Data driven, product focused, customer obsessed. This is what we at Gap Inc. aspire, in providing customer service in our contact centers. Over the years, we have gradually expanded our customer facing channels resulting in a multi-channel experience for our customers. Agents around the world assist customers through phone, chat, email, and social media to meet our customers where they are. However, as our channels and scope increased, it was clear that a better solution was needed to ensure the best experience for our customers.

"Change management is an all-encompassing, holistic approach to bringing your employees along on a journey that is often new, uncomfortable and can be extremely stressful in the beginning"

Previously, interactions didn’t provide agents with a full picture of the customer, resulting in longer wait times and making it difficult for agents to see online and store history and activity. Our teams did a deep dive last year and discovered that to get complete omni-channel results we needed a new tool (Salesforce Service Cloud) that would please not only our technical teams but our people organization as well. This is where our journey went from a typical technology platform integration story to an outstanding human technology transformation.

Next Gen Contact Center

Our goal is to create a single agent application that gives our agents a holistic view of our customers. We also want to eliminate “swivel chair”—a term used in the contact center industry for copying and pasting data between multiple systems to get information needed. To do this we retired two legacy systems and incorporated that functionality into our Next Gen Contact Center. Then we made answering the phone and identifying the customer easier by “popping up” the customer’s profile when they called, so agents can immediately see their last 45 days of orders within 1-2 seconds of answering the phone. Previously, this took anywhere from 15-30 seconds and didn’t provide an optimal experience for our customers or agents. While there is always more we can do to improve our processes, we are well on our way.

Establishing a Center of Excellence

After identifying a technology solution with Salesforce Service Cloud, we brought a new taskforce together and established a Gap Inc. Center of Excellence (CoE) to act as a foundation for the new platform. The CoE also set the expectation early on of establishing a level of control and governance while enabling federated development where needed. This thoughtfully avoided architecture issues that didn’t fully leverage the cross-platform capabilities from the start – preventing headaches and more work later on down the road.

What about the People?

Often times the most overlooked but important parts of a change management transition are the people. Our Learning and Development team was brought in early as part of the journey in transitioning to this new Service Cloud solution. “Change management is an all-encompassing, holistic approach to bringing your employees along on a journey that is often new, uncomfortable and can be extremely stressful in the beginning,” said Vicki Cook, head of Logistics Learning and Development. This team took ownership of the change management piece from the start, branding our Next Gen Contact Center work to help guide our teams as they learned new ways of working.

While the journey is well on its way, two more major phases are ahead of us. The next phase will incorporate the ability for our agents to more quickly create, cancel and modify orders and make returns processing easier for agents and customers. Our investment in this foundational work will provide the basis for integrating additional customer facing channels in the future as new and different ways of communicating evolve.