Customer experience in the omnichannel world is a challenge. In fact, for 67% of businesses, improving customer service is one of the top priorities.
If you’re one of those companies that wants to improve customer relationships, you probably already know that looking at the leaders in customer service can give you some great ideas on how to make improvements in your own business. REI has made the transition from an excellent in-store experience to an excellent online experience. That’s why we’ve selected REI to receive a Glance Networks Customer Service Excellence Award.
Crossing the gap from in-store to online
Recreational Equipment, Inc., more commonly known as REI, began as a community of climbers in search of quality outdoor gear. Today, customers can purchase outdoor equipment via retail stores, phone or email, or online through www.rei.com or www.REI-OUTLET.com.
Whatever channel you use, REI will educate you, outfit you, and sometimes even provide the means for your adventure. Moreover, REI also puts environmental protection high on its list of priorities.
REI is a consumer cooperative, or co-op, rather than a publicly-traded company. Co-op members pay $20 for a lifetime membership to join and receive a portion of the cooperative’s profits each year based on a percentage of their eligible purchases. This mode of operating keeps the company very aware of the needs of its most loyal customers and working towards their best interests.
Self-help – sharing knowledge
When you visit an REI store, you have a great customer experience. You are greeted by friendly, knowledgeable employees in every department – and REI emulates this experience online by providing a multitude of ways for you to get information.
First of all, REI has a vast amount of information on its website. From camping and hiking to running, traveling to general fitness, you can find products to fit your needs.
Each product you select offers a multitude of information, including details about the product, product specs, product videos, customer reviews of the product, and answers to commonly asked questions. The product videos go into details that help consumers make real decisions like, “Does this stove have enough BTU output to get those potatoes nice and brown?”
If you’re looking for more general information, check out the REI blog or its in-depth learning center. There you can find anything from reviews of equipment to advice for packing to stories of amazing trips people took to information about classes and events.
Personalized customer service
Still have questions? You can contact REI any time and they want you to know it. Phone numbers, live chat, email and more are all available on the top of the site, at the bottom of the site, and in the bottom menu. Contact center employees are on hand and at the ready. No matter where you are, REI is there to help.
This is clearly a company that puts its customers first. And from personal experience, I can tell you that REI’s agents are knowledgeable and willing to chat with its customers about anything from customer support related issues to gear advice, or even to swap adventure stories.
Putting customers first
By putting its clients first, REI has created an extremely loyal customer base. I myself have often bought more than I planned after talking with a friendly REI representative who convinced me to add a few extra things onto my purchase. It’s not often that a company can get its customers to spend more money and feel happy about it, but REI meets and surpasses that challenge with its excellent customer experience.
It just goes to show that true customer service is an investment worth making.
Ready to learn more tips on how to improve customer care? Download the free eBook: Counting the Customer: The Complete Guide to Dynamite Customer Care.
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About Glance Networks
Glance helps enterprise organizations create the ultimate customer experience with smart, omni-channel visual engagement solutions based around integrated cobrowse, screen share, and one-way agent video. We are one of the world’s simplest, most reliable and secure platforms that enable companies to see, show and share anything online, creating a frictionless path to great experiences in sales, support and customer service. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased revenue growth and operational savings. From financial services and healthcare to retail and travel and leisure, even the most advanced technology and SaaS organizations – we transform the customer experience for today’s business. Learn More »