22 July 2020
The Weekly

David Jones moved its customer service operations to run on Amazon Connect and Salesforce cloud-based systems, helping support online sales growth - and rising call volumes about the whereabouts of parcels.

David Jones said that the customer service team manages online shopping inquiries, in addition to rerouting inbound calls to different departments of a physical store. Even before COVID-19, the shift to online represented a challenge for traditional retailers, and the change is even more pronounced now. As David Jones pursued a digital-first strategy, their online sales as a share of total company sales grew significantly. The increase in online sales drove a 50% growth in phone calls to the customer service team with the main inquiry being related to order status.

David Jones had a strategic choice to make - to either take a lower cost option and outsource customer services, or try and retain this important function in-house. Their decision was to keep customer services in house so that they could better respond to customers, and transition from a reactive service model to a proactive service model.

David Jones brought in Deloitte, which built a new platform based on Amazon Connect and Salesforce’s Service Cloud. The retailer is also using Amazon Connect to automatically respond to some calls via a virtual assistant.


If customer is ringing to check on the status of your order, Amazon Connect will locate the order in his Salesforce profile, confirm its details, then an API call to David Jones’ order management system and to their delivery partners to relay the order status to its customer, without the need for human intervention.


If customers use the virtual assistant out-of-hours and it is unable to answer their questions or resolve their call, the system automatically creates a case in Service Cloud, populated the customer's details, and the reason for the call, meaning an agent can then pick it up and action it the next morning. Alternatively, Amazon Connect could transfer calls to an agent.


David Jones said the platform had cut average call handling times at David Jones by 35% so far. However, it was clear that David Jones would also need more customer service agents to handle the huge volumes of inquiries by redeploying sales assistants from their bricks and mortar stores into the service team.


David Jones is also looking to implement chat and messaging in-store. This will give customers more options in how they'd like to engage with their store teams, and allow sales assistants to view their customer's shopping history, allowing them to sell the right product more easily and more efficiently.