Mohamad Jaber, Group Sales and Marketing Manager at Paris Gallery talks about maintaining premium service standards and the steps they are undertaking to enhance the online shopping experience for their digital customers, bringing it in-line with the services they offer at their outlets.
Q: What sets you apart from other leading luxury retailers in the region?
Mohamad: Paris Gallery is a luxury retailer with over 50 stores in the region, and our target customers are those whose lifestyle demands premium quality products and services. From the very beginning, Paris Gallery has aimed to offer its customers a luxurious experience. A lot of effort has gone into making sure that customers have both best quality products and an enjoyable shopping experience. Innovation has been key to our success. We also continue to develop and better curate our product lines to suit the ever-changing needs of our customers. Being aware of market trends and coming up with newer ways to serve has also been a major factor in setting us apart.
Q: How has Paris Gallery responded to the increasing trend of omni-channel customer support?
Mohamad: With the upcoming launch of our e-commerce platform and mobile app, Paris Gallery customers will now enjoy an omni-channel experience. We will use multiple channels that work together to offer a coherent and seamless experience along with consistent messaging.
Q: How do you ensure customers visiting your outlets and your digital customers are offered the same experience?
Mohamad: Offering a delightful and unique in-store and online experience is what will continue to keep us ahead of the game. Being in the retail sector for the past 21 years, we are able to rely on our retail experience and expertise to forecast trends, giving us the competitive advantage of being the first to cater to customer demands. Understanding the needs of our customers, having the right partners to procure those products and services to cater to those needs, and being the first to make them available via online and offline channels while ensuring the same level of seamless shopping is how we go about it.
Q: When purchasing fashion related products, customers tend to have numerous questions. How do you cater to such queries of your digital customers? Have you considered implementing live chat?
Mohamad: The level of detailed information that will be available online should address a lot of the customer’s concerns or questions. Live chat is not yet available, but could be rolled out in the future to assist and enhance customer shopping online. Furthermore, customers can send queries online that are replied to promptly.
Q: What do you believe is the most common reason customers switch brands?
Mohamad: There are many reasons for customers switching brands, some of them being unmet needs and expectations, poor customer service, low value for money, change of perception, bad reputation, a more compelling offer from a competitor, pricing, etc. I believe, out of these, the first two are the more common reasons.
Q: What methods do you use to better understand your customers’ behavior?
Mohamad: We’ve been in the retail business for the past 21 years, and we know our customers’ demographics well. We glean important information out of regular updates from customer service and we employ the latest technology to identify specific patterns of behavior both offline and online. We take into account any and every change we observe, and we address it timely either with current offerings or by introducing newer ones. This has been done over the years. We keep a close tab on customer preferences and feedback to ensure that their experiences with us are nothing less than the best.
Q: How important do you feel employee trainings are in achieving premium customer service standards?
Mohamad: Very important, because our employees, at all levels, are the face of the company. Customers rely on our expertise in choosing the right product, and we have to provide the right solution, every time. Having the right product knowledge is imperative to offering superior customer experience, being regarded as an expert in the field, and in maintaining our reputation as the leading luxury retailer in the region.
Q: What sort of training programs do you have in place for your employees and what are the key soft skills you focus on?
Mohamad: Paris Gallery hires people with the right attitude. We then train them in small groups with tailored training programs focused on relevant key skills. We try to understand what motivates each one of them to be able to train effectively. We then use a mix of learning tools and methods with a lot of emphasis on demonstrations and role plays. By getting them really involved, we enable various aspects of their minds to learn quickly and effectively, while at the same time retaining necessary information.
Q: What are your plans for 2018 to make customer experience at Paris Gallery even better?
Mohamad: Our customer service standards have always been high. It’s what we are known for and we continue to innovate and improve because the retail sector is in constant flux and the experiential part of a customer’s journey is vital in maintaining our leadership position and continue to offer that level of satisfaction, enabling us to be relevant at a time when online retail is growing.
Mohamad is in charge of Paris Gallery’s marketing, communications, franchises, and business development. He’s been listed twice as one of ‘50 Most Influential Global Marketing Leaders’, and was also awarded the ‘Most Influential Marketing Leader’ in 2017. He is also well-known for developing innovative approaches to meet emerging opportunities. His outlook to life: When it’s challenging, it’s even more interesting.