Sleep Number powers conversions and revenue growth through Cresta’s real-time coaching and intelligence
Sleep Number is a category-leading mattress retailer that helps customers put quality sleep at the center of their wellbeing. Headquartered in Minneapolis, they manufacture Sleep Number and Comfortaire beds, along with bed foundations and bedding accessories. The company employs thousands of people across the United States.
Sleep Number initially piloted chat as a channel for customer care around 2011, primarily based around a service model. “Our plan was to build a department around a model of primarily customer service, along with a consultative sales experience,” explained Alan Smith, Digital Experience Manager at Sleep Number. However, several years after implementation, the team noticed that customers were more and more drawn to this model for sales-related inquiries – and that it carried a lot of revenue potential.
“Around 2018, we started to see this real exponential growth in revenue,” Smith told us. “And we started seeing this increase in percentage penetration to the overall company’s revenue.”
While the team was generating incredible success, the approach was not without its challenges. “Agents are simultaneously providing customer service and driving revenue for the company, while taking multiple chats with multiple contacts,” Smith explained. “With over 30 years worth of products, this involves having to have a super broad expansive knowledge of our products.”
To keep the team performing at unprecedented levels, the team needed to stay on the cutting edge of modern automation.
Compounding this was that, while determining the next steps in technological innovation to keep the team performing at these unprecedented levels, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As the world shut down, the team faced an even more rapid acceleration towards digital sales, coupled with a sudden shift to remote work during the pandemic.
This transition posed a variety of challenges. First, there was wide variability in agent performance and managers felt many agents lacked the training and resources needed to reliably drive sales in a remote work-from-home environment. To further complicate matters, the organization needed to minimize training and coaching costs while remotely managing agents, all while chasing aggressive year-over-year sales growth targets.
Just prior to the onset of the pandemic, Sleep Number had engaged with Cresta to help enable a highly productive online sales experience. Due to their early decision to implement Cresta’s real-time generative AI and ultimately make their team of agents more efficient, the company did not have to hire additional reps, even as the pandemic unfolded.
When the impact of COVID-19 did hit and the massive shift to remote work began, the Digital Sales and Service team was set up not to just survive the pandemic, but thrive in digital sales. Sleep Number rolled out a number of Cresta products to drive efficiency across their team, from agents to supervisors: Cresta Director and Cresta Agent Assist.
Cresta Agent Assist provides real-time coaching to Sleep Numbers’ remote sales and retention teams, encouraging proven sales behaviors and best practices learned from winning responses and top agent behaviors.
Through Agent Assist, Smith and his team of managers were able to shine a spotlight on the behaviors that were – or sometimes more critically were not – performing, allowing them to quickly rethink their approach to training and coaching. Prior to Cresta, Smith’s team had an agent-to-leader ratio that created “too large of a group to be able to meaningfully coach in a one-on-one scenario on a regular basis” Smith told us. With instant access to how different agents are performing, managers are able to clearly see the opportunities and the necessary ways to continually level the team up – something they previously could not have done without Cresta.
Conversion rates have also been powerfully impacted. Soon after implementing Cresta, they found that in 60% of conversations, a critical sales behavior was not taking place. With the help of Cresta Agent Assist’s features, they were able to ensure real-time coaching of best practices at the moment their agents needed it. “That was the light switch moment for us,” Smith told us. “We’ve seen a triple digit increase in conversion rates – success that Cresta has invariably contributed to.” And with the opportunity to meaningfully uplevel the performance of the entire organization, Smith’s team can then pivot and move on to the next challenge or roadblock.
“We actually ended up pulling that behavior from the system; we don’t need it anymore because the quality of performance improved to such a degree. In my mind, this is the purpose of Cresta: fix the problem and move onto the next one.”
Agents also benefit from keyword insights – their second most used page within Cresta. They gain instant transparency into the voice of the customer, with data-driven understanding of what they’re saying and how agents are handling the conversations. AI-powered hints and suggestions are custom-built to Sleep Numbers’ sales process, providing a “huge source of time savings” for the team.
Cresta Director gives Smith the ability to quickly localize and centralize the data necessary for communicating important information across the organization. “Cresta Director and a cup of coffee – that’s how I start my day every day. I have three tabs open on my computer every day at any time. One of them is Cresta.” Smith told us. “It gives me a high-level look at the numbers, and makes reporting up to my leadership on performance easy.”
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