Background

Matalan is one of the UK’s leading retailers. Since its foundation in the 1970s, the business has grown significantly and now trades from 5 million square feet and 190 stores. With an average 30,000 sq. ft per store, the Matalan product range includes a comprehensive selection of quality homewares, ladies’, men’s and children’s clothing and footwear – including a range of in-house brands and top fashion names including Wrangler, Falmer, Wonderbra and Lee Cooper. An innovator since pioneering out-of-town shopping in the UK with the opening of the inaugural Matalan store in Preston, the retailer is extending its reach with online, catalogue and telephone sales operations.
The extension of the Matalan proposition to new channels of customer engagement requires the fundamental re-engineering of business systems and processes. In support of its groundbreaking strategy, Matalan is creating a multi-channel customer service solution in partnership with numero.

The numero solution

Matalan is an existing numero client and user of our first generation email management platform. With the help of numero, Matalan is radically and fundamentally changing the way it engages consumers through a modular approach that delivers far-reaching business benefits in stages. As a consequence, Matalan is enhancing all its customer journeys (including those originating by phone, email, social media, online and in writing) through a carefully defined change programme that delivers clear business benefits throughout the project life. This is a refreshing alternative to traditional IT projects that have to wait for the completion of everything before delivering any business improvements.
This approach is especially important for Matalan as retail customers are embracing the multi-channel world by grasping the opportunity to shop in-store, online, by phone and on the move. Recognising the business imperative of keeping pace with changing preferences and habits, Matalan is creating a flexible and future-proofed customer service platform that will transform the way consumers shop both in the immediate and long-term. In order to do so, Matalan turned to numero to support it on a major business process re-engineering project that:

•   Takes full account of the needs, preferences and habits of multi-channel consumers
•   Enables customer contact via multiple channels including online, social media and self-service IVR
•   Seamlessly integrates with its current and future ecommerce platforms
•   Protects the considerable investment in existing systems and technologies by seamlessly integrating multiple systems and back office processes
•   Takes the burden away from the in-house IT resources to free time for other business priorities
•   Builds on the experience and business benefits gained from the deployment of the numero SmartAgent email management solution
•   Delivers a new solution quickly, efficiently and effectively to support other business changes – including the implementation of new telephony and e-commerce systems
•   Provides new levels of MI that eliminate the need for manual collation and reporting on a comprehensive set of management information needs.
To address these challenges, numero is building a new solutions platform for Matalan that seamlessly integrates with its existing and planned ecommerce system. Everything is powered by the numero interactive platform with a Single Agent Desktop providing an intuitive, easy-to-use and adaptable user interface. The Single Agent Desktop intelligently changes according to each specific workflow – interrogating and updating back office systems to maintain a single view of the customer. numero interactive also powers customer-facing functionality – such as online self-service and social media interfaces – bringing similar benefits to customer journeys.

The numero approach

A key success factor of the Matalan solution is our engagement/proof-of-concept methodology, numero act. A cornerstone of many similar projects, numero act is a comprehensive step-by-step process that establishes the solution architecture, application style, business case and business benefits of our solutions. numero is working closely with the Matalan team – and its technology partners – to understand current processes, workflows, communication channels, back office systems requirements and operational needs. The output from the numero act stage is a phased project plan that includes a compelling business case confirming the powerful benefits of the project (with payback measured in a matter of months) along with a high level project initiation document for each of the following phases:

•   Phase one – streamlining existing sales/service workflows – integrated with an existing ecommerce system
•   Phase two – enabling telephone ordering as a new channel to market and streamlining all associated workflows – integrated with a new ecommerce system
•   Phase three – enabling customer self-service online and streamlining all associated workflows

Building on the proof-of-concept stage, the Matalan solution is being designed and built via our proven numero pro delivery methodology. This agile approach ensures each stage of the solution is fast-tracked through the creation of iterative working prototypes that allow the business to test and experience the solution during build. This modelling technique ‘flushes out’ business, IT and project issues related to the system’s look and feel, user-ability, functionality, conformance, solution integration, data authoring, testing, hardware architecture, SOA strategy, systems resilience and ongoing application support. The overall approach ensured strong client confidence and engagement while carefully controlling development costs.

Outcomes

The outcome for Matalan is a ‘state-of-the-art’, multi-channel solution that redefines the way it interacts with consumers; opening new channels to market and enhancing shopper experience with its existing channels. Perhaps most importantly, the power of the solutions platform – numero interactive – together with the flexibility of numero’s Single Agent Desktop and multi-channel handling capabilities ensures that Matalan can continually innovate to keep ahead of market needs. The overall impact will be the:

•   Exploitation of new retail channels – including telephone and social media – giving Matalan customers more ways to shop
•   Creation of entirely new and innovative multi-channel self-service options for consumers – including IVR, social media and online options – to reduce the burden on, and improve the effectiveness of, the contact centre
•   Automation of MI to create better information, faster while eliminating the need for manual reporting
•   Radical improvement in sales agent effectiveness with automated and streamlined workflows that focus on first time resolution and customer engagement rather than dated measures such as call handling times
•   Separation of the underlying e-commerce and legacy applications from the Single Agent Desktop to reduce time to market for new service innovations
•   Protection of existing Matalan technology investment by integrated legacy systems with the numero solution
•   Groundbreaking social media functionality with secure consumer interaction and transaction within Matalan’s Facebook profile
•   Streamlining of customer journeys to deliver world-class service levels and satisfaction
•   Creation of a single view of each customer, with multiple third-party systems seamlessly integrated within a single agent desktop to provide the ideal platform for in-depth customer engagement
•   Automation of workflows to substantially improve call handling and contact centre efficiency
•   Significantly improved work sharing and load balancing across contact centre teams
•   Freeing of internal IT resource which can be focused on other business priorities

Matalan - Omni-Channel

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