One of my favorite parts of working at Better Business Bureau is celebrating champion businesses – companies that go above and beyond in delivering a positive customer experience.
Kirkland’s ATGStores.com is one of those businesses, but you wouldn’t guess it four years ago. In 2011 ATG had its BBB Accreditation revoked. Instead of challenging the decision, ATG used it as a wakeup call and worked diligently to rebuild and strengthen its brand and reputation.
By May 2014 – ATG had earned their +A rating and newly instated BBB Accreditation. As you can imagine, it was hard work and took countless dedication. This year, ATG was named BBB’s Business of the Year because of its commitment to upholding BBB’s standards and for providing top of the line service for their customers.
I had a chance to sit down with ATG’s team and ask them about their four year journey and how BBB helped play a part in their success.
Where is ATGStores.com today compared to where it was four years ago?
E-Commerce was a very new concept when ATGStores.com was founded in 1999. The company saw this as an opportunity to focus on gaining the most market share of all its online retail competitors. This meant being quickest to market while providing the largest assortment of products from the widest variety of brands at competitive retail prices – that is what customers needed.
ATGStores.com joined the Lowe’s Home Improvement family in 2011. We knew with the acquisition came an even brighter national spotlight. It was quickly realized during this transitional period that in addition to product assortment ATGStores.com needed to be a brand that delivers the best customer experience and a company that customers can trust much like they do Lowe’s.
Now, we’re completely focused on the customer experience, and delivering all that’s good to people who choose ATGStores.com. We’re proud of our overall improvement, and are committed to getting even better at what we do.
What are the key drivers to your success?
Our people and our customers. The customer experience and a desire to help people love where they live motivates what we do, but it’s our people who get it done. They work tirelessly as a team to make every aspect of the business the best that it can be.
The key driver to our success has been the commitment from all of our team members to study our customers and learn from them how e-commerce consumers prefer to shop. Our customers share with us so much valuable information on a daily basis. We utilize the data and feedback to improve our online shopping experience, our commitment to accuracy in product quality and delivery, and to serve our customers with the level of care that necessary to ensure a happy customer.
How were you able to successfully change the culture and the bottom line?
Our employees show up every day to do great work. We increased visibility into how each team member and team can make a daily difference in the company’s overall success.
We also make time to celebrate the big and small wins, as a team. By empowering them and letting them do what they know, they helped redefine what was even achievable as a bottom line. Where we are today, we’ve never been more productive and we’re improving by the minute.
Where does BBB fit in the picture?
The BBB is a huge part of our success story. By providing us with more detailed feedback from our customers and opportunities to take care of them, the BBB broadened our vision and understanding regarding how we engage with our community.
It is always easier to identify areas where a business is doing well. Our partnership with the BBB provided us detailed insight into areas where we were not meeting our customers’ needs. The BBB helped expose some of our greatest areas of opportunity for improvement in a categorized way. We fully support the BBB’s standards of commitment to ethical business practices and marketplace trust and are proud to operate within these standards.
For businesses that are in the same position ATGStores.com once was in, what advice do you have for them to achieve the same success you’re seeing today?
Listen to the BBB! Empower your people, focus on your customers and give back to your community. And, realize that you can never do enough in any one of those areas. There’s always more to do; there’s always more that can be done to become a better business.