‘Our Customers Are Family,’ How Rack Room Shoes Partners With Global Response To Provide Social Media Customer Care.

Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse are industry leaders in the family and fashion footwear categories. With more than 500 locations in the United States and a growing digital footprint, providing a seamless customer experience is a top priority for this service-oriented organization.



One of the leading issues faced by Rack Room Shoes is the integration of customer care across all channels, including emerging ones. “Rack Room Shoes views our customers as family who should be responded to in a timely manner, no matter which channel they choose to reach out on.” says Belle Rape, Marketing Project Manager for Rack Room Shoes. Demonstrating this, the Rack Room Shoes’ Facebook fan base has grown by more than 500% in the last two years. Belle explains, “That makes social media customer care a natural extension for our brand.”

In 2013, Rack Room Shoes contracted with Global Response, an outsourced contact center, for their inbound customer service calls and email support channels. “We needed a trusted partner who would care as much about our customers as we do,” explains Belle. “We found this in Global Response.”

Once the dedicated Brand Care team was up and running, Global Response and Rack Room Shoes worked together to further enhance the value of Rack Room’s new resource. One simple way to do this was to increase the team’s utilization with social media monitoring and management.


“We realized that managing social media monitoring in-house was overwhelming. Our marketing team generated everything from concept to implementation to posting; in addition to monitoring,” notes Belle. Looking for an organized approach, Rack Room Shoes added social media customer service to the responsibilities of the Global Response dedicated team.

Over four weeks, Global Response worked to custom fit the core social media customer care process to suit Rack Room Shoes’ needs. This included hours of coverage, response protocols, escalation decision trees, training, staffing, technical setup, reporting, and a deep dive into understanding how customers naturally talk about the brand.

The entire scope of mentions Rack Room Shoes receives was categorized for processing. “Global Response helped us to get organized. It was great to be able to walk through our new plan internally, and decide how we would handle each situation,” says Belle.

Global Response’s implementation process also accounted for integrating marketing with customer care, public relations and the leadership team. This interconnectivity is crucial to the success of a sustained social media monitoring program.


“We knew the solution had to be flexible so that the program could evolve as their organization does,” explains Phillip Crowe, Social Media Director at Global Response. “They had a significant number of mentions, questions, and concerns from customers on their social media presences, so we set out to catalogue every interaction for the right response.”

Rack Room Shoes now has social media monitoring for extended business hours, holidays, and weekends. A key element to this solution is that their agents and project manager are staffed from within their dedicated customer service team at Global Response. The project manager works with the client to calibrate on quality assurance, reporting, and to make sure all new initiatives are worked into the program as they occur.

In terms of technology, Global Response integrated its proprietary Case Management Software with a Social Media Management Dashboard to streamline the process of monitoring, responding, and tracking comments. These shared systems allow both the customer care team and the corporate team to view cases simultaneously, while providing guidance and routing for case resolution.

“On a day-to-day basis, integrating social media into the customer care team makes sense from an expertise as well as a utilization perspective,” says Phillip. “The team knows Rack Room Shoes’ brand and is able to use down time between phone calls to monitor social media mentions. It’s a perfect fit.”


Belle summarizes the benefits of Global’s monitoring for her and her team. “Global Response allows me the ability to look at our brand from a 50,000 foot level. I can focus on how we’re going to implement our brand, while they make sure I am alerted to concerns, so that our customers are taken care of in a timely fashion.”

In addition, Global Response has been able to extend the capabilities of the dedicated customer service team. “Compared to a full-time employee performing this task, Rack Room Shoes is saving 84% on their monitoring, while increasing the hours of coverage by 110%,” states Phillip.

For Belle, confidence is key. “I definitely have full faith that my team at Global is there: monitoring, escalating, and doing it properly. I love to see the comments that we get from our fans and followers, like ‘Oh! Rack Room Shoes just retweeted me!’ Or ‘I can’t believe they just liked my post!’ It’s confirmation that we are creating relationships with our customers because we are more responsive.”

As Rack Room Shoes’ customers evolve, so does the brand. Social media customer care is just one of the many steps that Rack Room Shoes is taking with their trusted partner, Global Response, to better serve their customers. “We love working with Global Response. They have become a natural extension of the Rack Room Shoes family,” says Belle.