Blue Nile is opening a new 10,000-square-foot customer service facility in Kent, Wash., 15 miles from its home office in Seattle, it announced last week.
Previously, the e-tailer’s call center had been located in the same downtown Seattle building as its main corporate office. But senior director of customer experience Sarah Gauthier says her department simply outgrew that space.
“The corporate office is not really built for a call-center environment,” she says. “Before we had a really tight space. We have now essentially doubled the size of our space.”
The new “diamond and jewelry expert facility” is expected to employ around 75 people. The new setup boasts noise-absorbing desks and modified ceilings to keep outside sound to a minimum and make sure customers hear only the representative. Also on hand: ergonomically designed furniture, mobile desks, specialty food trucks, a fitness center, nursing rooms for new mothers, and Zen meditation areas “for when people need to recalibrate,” Gauthier says. It will also include new training rooms and classrooms.
About 75 percent of Blue Nile’s customers contact customer service in some way as part of the purchase process—which is an unusually high number for an e-tailer. But Gauthier, who previously worked for three years as a jewelry buyer for Amazon.com, says that shouldn’t be surprising, giving the nature of the item.
Buying a diamond “is an intimate purchase,” she says. “Customers might have to call back two or three times. [They] are spending thousands of dollars. There is so much education that is involved. People really don’t understand cut and clarity. I think talking to someone can be super-reassuring.”
In November 2016, Blue Nile, generally considered the largest online retailer of diamonds and jewelry, was purchased by Bain Capital and Bow Street LLC. Earlier this year, the site underwent a substantial redesign, including a new logo.
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