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Gap: 5 Steps to Creating Brand Promoters Through Great CX with Medallia

Dreamforce Session 2019  – Katie Lechner and Aaron Dizack

It was a pretty packed room at Dreamforce where Katie Lechner and Aaron Dizack from Gap shared their 5 steps to customer experience success on stage. Not only did we hear about how Katie’s passion for sailing and Aaron’s passion for astronomy required careful strategic planning, but we were also reminded that customer experience requires strategic planning as well if you want to deliver remarkable experiences. 

“Our main goal is to build brand promoters – customers who go out of their way to brag about Gap to friends, family and colleagues. They are more important than ever.”

Katie Lechner, Sr. Director Consumer Insights and Strategy and Innovation, Gap Inc.

Let’s dive in. Here’s a recap of the session and the 5 steps Katie and Aaron shared on how they are driving exceptional CX for Gap. 

    1. Know Your Customer. It is imperative to have goals, but before setting them, it’s important to understand who your customer really is. From there you can set the North Star you want to shoot for. Then you can ask yourself what are we trying to accomplish and what is our main goal? “We went all-in and took a multi-tiered approach. We found a strong advocate – a voice with passion that could help move the masses forward, Sonia, our Old Navy Brand President.” Sonia reads 400 customer comments every day to understand who her customers are and how they feel about their engagements on the Gap Website, in stores and on the line with call center reps. With Sonia’s support, Katie and Aaron were able to kick off their program across the company and create a full circle system of employees, tools, and insights to empower teams at all levels to listen and respond to customer needs. “We needed to drive a culture of listening and acting on our customers needs to unlock remarkable experiences that spark joy and create brand promoters.”
    2. Having a Single Source of Truth. Gap has a philosophy of “one customer” and that they owe it to them to listen – all of the time and in whatever method they want to share their story. “We needed qualitative data. Were we looking at the right touchpoints? We needed to hear our customer’s voice including the good, the bad and the ugly.” The team created one dashboard for all data to show how customers felt and to motivate a way forward. The program became the Promoter Program powered by Medallia and even has its own hashtag #promotermovement.
    3. Building Bridges Internally. Change isn’t easy in any organization and for Gap, with multiple brands, continents, and metrics, it was hard. Katie and Aaron knew they needed to take the time to understand their internal partners and remove any friction before it started. Specifically, the Mission Control team responsible for all digital platforms had used a previous vendor for feedback that was integrated into the Website. “We made it a point to meet with our Mission Control team early on to learn what’s working and what’s not and to forge a path forward.” The Mission Control group is now the largest user of Medallia helping them understand what customers are experiencing on the company’s digital channels.
    4. Insights to Activation. This is where the story got really good. It’s what Medallia is all about – action! Gap needed a way to get tangible feedback from customers, not just scores and with Medallia, they were able to capture real-time comments along the lines of  “Too bad you don’t carry XL sizes. I needed a 2XL.” And “there isn’t enough room for strollers in the NJ store and not enough options for children.” Gap took action and are piloting plus sizes in several locations and the manager of the NJ location rearranged her space and added more baby clothing – both programs are seeing amazing outcomes as a result. The hunger for data escalated after employees saw the power of the feedback. “Our field organization are the most critical users of the program and data and we are moving to a more customer minded organization each day.”  In addition, Gap designed a survey that intercepted online shopping journeys when items were not added to a basket. The feedback rated satisfaction with items a person was shopping for. This feedback delivered deeper insights into shopping abandonment for the UX design team to take action on.
    5. Keeping Score. “We needed to know if we were winning or if we were uncovering opportunities for change.”  It’s all about the data. Aaron told a story of how, in 1998, NASA contracted Lockheed Martin to build a climate orbiter for Mars, but the two companies were using different calculations for measurement. His story continued that, $320m (2.3% of NASAs budget) later and years of set back, the mission failed as the miscalculations in measurement resulted in the orbiter disintegrating before entering the atmosphere. Can you afford to lose 2.3% of your customers? Gap isn’t willing to entertain the thought, which is why they needed to ensure their data was good and accurate. Bad data leads to bad outcomes. Medallia helps Gap ensure their data is measuring tangible feedback—so that when insights lead to action, the actions are the right ones for the business.

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