Undergoing a digital transformation is challenging enough, let alone in the wedding industry during a global pandemic.
When Jim Marcum became CEO of David’s Bridal in 2019, he was tasked with turning around the 70-year-old company and creating innovative and personal experiences for modern brides. Much of that change has come in the form of a continued digital transformation.
Marcum started by looking for friction points and missed opportunities by meeting with teams throughout the company and paying close attention to customer feedback.
From there, David’s Bridal created a customer-first digital strategy that specifically addressed the friction points. The previous strategy had created different policies and experiences depending on if customers shopped online or in store, but the comprehensive new strategy created a seamless experience across all channels that put customers in the middle of every decision.
Changing how customers viewed the company also required personal service and a shift in the employee culture and mindset. Marcum and his team dove into thousands of online customer reviews to respond to every one- or two-star review across various platforms by reaching out to customers and listening to their feedback to get to the root of the problems. Constantly communicating with customers changed the company culture. Marcum believes that if you aren’t connecting to the customer, you are failing. The practice of quickly responding to low reviews permeates the company today as leaders and managers quickly remediate customer issues and concerns. Now, more than two years later, the company consistently averages 4.7 star reviews.
David’s Bridal’s digital transformation also changed how the company views its customer journey. By the time a customer enters David’s Bridal to try on and purchase her wedding dress, she has likely spent lots of time online looking for inspiration and planning her dream wedding. To become a larger part of the entire experience, David’s Bridal transitioned from being there when a bride wants to buy her dress to helping her see her wedding vision from the start. The company’s new array of digital wedding planning tools includes apps with checklists and digital vision boards brides can create and share with family and friends, as well as AI-enabled interactive chat and AR to bring wedding dresses to life at home.
Now, it’s not just about the dress, but the entire event. When a customer comes into the store to buy her dress, she has already been working with David’s Bridal, which helps consultants know what she is looking for and create a better and more personalized experience. Marcum says the new technology has been crucial as the company helps brides navigate wedding changes and delays due to COVID.
David’s Bridal shows how digital transformation can modernize a decades-old business and help find new ways to connect with and serve customers.
Blake Morgan is the bestselling author of The Customer of the Future. Join the waitlist now for the new Customer Experience Community here.