min read

Bridging Success to Service in Retail Apparel

In the ever-evolving retail customer experience landscape, my conversation with Michael Fulvio, the Director of Customer Experience at SNIPES, sheds light on how leaders can innovate and elevate the consumer journey. SNIPES, known for its influence from hip-hop, street ball, dance, and sports culture, operates over 300 stores nationwide along with a dynamic online presence. 

Michael's background in acting and his experience waiting tables in New York provided him with invaluable skills in improvisation, empathy, and storytelling. These skills are crucial in navigating the complexities of customer support and service. At SNIPES, the manifests with the company’s focus on being "authentic AF," which ensures that interactions with customers are genuine, understanding, and personalized. This approach not only solves the customers' issues but also resonates with them on a personal level, building lasting relationships and loyalty.

Michael's unique journey from an aspiring actor to, customer success, and ultimately leading customer experience at SNIPES brings a fresh perspective on building customer relationships, as well as enhancing service delivery.

From Customer Success to Customer Support

For Michael, transitioning from customer success in the tech startup world to customer support in retail highlighted the interconnectedness of retail operations. In retail, every interaction — including product allocations, delivery, and returns — impacts customer satisfaction. Unlike the relatively lower volume of accounts in customer success, retail experiences at SNIPES involve engaging with a vast number of customers daily. This scale requires a commitment to timely, empathetic, and effective responses to maintain a positive and memorable customer experience.

Embracing Omnichannel Strategies

One of the significant challenges in retail customer service is ensuring consistency and authenticity across various touchpoints. This includes experiences in-store, online, and through social media. Michael emphasizes omnichannel’s the importance of omnichannel strategies, where every department and technology used communicates with the customer in a unified manner. SNIPES leverages Salesforce among other technologies to create a holistic view of the customer journey, allowing for more personalized and efficient service across all channels.

Valuing Agents Amidst Automation

Looking ahead, Michael sees automation and AI playing a significant role in enhancing the retail customer experience. SNIPES is investing in AI-driven analytics to better understand customer behaviors and preferences. That way, SNIPES can anticipate customer needs and provide more personalized service. However, Michale emphasizes that the human element remains irreplaceable, especially in situations requiring deep empathy and investigation into customer concerns. Michael works every day to ensure that team members feel valued and essential, showcasing how automation tools are there to augment their capabilities, not replace them.

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