How Sam’s Club unified social customer care with a social-first digital presence
of care messages on owned channels responded to in under an hour
clubs monitored on social media 24/7
By creating innovative and reliable shopping experiences for its members, Sam’s Club has been setting itself apart since its first location opened in 1983. The membership warehouse club, founded by and named after Walmart founder Sam Walton, curates an assortment of high-quality items at a disruptive value.
“Every member makes a commitment by choosing to shop with us,” explains Sabrina Callahan, senior director of brand and social marketing at Sam's Club. “We want them to love the experience so much that they keep renewing.” By developing a strong brand voice and providing helpful, trustworthy support across digital channels, Callahan says, her company creates brand advocates. “We want to turn members into advocates.”
As technology continues to advance, and the volume of digital channels available to customers continues to rise, people’s expectations for their online interactions with businesses keep rising too. One of the ways Sam’s Club has met this challenge is by creating a brand personality that its care team works to uphold through all customer interactions.
“We call it the Bold Bestie,” says Callahan. “When someone reaches out to us with an issue, we don’t want to say something robotic then direct them to the call center. We are a very specific personality. We show empathy. We jump in and we aim to provide solutions.”
To provide its members with great service on social, Sam’s Club needed a way to ensure its online customer experiences are consistent with the experiences customers have in person.
To achieve this, Sam's Club needed a unified social customer care solution that could:
Lower SLAs and improve customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores
Provide members a seamless experience across channels
Facilitate human, two-way engagements that drive customer loyalty and create brand advocates
When Callahan first joined Sam’s Club, she had only one team member to help her develop a social-first digital presence. In just two years, she’s grown the full social team to 50 people (including the care agents).
“We are redefining the Sam's Club voice,” she says. “We knew we needed to do some really big things to separate our brand in the market, and we needed to do it in a way that is very digital- and social-first.”
As Callahan’s team began the work of centralizing many moving pieces, including organic social content and paid social, she realized she needed a platform that could unify social care with engagement, monitoring, and response capabilities.
“That's where Sprinklr came in,” she explains. “I was already familiar with Sprinklr and understood the full unified solution. So I said, ‘Hey, I want to use this, not only for our care program, but for the power of listening and content management, too.’”
Today, Sam’s Club uses Sprinklr’s unified Modern Care solution to provide proactive, omnichannel customer service across 30+ social and messaging platforms — treating them as parts of a single, seamless customer experience. The Sam’s Club team also leverages Sprinklr’s social listening capabilities, part of Sprinklr Modern Research, to analyze customer conversations to better meet their needs and drive brand loyalty.
Callahan says she is most drawn to Sprinklr for its listening capability and customization.
“The tool we used previously was not Facebook-approved, so the API wasn't hearing everything,” she says. “Once we got Sprinklr, it really opened up the floodgates. My team focuses on identifying the queries to catch, then we allow the technology to surface the mentions for us to engage with. That's the power of Sprinklr — with the right people in place, the opportunities are endless.”
Once we got Sprinklr, it really opened up the floodgates. My team focuses on identifying the queries to catch, then we allow the technology to surface the mentions for us to engage with. That’s the power of Sprinklr — with the right people in place, the opportunities are endless.”
Prior to using Sprinklr’s unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform, Sam’s Club care agents took an average eight hours to respond to care messages on owned channels. Today, 92% of care messages get a response in less than one hour.
Sprinklr has also played a critical role in helping Callahan pay close attention to shifting customer sentiment and priorities. It enables her team to adapt, and meet members’ changing needs — which was especially important during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Sprinklr makes it easy for us to see everything that’s happening in the world across brands,” says Callahan. “It gives us the ability to see real-time sentiment and to deep-dive into customer reactions and responses to our content.” Before the pandemic, Sam’s Club was posting a lot of product-centered content. But when COVID hit, the conversation shifted.
“What we were hearing was worry and fear for the people who still had to go to work,” Callahan says. Members wanted to know what inventory was available and what clubs had that inventory. With Sprinklr, Callahan’s team was able to quickly see the change in customer conversations across states and shift their approach and tone based on real-time feedback.
“Sprinklr provided us the sentiment and feedback we needed to have the confidence to keep pushing,” Callahan says. “It gave us the data that let us learn what was working or not working.”
Looking ahead, Callahan’s goal is to further focus on meeting customer needs in real time. She’s eager to explore Sprinklr’s Conversational Commerce feature, part of Sprinklr Social Engagement & Sales, and to empower agents with new capabilities that will make customer care conversations even more helpful and efficient.
“We need to meet each member where they are,” she says. “If they’re looking for a specific product or asking about membership, we want to make it easy on them.”
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