Placing the Customers at the Heart of its Success

As discussed in my previous blog posts, Sevenly is a co- profit organization promoting a cause that aims to persuade individuals to get involved in charity through marketing a lifestyle product line. The mission of Sevenly is to activate “cause art” movement worldwide. To achieve this goal the team of Sevenly is determined to build long-term relationship with their clients and partners. Dale Partridge, the CEO of Sevenly, indicated that Sevenly wants to bring all the individual philanthropists of this generation under one umbrella. His team believes together we will be able to create a better world. This idea makes me feel that togetherness has a power in itself. All we need to do is support each other to ensure a better life for everyone.

CRM Program:

As an e-retailer Sevenly has developed a very effective CRM model. According to the team of Sevenly, “At the heart of the organization’s success lays a well-managed customer relationship system.” The aim of the team is to create value for their customers first. The weekly apparel and accessories they offer are based on the suggestions of their customers. Each week the team asks the customers to provide new ideas and recommendations for their next campaign in Sevenly’s social media pages. Moreover, in Sevenly’s website there is an option that can be used to submit someone’s own designs. Thus, Sevenly adopted the customer-centric approach mainly. The company is placing the customer at the center of its business planning and execution.

However, Sevenly uses CRM software significantly to collect all of its customers’ information in a centralized place, which is allowing the company to get a holistic view of the customers. In an article titled, ”How Sevenly CEO Dale Partridge Is Changing the World $7 at a Time,” the CEO of Sevenly, Dale Partridge, indicated that they have a complete separate database for the repeat buyers. The database helps them to identify and serve their existing customers better. Nonetheless, when a customer purchases any product form Sevenly’s website he or she needs to open an account first. The CRM software automatically captures the information, the customer is giving willingly. The aim here is to capture the demographic details on potential leads, current leads and contacts, such as age, gender, income, etc. Also, the system can capture the psychographic data on contacts such as customer values, attitudes, interests, etc. Furthermore, the company tend to keep up-to-date fresh information in its database.

t-7811-5428In addition to traditional CRM system, Sevenly also conducts Social CRM, since social media is the most important channel for the company. The team tends to integrate any new social channel to its existing CRM strategy very efficiently. They also use social media to drive CRM and expand the reach of the company as well. In an article titled, “Sevenly Takes ‘Do Good’ Approach to Building Business”, George Anderson mentioned, “The Company relies upon word of mouth, primarily via social media, to expand its scope.” However, Social CRM enabled the company to use the online reputation management and monitoring tools. Sevenly captures how the customers are interacting on its social pages regularly. The team use the Social CRM tool to rate and sort the perspective of the consumers about their company. This allows them to effectively test the temperature of the online community’s feeling towards the brand, which can then guide any future action.

Customer Service Policies:

n2xzz6-b888119z.120140324062334000g70tdim.10Sevenly has a good customer service. On its website there is a Contact Form that customers can use to submit their queries. Customers can also email directly to the support team. However, I did not find any phone number on its site. Personally, I look for a contact number first when I plan to contact any retailers. I would highly recommend Sevenly to provide at least one number on its website for the customers to call.

Nevertheless, Sevenly recently introduced a new contact option that enables the users to chat with the customer service representatives instantly. In the right hand corner there is chat-bar that says, “How Can We Help You.” Customers need to click on that bar and provide their email address to chat with the customer service representative. In my opinion, the chatting option took the customer service experience for the clients of Sevenly to the next level. Customers are now able to get in touch with the team of Sevenly instantly.

However, Sevenly has an excellent shipping and return policy as well. The team mentioned that they understand ordering online can be difficult. Therefore, if the clothing item doesn’t fit a customer, he or she can send it back to Sevenly within 60 days of purchase. If the team has the right size available, it sends it to the customer at no additional cost. If they do not have the size available, they give the full amount back in store credit minus the $7 donation associated with the order. As the $7 is already been donated, they can’t give that back to the customers.

Website Navigation and Website usability:

Website navigation is a crucial part of any website and its design should not be taken lightly. In an article titled, “Best Practices for Modern Website Navigation” the author, Chad Johnson, mentioned, “Website navigation is the portal to important content and it can drastically increase (or decrease) site click-through rate.” He also emphasized on effective site navigation, which depends on almost all of the design disciplines involved in web design including information architecture, user experience design, visual design and front-end development.

After reviewing Sevenly’s website for navigation, I would like to say that the site can improve its navigation style. Although the names of the categories are clear, they are not mutually exclusive. The category “new arrivals” can be divided into two sub-categories – men and women. Most of the consumers prefer to take a look on new arrivals. So, categorizing this section will help the customers save time while browsing. Also, the site should have subcategories to improve the customers’ shopping experience. In the subcategories, they could include the types of products they offer, i.e., t-shirt, hoodies, jackets, etc.

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However, the navigation style of Sevenly enables the users to find out the important information easily. The essential content, such as, weekly cause, exclusive collections, blogs, etc., are placed in chronological order on the landing page. This style helps the users to scan and skim the website very quickly. Nevertheless, Sevenly recently introduced its responsive website, which adapts and fits to all screen sizes including tablets and mobile phones. In my opinion, the new responsive site will help the company to increase the site’s click-through rate significantly.

To talk about some best practices for improving website usability that Sevenly can use to enhance the usability and readability of its website’s content, I have chosen an article titled “7 Best Practices for Improving Your Website’s Usability” by Jacob Gube. The tips he provided in articles are based on research findings and suggestions by well-regarded usability experts such as Jakob Nielsen.

According to the author, “Web pages must be designed to facilitate the ease of reading content through the effective use of colorstypography, spacing, etc.” The content writer must be aware of writing strategies that enable readers to quickly identify, read and internalize information. The author suggested that the content of a website should be easy to understand and skimmable. As discussed earlier, the navigation style of Sevenly’s website enables the users to scan and skim the content easily. The design, however, is a bit clumsy and complex. To improve the usability of the website Sevenly can put the blog link in the category section.

However, the article also suggested that the design of a website should support the users to do “block reading”. This means, breaking up long articles into sections so that users can easily skim down the page. An eye-tracking study conducted by Nielsen revealed an eye-movement pattern that could further support this idea that web users do indeed read in chunks. People swipe their eyes from left to right, then continue on down the page in an F-shaped pattern, skipping a lot of text in between. In my opinion, Sevenly does a very good job in designing its blog posts. The blog posts contain simple and concise headings that help the user to scan the page quickly. Nevertheless, to improve the usability of the website Sevenly used the “inverted pyramid” style to place important information at the top of its articles. The site also has meaningful visuals that support the texts. Overall, Sevenly has a good website. Improving some of its designs will enhance the usability of Sevenly’s website for the users significantly.

Customer-Facing Business:

Customer facing business explains hardware, software or technology with user interfaces (UI) or applications that directly interact with customers. However, a customer facing system is more than an interface. It should add value to relationships with customers and is often used as a tool for customer analytics. In an article titled “Customer-Facing Vs. Business-Facing” the author, Bert Markgraf, mentioned, “Customer service is a key customer-facing function that is critical to a company’s success. Depending on the business, companies can impose tight scripts with scenarios and detailed desired responses or they can empower employees to decide how to best satisfy the particular customer.” In either cases, the purpose of the customer-facing aspect of the service function is to produce satisfied customers.

In my opinion, Sevenly does not have a comprehensive customer-facing system yet. As mentioned above, the company does not have any established customer center as well. Nonetheless, Sevenly uses the customer-facing system in a different way. Customers are exposed to the business and production model of the company. As a cause-oriented e-retailer Sevenly makes sure that its customers are well aware of the causes it is donating to. Thus, transparency helps the company to maintain its customer-facing business.