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One of the coolest call center jobs around!
HARRY’S COMMENTS: Funny story about this search: Last July, Ashford.com’s new President called me about a handful of potential searches. I was out of the office when I took his call so I didn’t have an opportunity to pull up his LinkedIn bio as we began our discussion. After exchanging pleasantries, we got down to business and he asked me to step him through my qualifications for helping him topgrade his team.
My experience with Presidents (even excellent ones) has been that the vast majority know TONS about business but relatively little about ecommerce. With that in mind, I answered his questions as simply as I could, schooling him respectfully in the basics of ecommerce staffing. My rap was kind of 101-ish, if you know what I mean. Well, it turns out that Ashford.com’s new President is none other than Engle Saez, the former CMO of both Blue Nile and Eddie Bauer, who was also an SVP of Marketing at Starbucks.
It was like lecturing Ted Williams on hitting.
Anyway. Engle was extremely gracious and listened politely for about 20 minutes before saying that I knew my stuff. But he could have squashed me like a bug if he’d wanted to. I relate that story to candidates because it’s always nice to know you’ll be working with somebody who is phenomenally well experienced, smart, and has a sense of humor. Plus, Engle has a really exciting vision for the business.
So here’s the 411 on this role:
Currently Ashford sells high-end watches, but it’s looking to strengthen its position as an aspirational lifestyle brand. When that’s your goal in life, Job One is to make your customers feel special every time they touch your company — be that on the web, in the mail, or on the phone. In such cases, being a Customer Support Manager is akin to being a Customer Experience Manager. Your job is to make customers feel better about themselves because of their relationship with Ashford.com.
Meaning: When these clients call your call center with questions about a product or order, your team’s job is to pamper the heck out of them in ways that smartly leverage everything the organization already knows about the customer, so that customer needs are anticipated — and they never have to tell Ashford the same thing twice.
As the leader of Ashford.com’s call center, you’ll be responsible for developing and supporting a culture that personifies Ashford.com’s brand of excellence, recognizing that people are the key to success. You’ll spend quality time training your team not only in effective customer service techniques, but you’ll teach them how to be a go-to resource for watch trends and information. Your people will need to live and breathe luxury watches — but that doesn’t mean that you must be a luxury watch aficionado.
At least not initially.
A typical day for one of your reps will be to answer inbound calls, chatting with customers online and solving problems, all the while looking at social media dashboards to see what is being said about the brand online and managing that conversation in a way that is friendly, helpful, and brand appropriate. You’ll be responsible for shaping the customer access strategy whether customers are placing orders, exchanging orders, checking account status or seeking the resolution to a problem. Your reps will be serving well informed and diverse customers and will need to adjust to frequent changes in products, services, and technologies while operating in a time sensitive, multimedia environment.
You’ll need to establish a world-class climate for service as well as a climate for employee well-being. All of this will flow naturally from hiring people who can relate to and bond with the firm’s customers.
This will be your baby.
And it will be up to you to ensure that the contact center reps are accessible, courteous, responsive, prompt, well-equipped, proactive, commitment oriented ethical, and do things right the first time. Obviously, that’s a tall order. But Ashford.com will give you the authority and resources to be successful.
We’ve got plenty of information that we can share with highly qualified candidates about Ashford.com’s business — its strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. We have greatly enjoyed working with Engle, and we have learned a lot about marketing on our calls with him. If you really want to take your luxury marketing knowledge to the next level, Ashford.com would be right up there with NYU.
The only difference is Ashford.com will pay you handsomely — whereas NYU will charge you an arm and a leg! If you’d like to know more about this opportunity, please apply below.
- Collaborate with Ashford.com team members to define and deliver the requirements of an exceptional customer experience.
- Play an active role in Call Center management, communicating regularly with Marketing, Merchandising, Order Fulfillment, IT, and other departments as necessary.
- Assist with the development and continual refinement of the call center strategy.
- Create key performance metrics to measure call center effectiveness, customer experience and brand awareness. Click here for ideas …
- Design, maintain and continually optimize departmental processes that address business needs and that ultimately yield an excellent and brand-appropriate customer experience.
- Develop, build and scale in-house customer contact centers that integrate call, email, and chat traffic.
- Demonstrate and foster a sense of urgency and entrepreneurial commitment to achieving goals.
- Build a strong, positive team culture and create disciplined groups that work well together.
- Recruit, train, and lead an exceptional call center team.
- Serve as a primary customer advocate within the organization.
- Capture customer behavior and fashion tendencies, analyze results, and develop cross-departmental recommendations.
- Partner with loss prevention to minimize online fraud activity.
- Oversee processing of all Direct to Consumer returns and exchanges.
- BA or BS required. (MBA degree a plus.)
- 5+ years in call center / customer service management, preferably with retail ecommerce and fashion experience.
- Experience in staffing and managing a highly motivated and effective call center / customer service team.
- Must appreciate the customer base, brand, and culture.
- Must have a strong knowledge of social media and customer support technologies including: phone systems, CRM platforms, workforce management software, etc.
- Excellent communicator with superior verbal, written, interpersonal, and presentation skills.
- Must have a strong desire to continuously improve the customer experience across all functions.
- Ability to think critically and problem solve in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
- Experience with executing loyalty programs is a plus.
UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED.