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An Inside Look into Aviator Nation's Omnichannel Customer Experience

by Admin February 27th, 2024

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Matt Solusod is the CX Manager at Aviator Nation, where he’s responsible for the customer service team and developing their policies and procedures. From creating an online return portal to building the loyalty program, Matt oversees every customer touchpoint.   

Why is it important for Aviator Nation to invest in customer experience?

Aviator Nation Retail Store

Our brand is focused on being unique and standing out. We provide such a unique retail experience, and we need to match that type of experience online. Providing a memorable customer experience allows us to stand out from our competitors and create lifelong, diehard fans of Aviator Nation.

Talk to me about the unique aspects of Aviator Nation’s retail stores.

Many of our stores double as event spaces. We'll host music, fitness, and community events in the space. Our retail locations are really special. They’re located in memorable places like surf towns or vacation spots. 

Do many members of the CX team have experience in the retail stores?

I was the first hire onto the e-commerce team, and I didn’t previously work at an Aviator Nation retail store; however, a lot of CX team members originally worked at one of our 19 flagship locations including the Miami, New York, Texas, and California stores. They really know their stuff! Sometimes they’ll even recognize an online customer from their retail days.

How do you unite the retail and e-commerce experience?

We recently migrated our retail POS systems to Shopify Plus, and now it’s very seamless, but it wasn’t always like that. Our previous POS system was on Lightspeed, but our online store was on Shopify. This created some serious friction! If a customer, who previously made a purchase online, came into one of our stores to make a purchase, store associates didn’t have access to the Shopify customer information, order history, or loyalty program information to answer questions like: are they eligible for a reward at purchase?  To solve this, store associates would manually reach out to the e-commerce team, tell us this customer purchased from this location, and we’d have to add that information to their customer profile.

Now that our store POS system is run on Shopify, store associates can see customer information, if they’ve previously purchased online or in-store, and the status of their rewards. This gives us the data to dive into the customers' retail habits and identify unique opportunities.  

We’re super close to being fully omni-channel at this point. 

What was the trickiest part of the CX experience and how did you overcome it?

Understanding the balance between providing the best customer experience and setting realistic expectations. We’ve got a lot better at it now with partners like Wonderment who help us set these customer expectations. With the popularity of Amazon, customer expectations have gone way up, but if you’re a successful online retailer, you have to expect those heightened expectations.

What types of information do customers expect to receive about their orders? 

People want to know in detail the status of their order. They want to know where their order is right now, where it’s going, how long until it gets here, what happens if I need to change something about it, etc.I feel like we've made it pretty easy for a customer to see that information and request assistance when they need it.

What data does your team look at to improve the CX experience?

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We look at customer retention, CSAT scores, and response & resolution times. By gathering this information, we’re able to create a dynamic feedback loop that we can share with other teams. For example (and I can’t take full credit for this) but we had customer complaints about the fit of our hoodies. People kept saying the hoodies were too tight and they wanted a baggier, more relaxed hoodie. We shared this feedback with our CEO and production team, and it led us to create the Relaxed Fit Line.

What department does the CX team work closely with?

We work hand-in-hand with our fulfillment team. We get weekly updates on shipping times, which allows us to better set customer expectations on delivery times.  

Wonderment also helps us a lot with this. It takes out the constant communication of telling customers when they should expect their order. Wonderment does it automatically based on a sample size of shipments, and automatically shows the customer when they can expect their order.  This has taken a lot of work off our plate.

What's the most memorable customer experience you’ve had?

There was this woman who started shopping with us when I got hired. She was a very regular emailer and always had a lot of things that she needed assistance with, and I was always helping her. It became a daily thing. Three years later, she is one of our biggest purchasers and brand advocates. She almost serves like a customer service agent nowadays and goes to bat for the brand when she feels like she needs to. She still shops with us. As a matter of fact, I just emailed her back this morning.