PAS Group

The PAS Group attributes a 39% increase in online sales partly to live chat and their excellent customer service

  • Live Chat Volume/Month 430
  • Live Chat Conversion 7.21%
  • Monthly Ticket/Volume 350
  • Response Time <24 Hours 75%
  • Products Used

For The PAS Group, one of Australia’s largest fashion apparel businesses, providing excellent customer service through every channel is key to inspiring customer loyalty.

The PAS Group is made of seven brands, including Review, JETS, White Runway, Designworks, Yarra Trail, Marco Polo, and Black Pepper. The group currently has over 280 stores and employs 1,500 employees across Australia and New Zealand.

From a support perspective, this is a lot to manage, and it could be easy to get distracted by the competition, especially given the recent influx of international retailers like Zara, H&M, and Amazon to the Australian market. Yet as Anna Samkova, Loyalty and Digital Manager at The PAS Group, shared, “The competition creates opportunity. We have to adapt to an ever-changing consumer market and focus on the customer experience.”

For most retailers, improving the customer experience is an ongoing challenge. For The PAS Group, it’s been a central focus. “We’ve been working incredibly hard over the past few years on making our customer experience the very best it can be whether in-store or online,” she said.

To that end, the company has invested in getting to know their customers and understanding what they want to buy, how they shop, and which channels they use. By meeting their customers in each of those channels, The PAS Group improves the customer experience and builds loyalty among each of their brands.

The PAS Group has always offered multi-channel support, but back in July 2015, customer enquiries were going into three different email inboxes. There was also an online form, individual social media accounts, and siloed phone and live chat systems to move between. Each person on the small team dealt with different enquiries across locations and lacked visibility into what other types of enquiries were coming in. They also had little insight into the customer’s buying history.

Samkova knew a better, more unified tool was needed. Within two weeks of making that decision, the customer service team began using Zendesk Support to process customer enquiries for the REVIEW brand.

After a few months, the team moved enquiries to the Black Pepper brand into Support, followed by the JETS brand.

“The Zendesk Support multi-brand feature is perfect for an organisation like us. We can try one brand first and then add others. It’s so scalable,” Samkova said.

Since implementation, the customer service team at The PAS Group has remained lean, growing by one person to make a total of four agents. Efficiencies gained by using Zendesk Support has translated to not needing to scale headcount.

“Our customer service team found they were able to get through more enquiries and work across multiple tickets at once, as they had full visibility into an enquiry’s status and access to the customer’s full history,” Samkova explained. “They’re able to easily pick up exactly where another team member leaves left off.”

As long-time live chat users, The PAS Group also decided to make the leap to Zendesk Chat, to integrate live chat with Support.

“Our previous live chat tool was working for us,” Samkova explained, “but we knew we really needed a more unified approach as to how we handled customer enquiries across channels.”

As a result, the team saves time by not having to switch between systems. “We’ve got a reputation within The PAS Group for adopting new technologies early and live chat is a great example of that. It reduces email and phone calls significantly and our customers love it,” Samkova said. “They can get their queries responded to quickly, which means they ultimately buy more. Last financial year, our online sales increased by 39 percent and live chat and the timely responses from our customer service team played a huge part in that.”

The PAS Group’s customer service team can be proud of their average first-time response (FRT) rate, as 75 percent of all customer enquiries are responded to within 24 hours. Even better, 50 percent of enquiries are handled in less than 8 hours, and 25 percent have a FRT of less than an hour.

“We know our customers much better thanks to Zendesk,” Samkova said. “We can see their history, regardless of the channel they use to contact us. Customers don’t need to repeat themselves and we can respond to enquiries much faster than we ever did before.”

“When it comes to customer service, we need to be where our customers are, at the right time and in the right place. Zendesk helps us do just that.”

– Anna SamkovaLoyalty and Digital Manager