson, Co-Founder & CEO, August Home

Daphne Carmeli, Founder & CEO, Deliv

Carl Hazeley, Head of Content, Shoptalk Europe, Shoptalk (Moderator)

 

Wednesday, March 21st 11:50 – 12:30 PM – Culture and Leadership

This session offers an interactive look at how brands and retailers of all sizes foster a culture of innovation. Empowering employees helps creating an environment where they can succeed, and so can the company as a whole. 3D home design startup Modsy’s founder, Shanna Tellerman, started the company fresh out of school with zero management experience. Find out what she’s learned about culture and leadership after founding and building two successful companies and serving as a venture capital investor at Google Ventures.

Nadia Boujarwah, Co-Founder & CEO, Dia&Co

Dave Finnegan, Customer Experience Officer, The Orvis Company

Shanna Tellerman, Founder & CEO, Modsy

Lauren Freedman, SVP Digital Strategy & Chief Merchant, Astound Commerce (Moderator)

Let us know which sessions you’ll be attending by tweeting @Kustomer, and don’t hesitate to set up a meeting if you’re going to be in Vegas!

5 Things to Do in Palm Desert While You’re at eTail West

Your guide to hanging out when you aren’t on site.

eTail West 2018 is set to be packed with stimulating, thought-provoking content for pretty much every moment up until happy hour. That’s awesome, but any event of this magnitude is going to get a little exhausting. So how to unwind? We’ve put together some fun and relaxing options for activities while you’re making the most of your getaway to the sunny Palm Desert.

eTail West 2018 is set to be packed with stimulating, thought-provoking content for pretty much every moment up until happy hour. That’s awesome, but any event of this magnitude is going to get a little exhausting. So how to unwind? We’ve put together some fun and relaxing options for activities while you’re making the most of your getaway to the sunny Palm Desert.

1. Fabulous Bingo at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club

Who says Bingo is for retirement homes? Every Monday night at 7:00 PM in the fashionable Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, crowds gather just to get a chance to fill out their cards at an exciting night of drinks, music, comedy, and dancing. The festivities are hosted by Shirley Claire, a former Palm Springs Follies charmer and recent star of America’s Got Talent. This isn’t your grandma’s Bingo night.

2. Palm Springs Art Museum and Desert X

Art blooms in the desert — if you’re feeling like you need some culture after all the business talk, check out the Palm Springs Art Museum, where you can peruse their extensive collection and interactive sculpture garden. The sprawling Desert X exhibit that covered an entire valley in art works is now finished until 2019, but you can still see Jeffrey Gibson’s “ALIVE” from the street outside the Palm Springs Art Museum, and Armando Lerma’s “La Fiesta en El Desierto” can be seen at 85963 Grapefruit Blvd in Coachella, CA.

3. Dinner with Kustomer!

We like to eat, you like to eat — why not eat together? Request an invite to one of our eTail dinners here and break bread with us in person! To set up a meeting at eTail, contact us here.

4. See the Flamingos!

The grounds of the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert are lush and full of life, but are perhaps most famous for the 30 Chilean flamingos on the premises. Due to all the attention they’ve received, the flamingos have become quite friendly — and will even caw in greeting when you approach.

5. Eat at In-N-Out Burger

Sometimes you just need a good burger, and In-N-Out is about a good a place as any to satisfy your craving. Maybe not as big a deal for any West Coast delegates, but for everyone else, definitely worth the trip for their freshly-prepared fries, shakes, and multi-patty delicacies. Don’t forget the secret menu, and always go Animal Style.

You’re sure to learn a lot at eTail, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself. And, if you start getting tired out, stop by Kustomer’s booth on the exhibit hall for a free and refreshing iced coffee — just the pick-me-up you’re going to need.

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