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Damart Delights Generational Segments with Avaya Omnichannel Contact Center



  • Weak multichannel capabilities

  • Few disaster recovery capabilities

  • Flexibility not as high as it could be

  • Poorly integrated analytics and performance management systems

  • No voice recording or speech analytics

Value Created

  • Improved customer experience

  • Increased efficiencies, faster turnaround times

  • Increased customer confidence through PCI DSS compliance

  • Improved site autonomy and responsiveness

  • Improved disaster recovery

  • Improved agent experience

  • Enhanced analytics for greater business insight


  • Avaya IX Contact Center (Avaya Aura Contact Center, Avaya Experience Portal, Avaya Workforce Management, Proactive Outreach Manager)

  • IX Workspace Agent

Catalog retailer Damart UK needed a contact center solution flexible enough to deliver the high-touch experiences that customers want today—as well as the higher-tech experiences that customers will want tomorrow.

When executives at Damart UK think about the kind of experiences they want to create for their customers, there are certain numbers they can’t ignore. Forty five percent of the catalogue retailer’s orders arrive by phone. Another 35 percent arrive through the mail—and that’s snail mail, not email.

All this is not terribly surprising: Damart is the catalogue retailer of choice for seniors in the UK seeking fashionable, stylish, and comfortable clothing (as well as the dependable warm winter range for which Damart is so famous). A typical Damart customer—call her “Betty”—is 72 years old. “Dorothy” is even older, though “Margaret,” at 65, is slightly younger. Damart knows that the women in each of these profiles prefer to pick up the phone or send in a form to order their garments. Find a way to improve that experience, and she’ll be delighted.

But then there are the “Lindas,” women younger than the Margarets who are accustomed to—and may even prefer—ordering clothing over the web or through a mobile app. Damart’s digital channels currently deliver just over 20 percent of the company’s orders (which top £100 million annually), but Damart executives have seen the future in those numbers. Each year, the percentage of handwritten paper orders ticks down a point or two, even as the percentage of digital orders ticks up by the same number of points.

All these numbers recently collided when Damart executives decided to replace the company’s aging contact center. How best to delight Betty, Dorothy, and Margaret, while also winning over Linda? How best to engage Linda without asking Betty, Dorothy, and Margaret to interact in ways they don’t care for?

Damart looked at several contact center solutions, but in the end only one fit comfortably and ticked all the boxes for Linda, Margaret, Betty, and Dorothy. “Some of the solutions we looked at lacked functionality we wanted,” says Jeanette Askin, Head of Customer Service for Damart UK. “Others had the functionality and flexibility we wanted but were very costly. It came down to questions of functionality our customers and colleagues could use, and the ease of implementation at an affordable cost. The Avaya solution was within our budget, and it offered all the functionality and flexibility we know that our teams wanted, such as voice recording, speech analytics, agent KPI dashboards, outbound campaigns and customer surveys.”

Here’s how we helped Damart find the solution that fit….

With card tokenization, we will likely shave about 30 seconds off a 4-minute call—and that's significant, when you realize we handle 3.3 million calls per year, more than half of which involve credit cards.

Bridging the Analog/Digital Divide

Damart wanted a contact center that would bridge the analog/digital divide. “Today is all about Betty,” says Jeanette Askin, “but tomorrow belongs to Margaret.” We showed Damart how agents would be able to deliver the right experience to the right customer at the right time—across all channels—using Avaya Intelligent Xperience (IX) Contact Center solutions. For all of the customers reaching out to Damart by phone, interactions with a knowledgeable Damart colleague are faster than ever. Their calls are immediately routed to an open agent, and the agent has immediate access to any information they might require. Even the Bettys and Dorothys, who prefer to post their orders and write letters, are experiencing the benefits of Avaya IX Contact Center solutions. Damart now scans all customer letters into the system, which immediately routes them to contact center colleagues, who handle them just like an email. By streamlining this process, Damart’s customers are seeing their letters processed faster with a great audit trail.

As for the forward-looking Lindas and Margarets? “We’ve got exciting plans,” says Jeanette Askin. “The Avaya solution provides us with a platform to which we can add various new functionality whenever we’re ready, so we’re poised to roll out some new experiences for Margaret whenever she’s ready to embrace them—and we might even entice Betty and Dorothy.”


Protecting the Customer’s Interests

One part of the new contact center that telephony channel customers immediately notice is the secure contact system, which supports the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) that all companies in the UK are now required to use when collecting card information over the phone. Instead of the customer reading a credit card number to the call center agent, the customer simply types their own card number into their own phone keypad. The agent does not need to hear the card number or key it in on the customer’s behalf. The secure contact system captures all the customer’s sensitive financial information on secure payment servers run by a trusted third party (BT in this instance).

“The secure payments system is one of the biggest benefits we’ve implemented,” says Jeanette Askin, “because it enhances customer confidence significantly. A few customers struggled a little at first, but many more are thrilled that it’s there—particularly the people who are often helping our older customers make a purchase. They’re delighted that they don’t have to give us their relatives’ bank cards directly. It’s one less thing they have to worry about.”

Jeanette Askin notes that Damart is looking at a second phase of contact center system enhancements, one which will include tokenization of credit card numbers. Once tokenized, Damart contact center colleagues can complete a secure transaction simply by having the customer confirm the last four digits of the card number. “With card tokenization, we will likely shave about 30 seconds off a 4-minute call—and that's significant, when we handle 3.3 million calls per year, more than half of which involve credit cards.”

Preparing for the Conversations of the Future

“Our customers are getting younger,” says Jeanette Askin, “so we can't stand still. Linda's expectations are different than Margaret's, and we need to be ready. Working with Avaya is great because it helps us think through what else we can do for our customers.”

“We’re always looking at the next thing, which means we can be ready when our customer is ready.” She adds, “for us, the Avaya solution represents an investment in the digital experience that we know we need going forward!”

About Damart UK

A subsidiary of Damart France, Damart UK is a catalogue retailer specializing in clothing for women age 55+. Based in Bingley, Yorkshire, Damart UK employs 650 people. Annual revenues are more than £100 million.

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