Turning improved EX into happy CX at rue21
In today’s competitive and evolving retail market, every touch point customers have with your brand can be a make-or-break experience. That’s why forward-thinking specialty retailer rue21 knew it was essential to invest in their frontline’s development— especially during difficult times.
At the onset of the pandemic, rue21 partnered with Axonify to deliver training to over 8,000 associates, because their existing training system was just not meeting the needs of their diverse and dispersed workforce.
“Our prior training system was 300 pages in a clunky binder that probably weighed 30 pounds, says Mikki Cook, rue21’s Senior Director of Store Operations. “And you think about the culture of a teen retail organization, you’ve got to be young at heart. Doesn’t matter what age you are, but you’ve got young, fun, excited associates who are coming in. They don’t want to read 300 pages. They don’t want to read three paragraphs. They want to learn quickly, and they want to learn in a way that they’re used to learning, which is downloading content, watching video, something that’s engaging to them, on a device.”
What it looks like when you actually put the customer first
Maintaining brand resilience in an industry that evolves as quickly as retail is no easy task. One way that rue21 sustains relevance is collecting feedback from frontline employees about what they can do better to grow their customer obsession.
“We are definitely obsessed with building a customer obsessed culture,” admits Cook. “And again… that starts with our people. How do we put them first? How do we let them know how appreciative we are? Every day that they show up for rue21, that they greet our customers with high energy, that they create a fun shopping environment, that the store looks beautiful.”
Disruptions can be difficult for large-scale organizations to weather, but no matter what challenges are still to come, they’re confident their frontline workforce will be able to perform at their best.
“The Axonify training tool allows us to stay flexible, adjust it where we need to, but continue to build that culture of being customer-obsessed. And as our product categories change, as we further develop our ability to engage with the customer, we can use that tool and continue to drive that message very seamlessly.”
“Axonify helps us to stay relevant and evolve in the short term or in the long term. And we absolutely love that about the company.”