Fanatics improves its efficiency by expanding its use of the Oracle Customer Experience Cloud and having its agents work on one system.

Fanatics Inc. aims to speed up its customer service agents’ response times.

The licensed apparel and sporting goods e-retailer is expanding its use of the Oracle Customer Experience Cloud for its customer service representatives, Carolyne Matseshe-Crawford, vice president of Fan Experience at Fanatics, told Internet Retailer at the Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience conference in Chicago last week. While Fanatics has been using Oracle since 2012, the retailer has not being using it to its greatest potential, she said.

Fanatics is in the midst of moving its legacy customer service ticketing-management system onto Oracle. The system will significantly speed up the efficiency of its customer service processes, she said.  Take, for example, a Fanatics.com shopper who calls customer service after attempting to order a single T-shirt style for 10 family members to wear to a game but can’t find a baby onesie that matches. The first agent she talks to may not know if Fanatics can produce a onesie in time for the game and will have to research the request. Under the old system, the agent would have to create and use multiple customer service ticket tools that interact with the retailer’s manufacturing, warehousing and distribution systems to complete this request. Now, with its upgrade on the Experience Cloud, the agent could use one ticket-management system to complete the request, Matseshe-Crawford said.

With its Experience Cloud expansion, the customer service page on Fanatics.com that the shopper sees is now on the same system that the agents see. This has helped reduce employee training time since agents only have to learn one system. It now takes about two weeks to train an agent, said Matseshe-Crawford without revealing what it was before.

Fanatics also is in the process of changing its training and hiring procedures so that all customer service agents can handle customer service requests regardless if a consumer calls, uses on-site chat or emails. Previously, Fanatics had separate chat and email agents and separate phone agents. Having “universal” agents has significantly reduced wait times for consumers, says Matseshe-Crawford without giving specifics.

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Fanatics has five 24/7 customer service centers that are a combination of their own centers and outsourced. They all use Oracle in some way, she says. Fanatics also operates the e-commerce business for 300-plus websites for professional sports leagues, such as the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association. With multiple sites to operate, having them all on one system is more efficient, Matseshe-Crawford says.

Fanatics also recently launched its Jersey Assurance program, which allows a shopper to exchange her player jersey within 90 days if the professional athlete switches teams. The program also gives shoppers confidence to buy a jersey, which isn’t the lowest price point product, Matseshe-Crawford says.

“It’s definitely a brand loyalty play,” she says.

Since the program launched in 2107, thousands of shoppers have used it, says Matseshe-Crawford without revealing more.

Fanatics is No. 34 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500.

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