Foot Locker Overcomes Silos and Puts the Customer First

Tyler Saxey, Foot Locker’s Director of Customer Experience, came out to speak at Customer Expo. Eschewing formal dress shoes for sporty Air Jordans, he gave a presentation that addressed several aspects of his company’s strategies regarding loyalty and marketing, but his focus throughout was on his brand’s customer centric culture.
“We at Foot Locker needed to find a way to put the customer at the center of everything we do,” said Saxey, and added, “Understanding our customer journey is an evolution.” For Saxey, customers are always changing, so his conception of a customer-centric culture is necessarily dynamic; companies must adapt to the times.
He said of the brand’s past, “Foot Locker was a very siloed organization.” The company has 2,300 stores in the United States and 1,000 spread across Europe and Southeast Asia. The brick-and-mortar stores, customer service, and marketing teams all worked in narrowly defined, highly separated roles. Something had to give. “We realized,” said Saxey, “if we truly want to be a customer-centric organization, then we needed to break down those silos and understand that customer experience is not a department. It’s a mindset.”
To break down silos, the company established its “CX Center for Excellence.” Saxey joked that “we’re focused on selling shoes, not . . . coming up with catchy titles”. The Center gathers data from the stores, the call center, and other departments. Saxey emphasized that the Center was careful to monitor how data was gathered, so that customers were not over-surveyed.
The Center for Excellence does not only gather data, though. It analyzes it and sends it to the relevant departments so that the experts have whatever information might be useful.
Further contributing to the company’s drive for a more customer-centric culture was its attempt to get more in tune with youth culture (young people, particularly young men, are Foot Locker’s core demographic). Toward this end, Foot Locker looked to youth culture’s “5 Cs,” which are collections (what products they collect), content (what they share on social), community (what ways the brand can have a meaningful and visible relationship with young customers), connectivity (what ways can they be reached beyond traditional sales techniques), and convenience (what ways shoppers can have the easiest possible time with online shopping).
One manifestation of the 5 Cs is the arrival of a system in which online shoppers can order, head to the store, and simply enter a code at a locker and grab their purchases. The shopping process remains personalized, however. “If [customers] want to walk in and have a concierge-type business, talk to someone about their purchase, great. If they want to come in during their lunch break and just run in and run out, they can have [their purchase] in that locker waiting for them,” said Saxey.
Saxey said the company intends to go even further in reaching out to customers and offering them the best possible experience. Foot Locker will gather data on non-purchasers to gather information it cannot presently gather through its surveys.

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