How Slack helps Saks to dress its business for success

Saks is the premier digital platform for luxury fashion, supported by an exclusive partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue shops. Saks launched as a standalone e-commerce company in 2021 to better serve customers by having the focus of a pure-play digital business.  

When Saks became an e-commerce business with a digital-first mindset, the company needed a productivity platform to accelerate work through automation, knowledge sharing and engagement with employees across the company. That’s where Slack entered the runway.

Collaborating securely with external partners

Staying connected to external partners is crucial to Saks’s business as the company aims to maintain a cohesive customer experience and expand its already well-established digital footprint. Slack Connect helps Saks to keep communication moving forwards with external partners, enabling teams to stay aligned on cross-brand campaigns and initiatives, tech stack refreshes and ongoing projects. These shared channels allow teams to collaborate with external agencies, delivering updates and information faster than ever without having to leave Slack.

Slack Connect plays a role in Saks employees’ ability to work quickly and efficiently as the company progresses with its strategy as the premier luxury e-commerce platform.

The ability to quickly communicate and collaborate with vendors is especially valuable with supply-chain logistics. Slack enables Saks employees to stay ahead of challenges by quickly discussing inventory, product availability and shipping issues in real time.

Strengthening cross-team communication

Just as Saks sought to improve communication with external partners, the company also needed a way to optimise connection and engagement between its hybrid and remote employees. Saks turned to Slack channels to build a supportive and collaborative digital company culture.

Channels such as #saks-news allow the Communications team to post company updates and keep employees informed about upcoming events. Slack channels have proved to be an effective way for employees to stay engaged and feel like they’re part of the company even while they’re working remotely. Saks employees have embraced engaging channels too, such as #fitness and #cooking, which help colleagues get to know each other beyond their day-to-day work interactions.

Saks’s People team has also embraced Slack as a powerful communication tool. The team uses it to inform employees about employee resource group (ERG) programming, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and more. The team also launched a #recognition channel to give employees a space to express gratitude for each other’s work. Saks’s People team believes these moments of engagement are important for improving employee retention. In fact, across industries, teams that use Slack see a 5.9% increase in employee satisfaction on average, according to Slack.

Mitigating risk more efficiently

The Technology teams at Saks manage a wide array of software licences across the company’s tech stack. The teams once found it more difficult to detect service disruptions and communicate about them in a timely manner, which resulted in delayed resolution time on software risks.  

Saks now uses RSS feeds and dedicated service channels in Slack to monitor and proactively mitigate risks. Software service disruptions across the business are now automatically shared in a systems status channel and then cross-shared in specific vendor channels. This allows for broader visibility, detection, monitoring and proactive updates so that employees are all informed of the status. This has helped to speed up the company’s IT resolution time significantly.

Improving the customer experience and boosting customer loyalty

According to a Salesforce survey of consumers and business buyers worldwide, 84% of shoppers agree that the experience a company provides is as important as the product or service that it offers. That’s why building a strong customer experience is a top priority for Saks.

Saks uses Slack to streamline the customer service process by empowering agents with the information and experts that they need in one central place. Saks leverages Slack channels across teams. For example, its Contact Centre team shares content across customer service representatives so that they can help to answer customer feedback faster and solve customer problems more efficiently.

Channels allow service representatives to quickly triage customer issues by bringing together the right experts to collaborate in real time and resolve cases faster. They also act as a historical record of past issues that can be referred to, to expedite resolutions, cut down on escalations and help new agents get up to speed quickly.

Maximising value from existing tech investments

Some employees at Saks were previously using many disconnected applications to do their jobs day to day. Toggling back and forth between applications and windows meant that employees were doing a lot of mental gymnastics to resolve customer issues quickly or get marketing campaigns executed by deadlines. Essentially, Saks wanted to improve the exhausting ‘toggle tax’ that its people were experiencing.

By integrating 37 apps into Slack, Saks employees now have helpful tools in one place – saving everyone valuable time, boosting productivity and making work more efficient.

Slack also helps Saks to get the most value from its Salesforce products, using the combined power of Slack and Salesforce Customer 360 to get a complete view of customer data. Having access to shopper information such as product categories purchased, recent returns and loyalty status empowers teams to create the more personalised customer experiences that shoppers crave.

Slack and Customer 360 help teams across the company, such as Customer Service and Marketing, to better serve customers. On average, companies that use Slack and Customer 360 see a 28% increase in sales productivity, a 15% reduction in service ticket costs and a 16% faster time to execute marketing campaigns, according to Salesforce Success Metrics, a 2022 global study.

Measuring success through analytics

Companies know that data analytics is a key component in ensuring that systems are working properly and tech is maximised effectively, yet fewer than 20% of them have the right assets to analyse their data correctly. 

With Slack analytics, Saks gets real-time insights into how its teams are engaging with the platform and adopting key Slack features and apps. 

The ability to understand Slack adoption across the company is valuable, and being able to access engagement metrics easily allows project managers to share insights with leadership. The analytics are crucial in determining which tools are most used and which areas need improvement. 

Since adopting Slack in 2021, Saks employees have:

  • Held 660 Slack huddles per month
  • Shared 31K files per month 
  • Maintained 577 Slack Connect active channels
  • Performed 29K search actions per month

Slack is a great platform for improving efficiency across the company

For Saks, using Slack is a great way to centralise information and connect everyone with flexible tools that keep communications moving efficiently between teams and partners.