Sayeed Chowdhury came on board at Sweaty Betty in November 2020 as a Senior Manager in workforce management, with 15 years of industry experience. Honing his skills in wide-ranging work, he became a go-to WFM expert; working for companies as large as Expedia along the way. And his tried and trusted abilities would later prove crucial - as you will find out below.
Sweaty Betty is a design-driven activewear brand, growing from a single London outlet into a successful global chain, with locations across the UK and USA, a flagship Hong Kong store and US$ turnover in the tens of millions. It sells high-end premium products to a loyal base of devoted women customers, for whom it fills fitness needs.
With online sales booming and further expansion in the pipeline, keeping customers happy is a must. And if you’re one of those customers and ready to pay $100 or more for a pair of leggings, you expect fast and faultless service to match the price.
What Sweaty Betty had to do was maintain their success, but keep the customer handling infrastructure and overall customer experience perfectly on point.
Challenges before injixo
So what kind of fire did Sayeed have to fight at Sweaty Betty and what helped him put it out?
In 2020, with COVID at its peak, work-from-home workout fans in search of high-end sportswear helped Sweaty Betty sales soar. Unfortunately, the delivery and warehousing solutions failed to keep pace, particularly in the UK. And it didn’t take long for waiting customers to complain. In multiple ways and on multiple channels.
“Cue a backlog of unanswered emails that peaked at around 12,000 in November 2020.”
The team of agents handling queries were stressed, unmotivated and overworked. Nothing beyond checking bottoms on seats was measurable - proper productivity metrics were pie in the sky. When lead times lapsed, customers emailed. Without a prompt response, they launched into live chat. And days of deafening silence later, the same customers phoned.
But the chaos that ensued was hardly surprising. Just a few months earlier, in July 2020, customer queries were being handled by a contact center team of just 13. Agent shifts, meanwhile, were housed on shared Excel files, which any team leader could edit.
At stake - the hard-won reputation of the company and that priceless commodity of customer goodwill, which, as we all know, can be lost in a flash.
The injixo journey
On Sayeed’s say so, Sweaty Betty green-lighted injixo. It proved a wise decision for multiple reasons. The game-changing WFM software allowed such a dramatic turnaround that the overwhelming 5-figure email backlog was processed in weeks. No wonder he insisted on it. It delivered in such spectacular style, in fact, that he was happy to evangelize about the product for this case study.
“I refused to work with Excel. I insisted on injixo.”
Reasonable pricing played a part but flexibility and scalability are what really delivered value; tailored solutions to wounding WFM woes. The injixo team of experts created a bespoke cloud solution allowing exceptional intraday management insights and pinpointing productivity.
“And best of all - it blew the backlog away in under two months!”
Yes, in just under two months, Sweaty Betty went from scheduling their contact center agents with Excel, perspiring over pivot tables and a 5-figure email backlog to reinventing their customer handling with injixo to stunning effect. Measurable metrics helped master the email mountain, the most head-turning of which were the (superglue-like) real-time adherence gains.
What also appealed to Sayeed and his team was the groundbreaking approach behind injixo. A company unafraid to shake up status quos, unapologetically disruptive and, in his words, “chilled”. On both sides, CEOs willing to roll up their sleeves, go to the front line and make it all happen. injixo boss Peter Bollenbeck did just that, popping up on a call with Sweaty Betty.
The desire - passion even - to go the extra mile for the customer is one of the stand-out factors uniting the two and fueling what has been a very happy marriage. Customer-centric magic you might say.
Value and achievements
“Adherence went from “not measurable” to an unprecedented and near-perfect 97% (normal industry average: 85%).”
Meanwhile, the urgent recruitment drive saw the contact center headcount at Sweaty Betty rise from 13 to 80 between July and November 2020 - when injixo came in - then peaking at 145 in January 2021, 128 of whom full-time.
“Intraday won the day.”
The detailed intraday insights which injixo provided in real time proved a stunning success for Sweaty Betty. Even more remarkably, they were all achieved with contact agents working remotely. Despite the seemingly superhuman task of coordinating an all-remote workforce via the cloud, with no centralized workplace, injixo did it all in style.
“From 13 to 145 staff and from chaos to customer joy.”
injixo gave Sayeed and his colleagues scope to measure actual hours worked and productivity metrics. The clock-on, clock-off is just one of numerous features brought in that provided invaluable micro-insights. Showing exactly what each worker was working on - and how productively and efficiently. It is these solid parameters that paved the way for on-point forecasts.
Moreover, before reaching near-perfect adherence, injixo had already turbo-charged a jump in this metric from 70% to 90% in just one month, from Jan to Feb 2021. Meanwhile, all agents were given autonomy and ownership of their schedules, even allowing plans up to 12 weeks in advance and at least four weeks ahead ‘set in stone’. A work-life balance winner.
You may think downsizing would be inevitable given such efficiency gains. Not so. Sayeed describes it like this.
“Instead of doing more with less, we are doing more with the same.”
Sweaty Betty’s commitment to injixo and their workforce is reflected in the zero downsizing policy. Having trained the new contact center recruits for six months, the company intends to keep them in place.
We’re honored to have Sayeed and Sweaty Betty as loyal injixo customers and look forward to many more years of collaboration.
Sayeed has volunteered to be contacted if you have any questions about his injixo journey or if you’d simply like to exchange experiences. Check out his LinkedIn profile and get connected.
And if you, too, would like to book a demo and see how the magic happened, click here.