StellaService has acquired ICC/Decision Services for an undisclosed amount.
StellaService, founded in 2009, rates the customer service of online businesses. It has long had a partnership with ICC, the specialist in mystery shopping programs. ICC stands for Inventory Control Company. The two firms share methodology and data research for benchmarking of customer service performance for the online and brick-and-mortar channels. ICC’s founder, president and chief executive officer David Rich was also a seed investor in Stella. Rich will join the combined firm’s management team as global head of Stella Metrics, reporting to Stella’s cofounder and ceo Jordy Leiser.
Leiser said the acquisition enables his firm to combine the two platforms to “create entirely new omnichannel solutions that drive team engagement, operational improvements, revenue growth and profitability in a way that’s never been done before.”
Leiser said that brands have been searching for an omnichannel solution that connects the dots between the in-store and e-commerce channels so they can deliver consistent service to consumers wherever they shop.
Rich said Stella has changed the way online businesses measure and optimize their service experience, and that the “in-store environment is ripe for this same level of disruption.”
According to Rich, he also will be advising on Stella’s new offering, Stella Connect, as the product gets continues to expand. “Corporations have been asking questions about customer service and maybe they will share the information top down, but now this new product is going bottom up by going directly to the source,” Rich said.
According to Leiser, Stella Connect focuses on measuring service and sales interactions in real time since customers can deliver instant feedback on the quality of their experience with customer service staff. Following an interaction between customer and staff member, an e-mail is sent to the customer asking about the interaction. The e-mail includes a photo of the service representative, and the customer can share a positive interaction across social media. That creates buzz for other consumers about the brand, as well as a point of contact at a particular store if the social media share is for an in-store sales associate. The program also creates incentives for sales staff since consumers can suggest recognition rewards, such as a cup of coffee or even theater tickets.
The general concept of Stella Connect came from one of things Tony Hsieh, a venture capitalist and ceo of Zappos.com, frequently talks about regarding the connection between brands and customers. Leiser said: “Having the photo is about humanizing brands. Tony at Zappos always talks about customer service and making that emotional contact between customer and brand.”