Passing the Mic: Introducing ZigZag’s Head of Client Success Laura Davies
We took five minutes with Laura for another ZigZag Chinwag
A little over a year ago ZigZag Global appointed Laura Davies as its Head of Client Success, and the rest…as they say…is history. Laura is responsible for providing a voice for our customer, ensuring the wants and needs of our clients are recognised and used to shape innovation.
ZigZag has continued to invest in the Client Success team to provide the best level of support for our world-leading retailers and revolutionise the returns experience not just for shoppers, but also for the eCommerce professionals battling returns daily.
We spent five minutes catching up with this customer service guru to find out a bit about her, what it’s like to work for ZigZag, the next big CX step in retail, and her favourite tune to play on a long car journey.
Let’s hear what she had to say!
Tell us a bit about your background, where have you worked previously?
Prior to joining ZigZag, I had always worked on the other side of the fence, for retailers. The first half of my career was spent in Planning and Merchandising, working for the Arcadia Group and then Urban Outfitters. Then 8 years ago I made the move into Logistics – Heading up Customer Service and Ecommerce Logistics for URBN (the parent company of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People). I loved my time spent at these retailers, and it helps shape everything I do today.
What was your first ever job in retail / or just first ever job, and did you enjoy it?
My first job out of Uni was as an Allocator for the Arcadia Group. I worked for the Dorothy Perkins Brand, and I was responsible for working closely with the Merchandising team for my product area and ensuring that I allocated product to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities to maximise sales and minimise markdown.
I loved that job for many reasons – I was young, living a brilliant, carefree life in London, making lifelong friends but it also gave me a really good grounding for my future. It gave me an understanding of what interested me and what didn’t, I learnt that analysing data to make informed decisions was very powerful, and it also taught me where I wanted to go next.
Arcadia for me was a great starting point for my career, the training was second to none, but it wasn’t until I went to Urban Outfitters that I really spread my wings – it was there I learnt how to manage and develop a team, how to be accountable and take smart risks. Looking back, Arcadia was very structured with a very defined hierarchy, and I work best when I am given the freedom to run at stuff in a more Entrepreneurial surrounding.
What is the best thing about being Head of Client Success?
I absolutely love my job – how lucky am I to be able to say that!? I love that ZigZag has invested in Client Success as a standalone function with a powerful seat at a senior level. It’s a big statement that says how important our clients are to us, and our client feedback shapes and drives our business strategy.
I also love that I get to partner with so many functions across the business (I think all of them actually), from our Developers to the Business Development team, Marketing to Technical Support, we are central to the work that is being carried out across the business. It’s great to have such a big voice throughout the organisation and to be able to collaborate with all our teams to drive best in class experience.
Which fashion or tech companies do you most admire and why?
That’s a tricky one to call. ZigZag partners with so many amazing retailers who have had to adapt their entire supply chains due to Covid and the unprecedented surge of online shopping the world has experienced. Having spent so much of my career in logistics, and understanding what a huge undertaking that has been, I salute them all!
What are you most excited about to be working on at ZigZag?
Our investment in UX development is going to be game changing in 2022, I’m really excited to be part of the team who are ensuring ZigZag are market leading in the post-purchase experience space.
What do you think the next big step will be for customer experience in retail?
I think there will be a much closer relationship between a retailer’s physical stores and their online business. For example, right now if you buy in store, you can’t return online so you have to go out of your way to re-visit a store even though you may not live nearby. This is changing and we will get to a point where any product can be returned to any selling location. And software like ours is pivotal to a retailer’s ability to have a consistent experience no matter where a customer is shopping.
Stores and eCommerce are still very siloed in most retail businesses…but times are changing!
What’s been the biggest shock / impact of Covid-19 for yourself?
Not work related but definitely the challenge of being at Urban Outfitters and heading up eCommerce logistics and customer service when the pandemic struck and having to navigate exponential growth out of nowhere, while looking after 2 young children, home schooling and generally trying not to lose the plot.
If I can do that, then I can do anything!!!
How important is account management for tech businesses?
Account Management is everything in a tech business. Everything we do in the tech world should be viewed as a pre-sales activity and an opportunity to show our customers how much we value them. Our customers are not wedded to us as they would have been in days gone by when the cost of integration and software was high for retailers, so the risk of churn was low. We can integrate retailers very quickly at a really competitive price which is brilliant, but also means that our customers have so much freedom in terms of how long they want to stay with us.
So, we need to show that we are responsive, that we really care, and that we are adding value in every interaction. And it’s not just about the account management team, we bring in the experts from all over the business into our chats with retailers so that we can provide solutions quickly. And that’s reflective of the 4.6 out of 5 our customers awarded us in our most recent CSAT survey when we asked whether they agreed with the statement “ZigZag’s team are friendly, helpful, and have a can-do attitude; it’s easy to get in touch with them and a prompt resolution is provided”.
You’ve been passed the AUX cable, what tune are you playing to kickstart the road trip with the family or friends?
In general, anything by Queen!
But on a slightly deeper note, ‘This is Me’ by Keala Settle – I’m teaching my children (3 & 5 years old) that they should unashamedly be themselves. We properly belt it out in the car!!!
What kind of returner are you?
Oh, I’m definitely in the “I buy 6 things and always return at least 5 camp!” Clothing is so hard to get the right fit, I need to try stuff on at home and be comfortable that I can return what I need to. I try and limit what I need to return by reading the customer reviews to gauge the best size/fit. I also hate having my money tied up in returns so tend to return stuff the day after it has arrived. I’m also very unlikely to buy from a retailer who doesn’t offer free returns.
Fitting perfectly in the Fast Fashionista camp! Laura’s eCommerce returns ‘tekkers’ ensures she gets the fit right the first time and is one of the most common return practices utilised today, with 33% buying with the intention of returning at least one item.
Our refund to gift card and dynamic exchanges innovations help mitigate some of the costs and reduce the need for customers to “pull a Laura”. Although it must be said, the high returning customers like Laura are also often your most valuable…and we can certainly agree with that sentiment!