"Keep track of the small details"– A conversation with Vishal Katelia, MR PORTER

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Welcome to the next installment in our three part blog series with Vishal Katelia Senior Manager, Global CRM at MR PORTER. For those of you who missed part one, make sure you catch up here. We’ll continue our discussion of loyalty, kicking off with the industry Vish thinks retailers can learn from.

A customer centric approach is something MR PORTER has become well known for within the luxury market. Are there any other industries that you think do a really good job with loyalty or are innovating within this space?

“Some of the classic examples are hotel chains. I think they do a particularly good job, especially around the ‘surprise and delight’ aspect. Things such as keeping track of the small details, like the type of room that the customer has previously stayed in. Or maybe they offer extra services like choosing the type of pillow you like. Whatever it is, just keeping track of those small things, as then they can make sure that future experiences for that guest are as perfect as they can be.”

Hotels are judged on their level of service and the experiences they deliver to their guests, but luxury is also a market known for the in-person experience. As an innovator within online luxury how do you ensure the experience remains personal?

“The main thing is having that seamless customer experience with great attention to detail on any platform - app, mobile site, desktop, tablet. Whatever it is that the customers are using. Then having great editorial content, or product details almost takes away the idea of the online experience being impersonal, because you're getting such a good level of service through what is available to you at your fingertips.  

Obviously we then support that with other things, like customer care and easy returns, that carry the experience across platforms. We are predominantly an online brand but then we also provide opportunities for customers to engage with us in an offline environment, when we have things, like events, and pop up stores.”

We've talked a lot about loyalty in the context of MR PORTER and the luxury market, do you think that taking this highly personalised, VIP approach is relevant for other types of retailers?

"Yes, most definitely. Over the years, we’ve become aware of the breadth of choices available, whether it's shopping for a luxury item of clothing or a holiday, even down to the basics like utilities such as gas and water.

There's so much choice available - the companies that are really going to do well are the ones that offer something that's actually quite different.  It may not necessarily be extreme, but it may be different ways to connect with the customer, and make their life easier.  

I think that's the main thing that people are looking for, really. They're looking for convenience, what works well for them, in terms of their lifestyle and also their pocket. It really needs to be centred around the user and what they are looking to get out of that particular product or brand."

Keep an eye out for our final installment, examining the pitfalls to avoid when developing a loyalty or VIP scheme, coming up next week.

Are you surprising and delighting your customers with the small things? See where the opportunities for improvement lie by downloading our latest report, which identifies the top 10 customer complaints, and how to solve them.

The opinions expressed in this interview are the interviewee’s own and do not reflect the views of the Yoox Net-A-Porter Group.

 

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